FERC seeks input on competing apps for Ohio River hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has gotten two competing applications for a new hydropower project on the Ohio River between Belmont County, Ohio, and Ohio County, W.Va.

On Sept. 4, American Municipal Power (AMP) and Free Flow Power Project 3 LLC (FFP) filed separate preliminary permit applications proposing to study the feasibility of a hydropower project at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Pike Island Lock and Dam, located on the Ohio River.

The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term.

AMP’s proposed Pike Island Hydro Project would be located at the west end of the existing Pike Island dam structure and consist of:

  • a 155-foot-wide, 71-foot-tall water intake structure;
  • a 155-foot-wide, 189-foot-long concrete powerhouse containing two turbine-generators each rated at 25 MW for a total installed capacity of 50 MW;
  • a 160-foot-wide, 350-foot-long tailrace channel; and
  • a 8.75-mile-long, 138-kV overhead transmission line conveying the project power to a substation belonging to American Electric Power and located in Brillant, Ohio.

The project would occupy several acres of federal lands, would operate run-of-river and generate about 256,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually.

The applicant contact is: Philip Meier, Vice President Hydro Electric Development and Operations, American Municipal Power, 1111 Schrock Road, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43229, phone 614-540-0913.

FFP’s Pike Island Hydroelectric Project would also be located at the west end of the existing Pike Island dam structure and consist of:

  • a 225-foot-wide, 50-foot-long water intake structure;
  • a 160-foot-wide, 140-foot-long concrete powerhouse containing three turbine-generators each rated at 15 MW for a total installed capacity of 45 MW;
  • a 200-foot-wide, 500-foot-long tailrace channel; and
  • a 7,800-foot-long, 138-kV overhead transmission line conveying the project power to a substation belonging to Ohio Power and located in Tiltonsville, Ohio.

The project would occupy several acres of federal lands, would operate run-of-river and generate about 225,000 MWh annually.

The applicant contact is: Ramya Swaminathan, Free Flow Power Corp., 239 Causeway Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02114, phone 978-283-2822, ext. 105.

FERC is now taking 60 days of public comment on these applications and will take any competing applications during that time. Its procedure for deciding this type of matter is to hold a drawing to see which party gets the right to the preliminary permit.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.