American Municipal Power Foster, Kentucky, United States

Successfully completing the largest hydroelectric plant on the Ohio River

Meldahl Hydroelectric Plant Construction

Building a clean, renewable energy source

An Alberici joint venture built a new hydroelectric generating plant at the Captain Anthony Meldahl Locks and Dam. The Meldahl project included installation of three 35-megawatt bulb turbine generators, a 175-ton capacity powerhouse crane, and other supporting equipment. The horizontal bulb turbine generators are housed in a submerged powerhouse, constructed with 109,000 cubic yards of reinforced concrete. The run-of-river plant is fed by a 1,850-foot-long approach channel that directs water from the Ohio River into the powerhouse.

Meldahl Hydroelectric BIM

Quality through virtual construction

To achieve quality standards and maximize construction efficiency, the team created complete lift drawings for each concrete placement detailing embeds, quantities, piping, electrical, and other elements. Given the project’s complexity and standards for quality, the team developed a 3D model and virtual schedule of the powerhouse. This provided a visual understanding of the concrete construction and a greater ability to analyze the construction sequencing.

Meldahl Batch Plant

Optimal site utilization – during and after construction

Utilizing an onsite batch plant, the project team completed approximately 900 individual concrete placements. Upon completion of the project, the 2,000-cubic-yard-capacity batch plant was disassembled and converted to a community recreation area.

Keeping a hydro project dry

After excavating portions of more than one million cubic yards of rock, groundwater seepage proved to be a major challenge. To remove water from the site, the Alberici team used deep-well and electric pumps to discharge up to 5,500 gallons per minute. The pumps ran around the clock to prevent flooding of the project site.

Meldahl Hydroelectric Plant Turbine

400+ workers

With more than 400 construction workers in various trades during the peak of construction, the Alberici team self-performed 79% of all work. This included batch plant setup and operation, formwork, placement of structural concrete and hard fill, steel erection, turbine field assembly, installation of overhead crane and structural platforms. The team also performed rigging, setting, and alignment of large rotating equipment, pumps, compressors, bulkheads, gates, and screens.