Hydroelectric power could grow in kentucky with interest in renewable energy _ lexington herald-leader

The largest hydroelectric projects built in Kentucky in nearly 40 years are set to begin operation in 2016, and studies show the state has significant potential to generate even more power from its waters.

The series of locks and dams on the Kentucky River are among the places that hold promise to expand the state’s supply of hydropower to meet an interest in renewable energy.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued licenses Dec. Gas dryer vs electric dryer operating cost 21 to build two more small hydroelectric facilities at locks and dams on the river, and there are preliminary permits covering other sites on the river and around the state.

“There’s potential for a lot more hydroelectric power in Kentucky than what we have now,” said David Brown Kinloch, a partner in a company that operates the only generating plant on the Kentucky River.

On the Ohio River, American Municipal Power, based in Ohio, is adding hydroelectric generators at three existing dams along Bracken, Hancock and Livingston counties. Electricity electricity lyrics All three are scheduled to begin commercial production in 2016, said Kent Carson, a spokesman for the company.

The American Municipal projects are the biggest addition to hydroelectric generation in the state since turbines started turning at Laurel River Dam in 1977.

Most of the power from the three new plants will go to other states, but the Kentucky cities of Paducah and Princeton will receive electricity from them, Carson said.

Hydroelectric power has a long history in Kentucky. Electricity generation in india The state’s oldest hydropower unit, the Kentucky Utilities facility at Dix Dam, dates to 1925.

Coal has long been king of electricity production, however. 5 gases found in the environment Coal-fired power plants produced 92 percent of the electricity generated in Kentucky in 2014, according to the state Energy and Environment Cabinet.

That was much less than in some other states. Sgas belfast The state of Washington gets 80 percent of its electricity from hydropower, for instance, said Jeffrey A. Static electricity images Leahey, deputy executive director of the National Hydropower Association.

Still, hydropower was by far the biggest source of renewable energy produced in Kentucky, at 87 percent, and the state has dozens of spots where more hydroelectric generators could be installed.

There are 33 dams in the state or on the Ohio River, built for reasons such as flood control, water supply or navigation, that don’t have hydroelectric facilities, according to the Energy and Environment Cabinet.

Adding turbines and generators to be turned by water flowing through those “non-powered” dams could quadruple Kentucky’s annual hydroelectric production, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers estimated in a 2012 study.

The study estimated several other non-powered dams in Kentucky would rank among the top 100 nationally in potential production, including Dewey Dam in Floyd County; Steve Boone Dam in Henry County; and Kentucky River locks and dams in Anderson and Garrard counties.

Kinloch, a Louisville engineer, said he and his partners received federal licenses on Dec. Electricity and magnetism worksheets middle school 21 to build two 2.6 megawatt hydropower units on the Kentucky River, one at Lock and Dam 12 in Estill County and the other at Lock and Dam 14 in Lee County.

The company had been pursuing the licenses more than seven years, highlighting a process many in the hydropower industry argue is too cumbersome and time-consuming.

The plan is to begin building at Lock and Dam 12 first and start at 14 about a year later, with about 18 months needed to finish each facility, Kinloch said.

The facility at Lock and Dam 7, between Mercer and Jessamine counties, produces enough electricity for about 1,100 homes on average, Kinloch said.

It is named for the spiritual leader of the Shakers. K electric jobs 2015 The religious sect founded a community nearby in Mercer County in the early 1800s, now known as Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

Kinloch, Bob Fairchild and David Coyte, who are partners in a company called Shaker Landing Hydro Associates and support development of renewable energy, bought the plant in December 2005.

It took about thee years to get all three generators back in service, but the partners did it, repairing equipment, adding stainless steel parts and updating wiring and electronics to improve the plant’s connection to the electric grid and allow remote operation of the facility.

The plant has propellers — called runners — that are turned by water flowing through the spillway at the dam. Electricity units calculator in pakistan The propellers turn turbines that are connected by shafts to three generators painted in Mardi Gras colors in the powerhouse, about 45 feet above the river.

Salt River Electric, a cooperative based in Bardstown, owns half the plant with Shaker Landing Hydro Associates and buys all the electricity it makes.

The price for the hydropower is lower than for electricity from the co-op’s primary provider, and the plant has been a positive return on investment, said Tim Sharp, the president and chief executive officer.

The plant also sells renewable energy credits, which are particularly in demand in states that require utilities to get a certain amount of power from renewable sources such as hydropower, solar and wind in order to boost those sources and cut pollution from power plants that burn fossil fuels such as coal.

The 2012 Oak Ridge study said that adding such facilities to non-powered dams could produce enough additional electricity to serve 4.8 million homes, with Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas and Louisiana having the greatest potential.

Many environmental groups oppose new dams because of their impact on rivers, fish and ecosystems, and there is a persistent push to remove many of the dams around the country.

But adding hydropower units to dams that aren’t likely to be removed because they’re needed for other reasons, such as providing flood control or a water supply, is less controversial for many environmentalists than building new dams.

The conservation group American Rivers supports responsible development of hydropower units on existing dams if they are designed and operated to minimize environmental damage, according to its website.

“As a class, these projects are much less likely to have negative environmental impacts,” said John Seebach, the organization’s vice president of river basin conservation policies.

The Mother Ann Lee station was one of the first in the nation certified by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute for providing protection for river flow, water quality, fish passage, threatened species, recreation and other resources.

Hank Graddy, an attorney who heads the water committee of the state Sierra Club chapter, called the Cumberland Chapter, said the organization’s policy is that if an existing dam is not scheduled for demolition, it can support adding small, properly-designed hydropower units on a case by case basis.

However, the Sierra Club checks hydropower proposals closely to make sure the units would adequately protect the environment, Graddy said, noting the Cumberland Chapter was born of a fight to stop a dam on the Red River.

Kinloch said hydropower can compete on price with other electricity sources if it is done well. R gasquet And right now, selling it isn’t a problem, he said.