LIHI Pending Application - Certification of Willow Island Lock and Dam Project

September 7, 2017: The public comment period has closed, the application remains under review pending receipt of additional information.

July 5, 2017: On July 5, 2017, the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) received a complete application from Cube Hydro Partners on behalf of American Municipal Power, Inc. for the Low Impact Certification of the Willow Island Lock and Dam Project, FERC No. P-6902, located on the Ohio River in Ohio.

 The Project is located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (USACE) Willow Island Locks and Dam at river mile 161.7, the 7th Locks and Dam on the Ohio River downstream of Pittsburgh. The Huntington District of the USACE owns and operates the Locks and Dam.

The project is located on the south-east side of the Willow Island Dam abutment at the left descending bank. The hydropower plant includes a concrete powerhouse structure approximately 260 feet long by 140 feet wide, containing two horizontal-axis bulb-type turbine-generator units with a total installed capacity of approximately 35 MW; an approach channel; an approximately 700-foot-long by 200-foot wide tailrace channel that will conduct the downstream discharge of the turbines back to the river at a point approximately 800 feet below the Willow Island Dam; a submerged navigation groin; a single-circuit, 138 kilovolt transmission line; a landside closure structure; a riverside closure structure and a J-wall on the right side of the approach channel; recreation facilities; and other appurtenant facilities.

The American Municipal Power, Inc. and the Huntington District of the USACE entered into a Memorandum of Operating Agreement (MOA) on November 20th, 2015. As directed by the USACE, and Article 401 of the Project License, the Project is operated by AMP in run-of-river mode for protection of navigation, water quality, and aquatic resources on the Ohio River.

The Huntington District of the USACE maintains the upper Willow Island pool between elevation 602 and 603 feet ORD. During low flows when the river is being regulated for protection of navigation and other Federal interests, all discharges for the Project are controlled by the USACE lockmaster. If the river flow exceeds approximately 142,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) or if the river flow is less than 6,000 cfs, the Project is shut down and all flows are passed through the USACE Dam. The Huntington District of the USACE maintains the upper Willow Island pool when discharging any flow through the Dam.

LIHI is seeking comment on the Willow Island application for certification. Comments that are directly tied to specific LIHI criteria (flows, water quality, fish passage, etc.) will be most helpful, but all comments will be considered.  Comments may be submitted to the Institute by e-mail at with “Willow Island Project Comments” in the subject line, or by mail addressed to the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, 329 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 2, Lexington, MA 02420.  Comments must be received at the Institute on or before 5 pm Eastern time on September 6, 2017 to be considered.  All comments will be posted to the web site and the applicant will have an opportunity to respond.  Any response will also be posted.

Project Name Willow Island
Owner American Municipal Power, Inc.
State Ohio
Location Pleasants County, WV and Washington County, OH River mile 161.7 Ohio River
Installed Capacity 35 MW
Average Annual Generation 239,000 MWh
Facility Type run-of-river
FERC No. 6902