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Hydropower on the rise in the Ohio Valley

WHEELING, W.Va. – Enough new hydroelectricity to power up to 320,000 homes will come online this year, while four new power plants are under construction at dams along the Ohio River in West Virginia and Kentucky.

In 2014, American Municipal Power considered building a hydroelectric power plant at the Pike Island Locks and Dam, but eventually dropped the project. However, AMP officials opened generating units at the Willow Island Lock and Dam in Pleasants County, W.Va. earlier this year. The New Martinsville/Hannibal Hydroelectric Plant has been in place since 1988.

“These facilities will help insulate us from future carbon regulations and will be a long-term benefit for our members,” AMP President and CEO Marc Gerken said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said projects are also ongoing at Cannelton, Meldahl and Smithland in Kentucky. When these are complete, the hydroelectricity generating capacity along the Ohio River will grow from 313 megawatts to 554 megawatts…

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