Exploring Hydropower on the Ohio River – Tour Opportunities at Clean Currents 2023

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Exploring Hydropower on the Ohio River – Tour Opportunities at Clean Currents 2023


August 14, 2023


Jeremy Chase-Israel, Content Development Specialist, NHA


Exploring Hydropower on the Ohio River – Tour Opportunities at Clean Currents 2023

NHA thanks our sponsors:

American Hydro

The National Hydropower Association’s upcoming Clean Currents industry-wide event offers a unique and valuable learning experience for anyone working in waterpower. With a focus on engaging the industry through participation, one of the highlights of Clean Currents are the on-site tours of hydroelectric facilities in the area.

For 2023’s Clean Currents, which takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio, from October 10 – 13, the owners of three unique hydroelectric projects are hosting on-site tours. If you are interested in exploring building new hydro at existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ dams and/or are a history buff and love exploring the ingenuity of hydropower, these tours are for you!

Each tour has limited participation, and spots fill fast, so Clean Currents’ eligible attendees are encouraged to sign-up now.

The available tours are as follows:

  • Meldahl Hydroelectric Plant, Tuesday morning, October 10
  • Markland Locks and Dams, Tuesday afternoon, October 10
  • Americana Tour at Hamilton Hydro, Friday morning October 13

The on-site tours offer attendees unprecedented access to waterpower facilities responsible for providing renewable energy to communities across the Midwest. These in-the-field tours are a great opportunity to learn from hydropower asset owners whose facilities are critical to helping achieve the United States’ net-zero goals. Tickets for one or more of the tours can be purchased while registering for Clean Currents.


Hosted by the City of Hamilton, Ohio, and American Municipal Power, the tour of the Meldahl Hydroelectric Plant takes place on Tuesday, October 10. Running from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST, attendees will have the chance to experience the 105 MW run-of-the-river plant up close.

Named after Captain Anthony Meldahl, a renowned Ohio River riverboat captain in the 1800’s, the Meldahl Hydroelectric Plant is located in Foster, Kentucky, an hour southeast of Cincinnati, at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ lock and dam. The facility, which reached full commercial operation in 2016, is the largest hydroelectric power plant on the Ohio River and has an annual output of 523.2 million kilowatt-hours, with the highest annual output occurring in 2021 with 639.4 million kilowatt-hours generated.

The tour features a look at the powerhouse, which sports a crane spanning 190 feet that can pick up 175 tons – the equivalent of a Boeing 747 jet. Additionally, the powerhouse is designed to be overtopped during flood events by as much as 25 feet of water.


Hosted by Duke Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the tour of Markland Locks and Dam and the Markland Hydroelectric Facility takes place on Tuesday, October 10. Running from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST, attendees will travel by bus to the site, which is located on the Ohio River, only an hour from downtown Cincinnati.

The 1,395-foot concrete dam bridge and locks span the Ohio River and connect Gallatin County, Kentucky, and Switzerland County, Indiana. The locks were completed in 1959 and the dam was completed in 1964.

Markland Locks and Dam has an installed capacity of 81 Mva, and when visitors tour the facility, they can access an observation platform, complete with incredible views of the Ohio River.


Hosted by the City of Hamilton, Ohio, the “Americana Tour” at Hamilton Hydro takes place on Friday, October 13. Running from 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM, participants will be able to experience the current and historical importance of hydropower to the City of Hamilton.

Attendees will be split into four groups in order to experience four “stations” covering a wide range of topics, such as:

  • The story of Hamilton Hydraulic’s canal, constructed in the 1840’s
  • The Henry Ford connection, covering the famed entrepreneur’s fascination with hydroelectric power and relationship to Hamilton’s hydropower history
  • Native settlements and history, exploring archaeological digs and early cultures
  • Current hydroelectric operations, which gives attendees a detailed look inside the Hamilton Hydroelectric Plant – a 2-MW facility located on the Ohio River

After the tour concludes, attendees will be served light refreshments and will be able to network, ask questions to subject matter experts, and, potentially, view artifacts from Hamilton’s past.


Interested attendees can sign-up for the on-site tours when registering for Clean Currents.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Francesca Blanco Hadjimichael, CMP, NHA’s Director of Meetings and Events, at francesca@hydro.org.