Geotechnology engineers working at Cannelton Hydroelectric project site

Cannelton Hydroelectric

Location: Hawesville, KY

Client: American Municipal Power, Inc.

Services: Materials Testing


The Cannelton Hydroelectric project is located on the Kentucky shore of the Cannelton Locks and Dam located on the Ohio River 721 miles below Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is three miles upstream from Cannelton, Indiana.

The navigation locks are located on the right descending bank or Indiana side of the river. The upper pool maintained above the dam extends upstream for a distance of 114 miles to the McAlpine Locks and Dam at mile 607 and for a short distance up the Salt River. The Powerhouse will enclose three horizontal-shaft bulb turbines with an expected running diameter of 7.5 meters.

Each generator produces approximately 28 MW at a 6.9 kV buss voltage for a total of 84 MW and 390,000 mwhs annually. Each generator buss connects to the main step-up power transformers and then switches gear and take-off structure on top of the entrance building to the powerhouse and on to the 138kV transmission line. The transmission line extends approximately 8.3 miles from the plant and connects to a Louisville Gas and Electric substation.

Cannelton Hydroelectric Project Background

Geotechnology* was retained by the Owner, American Municipal Power, Inc. as the Materials Testing Consultant for this project. Due to the size and magnitude of this project, Thelen established on-site laboratory testing facilities (construction trailers). The the three trailers were retro-fitted to accommodate aggregate, cement, concrete and soil testing applications.

Additional laboratory Testing Program assisted the Owner’s Engineer (MWH Americas, Inc.) in monitoring and confirming the Powerhouse Contractor’s (Walsh) Quality Assurance and Quality Control Programs during the construction of the 3-year project. Various types of testing services were also performed, in both field and on and off-site laboratory applications. We tested soils, cement, aggregates, concrete placement, soil-cement applications and other miscellaneous construction materials

Since the start of the project in March, 2011, teams of three to five various levels of Certified Engineering Technicians were on-site on a daily basis. The Contractor worked two shifts per day in order to meet the owner’s schedule.

*Services were provided as Thelen Associates, Inc.