Hamilton’s Meldahl hydroelectric plant now in full operation

The Meldahl hydroelectric power plant, which provides another carbon-free source of power to Hamilton’s business and residential electric customers, is now in full operation after a brief construction delay.

Meldahl will be one of the largest hydroelectric power plants on the Ohio River, according to American Municipal Power, a partner with the city on the project.

The Meldahl Hydroelectric Project will provide “affordable, renewable energy for current and future Hamilton electric consumers,” said Kevin Maynard, city public utilities director. “Hamilton is proud to be a leader in renewable energy for more than 50 years.”

The project is in partnership with American Municipal Power Inc., a nonprofit that owns and operates multiple power plants to generate electric for its municipal members in seven states. Hamilton is also a member of American Municipal.

Hamilton local government owns the majority stake in Meldahl, 51 percent, and American Municipal owns the rest.

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“I congratulate Hamilton City Council, Mayor Pat Moeller, City Manager Joshua Smith, and the Hamilton/AMP Team, for their hard work and dedication in completing this project,” Maynard said in a press release

Since city leaders visited the construction site in 2014, most of the massive 10-story high concrete structure has been submerged underwater. Left above water is only the powerhouse.

Three water turbines installed in the facility will generate electricity from the flow of the river. Projections are that Meldahl could generate an average 558,000 megawatt hours a year, according to American Municipal. Total capacity will be 105 megawatts per an hour.

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