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 August 2017 Chapter Event

Topic:      Tour of  the Meldahl Dam
When:      Wednesday, August 30, 1pm
Where:     2443 US-52, Felicity, OH 45120

Plant and Power 

- Project co-owned by City of Hamilton and American Municipal Power (AMP)

- City of Hamilton also owns and operates 2 other hydro plants

  (Greenup plant is up-river and a small plant near Hamilton since Henry Ford days)

- AMP owns and operates other hydro plants in the area, including Willow Island

- AMP sells its hydro power as a block to PJM

- This is a “run of the river” hydro plant and only uses water not needed for navigation. 

- There is no water storage available for operation.

Construction Dates

- Meldahl is a 114-acre site 35 miles east of Cincinnati

- Building licenses filed for in Oct 2006

- Licenses granted in Jun 2008

- Coffer dam construction and major excavation in May 2010 to Aug 2011

- Powerhouse and appurtenances construction began in Aug 2011

- Powerhouse is 260' (L) x 210' (W) x 100' (D)

- Transmission lines are 3 miles long (to Spurlock)

- Commissioning in Apr 2016

- $600 million total cost

- 9 full-time employees at the plant


- Plant output max = 105 mW

- Power is generated at 13 kV and is converted to 138 kV on site. 

- Power is transmitted to Ohio where it is transformed to 385KV before tying to the Spurlock grid.

- Nominal max annual output 558,000 mWh (but actual so far has been less)

- Three 35 mW (max) hydro turbines with horizontal flow, mfr'd by Voith Hydro of York PA

- Powerplant facility uses only about 750 kW to operate (< 1% of nominal plant output rating)

- There is up to 30' differential in river height (7' min needed, 25' optimal)

- Actual flow rates to maintain Ohio River pool elevations set by Army Corp of Engineers

- Upper pool elevation target is 485' above sea level (asl)

- Lower pool elevation target is 455' asl

- Lowest floor of powerhouse is 385' asl

- Runner blades are hydraulically pitched to maintain optimum flow

- Combined flow rate up to 60,000 gallons per second (gps)

- Fixed 64.29 rpm to maintain 60-cycles per second

- Plant is sometimes ordered to halt generation during low river oxygen demand (OD) times, even though its operation does not affect river OD

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