Willow Island Hydropower Plant in Full Operation
The State Journal
10 March 2016
By Jim Ross
The hydroelectric power plant on the Ohio River near St. Marys now
is in full operation after nearly five years of construction.
The first of two units of the plant on the West Virginia side of
the Willow Island Locks and Dam went into commercial operation
Jan. 4. The second unit went into operation Feb. 4.
The power plant generates about 40 megawatts of electricity in the
two units, which use horizontal turbines. Power generated at the
plant is transmitted through a 1.6-mile-long transmission
line that connects with an existing transmission line in West
Virginia, said Krista Selvage, director of media relations and
communications for American Municipal Power, which built and
operates the plant.
Excavation and cofferdam construction at the plant began in June
2011. Powerhouse construction began in December 2012. Ruhlin
Construction of Sharon, Ohio, was the lead contractor on the
A total of 79 AMP member utilities in five states will receive
power from the Willow Island Hydroelectric Plant. AMP is also
developing hydroelectric power stations at the Meldahl, Cannelton
and Smithland locks and dams on the Ohio, all of which are
downstream of West Virginia.
“There are some units online at Cannelton and Meldahl, and we
anticipate all units at Cannelton, Meldahl and Smithland will be
online before the end of 2016,” Selvage said. “This development is
the largest deployment of clean, renewable run-of-the-river
hydroelectric generation in the country.”
American Municipal Power is a nonprofit wholesale power supplier
and services provider for 131 member municipal electric systems in
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana,
Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia. Its West Virginia members
are New Martinsville and Philippi.