A hydroelectric power plant may be coming to the New Cumberland Locks and Dam. HOMETOWN NEWS has learned that on Sept 28, 2020 “Current Project 19, LLC” filed an application for a preliminary permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) proposing to study the feasibility of a new 250 hydropower permit at the existing U.S. Army Corp of Engineer’s New Cumberland Locks and Dam located on the Ohio River.  Workers from Edge Engineering & Science were in New Cumberland Tuesday, (Jan. 3, 2024) gathering necessary measurements and other pertinent detail.   A boat was launched from behind the New Cumberland Fire Department to measure the water velocity.

This is the second time the prospect of a hydropower plant in New Cumberland has been broached. In 1990, the prospect of attracting a hydropower plant to New Cumberland was discussed .   After learning of the benefits a hydro plant had brought to New Martinsville, then Mayor, the late Jack Harris, arranged for members of Council and Delegate Tamara Pettit to travel to New Martinsville to view the plant and have a roundtable discussion with New Martinsville Council about the advantages the plant had brought to the community.

According to the preliminary application the proposed  New Cumberland Hydroelectric Dam project would consist of the following (1) a new 250-ft- wide, 170- ft- long,  reinforced concrete powerhouse to be located downstream along the left bank looking downstream (2) a new 250-foot-wide, 150-ft- long forebay intake area enclosed by reinforced concrete retaining walls immediately downstream of the dam (3) four 5.275 megawatt turbine-generator units with a total generating capacity of 21.1 (4) A new 300-ft-wide by 300-ft-long tailrace (5) a 1,200-ft-long access road (6) new 60-ft-long by 60-ft-wide substation with a three-phase step-up transformer (7) a new 0.3 mile long, 36.7- kilovolt transmission line and; (8) appurtenant facilities.  The proposed project would have an estimated annual generation of 151 gigawatt -hours.

Mayor Will White said news of the hydropower plant activity and the potential of its locating in New Cumberland was “fantastic, it’s a great boost for New Cumberland. It’s the best news we’ve had in a long time.”