Groundbreaking Held for Willow Island Hydroelectric Plant

$300 million project will need 200 to 400 construction workers

The State Journal
21 July 2011

A groundbreaking ceremony today marked the official start of construction on the new hydroelectric power plant on the Ohio River at the Willow Island Locks and Dam.

The plant in Pleasants County will add 35 megawatts of new, renewable generation to the region.

The Willow Island plant will cost more than $300 million and employ 200 to 400 construction workers. When finished, it will provide seven to nine permanent operating positions. The project is expected to begin generating power in late 2014.

AMP already owns and operates the hydroelectric generating station at the Belleville Locks and Dam in Wood County. Including Willow Island, it is in the process of building six plants on the Ohio River in West Virginia and Kentucky. Those plants will generate 300 megawatts total.

“The aggressive hydroelectric generation development being undertaken by AMP is designed to help our member communities diversify their power supply portfolio and increase their use of renewable generation,” AMP President/CEO Marc Gerken said. “The anticipated life of these projects means that generations to come will benefit from what we’re doing today. It is a large part of a coordinated effort to reduce our members’ dependence on the wholesale market and create balanced power supply at predictable costs. At the same time, this development effort is creating jobs and economic development in the region.”