Lock 9 Hydro seeks permit from FERC for small project in Kentucky

Lock 9 Hydro Partners applied Sept. 1 at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a Preliminary Permit for the Valley View Hydroelectric Station project, to be located on the Kentucky River in Jessamine and Madison counties, Kentucky.

Under this three-year permit, Lock 9 Hydro Partners proposes to spend the time to evaluate the possibility of adding hydropower generation to the existing lock and dam owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and operated by the Kentucky River Authority. Lock 9 Hydro Partners is submitting this application in order to secure priority in the licensing process while it studies the feasibility of the Valley View Hydroelectric Station and develops a license application.

The proposed project would place six 1500 mm Flygt 7650 turbine-generator units in the auxiliary section of the dam at Lock 9 on the Kentucky River. The original dam and lock chamber were built between 1901 and 1903 and were made of concrete. The lock and dam were put into operation in 1903. A new dam was completed in 2010 and consists of eight concrete fill steel cylinders, each 52 feet in diameter.

While built for navigation, the dam is presently used for recreation and water supply. The dam is 242 feet in length, with a 52 foot wide lock chamber, and a 120 foot auxiliary dam section. The dam has a structural height of 35 feet. The lock chamber is now blocked by the new dam. The dam is located at mile 157.5 on the Kentucky River. There are no existing penstocks, powerhouses, or tailraces at the site.

The proposed project would not change the dam height or have any affect on river levels, as it would be operated in a run-of-river mode. An existing distribution line owned by Blue Grass Energy Cooperative runs within 1,000 feet of the project site. The project would interconnect directly into this distribution line; thus no new or additional transmission facilities will be required.

Installed would be six new 1500 mm Flygt 7650 axial-flow propeller turbines with integrated 560 KW generators. The combined capacity of the six turbine/generators would be 3,360 kW (3.36 MW). The estimated annual output would be on average 12,900 Megawatt-hours of electricity annually.

There is no existing hydroelectric equipment at the site. The project would use siphoning penstocks, and because the units are submersible, it would not have a traditional powerhouse. The submersible turbine/generators would be located at the auxilliary section of the existing dam. Project controls and switchgear would be located in a new building to be located on the shore, above the 500-year flood level.

A project contact is: David Brown Kinloch, Shaker Landing Hydro Associates, 414 S. Wenzel Street, Louisville, KY 40204, (502) 589-0975, kyhydropower@gmail.com.

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.