The Smithland hydroelectric facility, currently under development, will add 72 MW of new, renewable generation to the region. The plant is located near Smithland, Kentucky.

The Smithland project will divert water from the existing Corps Smithland Locks and Dam through bulb turbines to generate an average gross annual output of approximately 379 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). The site will include an intake approach channel, a reinforced concrete powerhouse and a tailrace channel. The powerhouse will house three horizontal FERC rated 24-MW bulb-type turbine and generating units with an estimated total rated capacity of 72 MW at a gross head of 22 feet. A 2.5-mile-long 161 kV transmission line interconnection is planned to connect to MISO.

Smithland is located approximately 62 river miles upstream of the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, in Livingston County, Ky.

AMP is developing the Smithland plant on behalf of 79 participating AMP member communities. The Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is also participating in the project.

The Smithland project, as of July 19, 2013, employed more than 200 workers and more than 400 construction workers are expected at the peak of construction. Once online, it will provide up to nine permanent operating positions. AMP signed a contract in June 2008 with York, Pennsylvania-based Voith Hydro for the manufacture of turbines and generators. CJ Mahan Construction completed the excavation and cofferdam construction in 2012 and powerhouse construction began in April 2012 with CJ Mahan as contractor.

  • Location: Kentucky side of the Ohio River, near Smithland, Kentucky (about 3 ½ hours southwest of Louisville, Ky.)
  • Estimated capacity: 72 MW
  • Estimated construction jobs: Over 400 at peak of construction
  • Estimated permanent jobs: 7-9
  • Formal groundbreaking: Held September 1, 2010, featuring Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Ed Whitfield (KY-1), and state and local officials


The following images illustrate the progress of Smithland’s construction in chronological order. Click the links below to view construction photos by year.

2013      2012      2011      2010


Aerial view

View of the formwork for the powerhouse crane beams

Riverside closure structure hardfill placement

Unit 1 formwork assembly for second stage concrete placement


Draft tube area of powerhouse at sunset

Tailrace channel excavation

Setting the Unit 2 bulb nose upright for walkway and piping

Rebar and formwork placement for roof slab and tower crane



Fascia concrete formwork for the landside closure structure 2

Surveying the Unit 3 stay cone flange

Prefabricating piping for installation in the bulb noses

Barge delivery of the distributors and stators


Aerial view

Walking platform being installed in Unit 1 bulb nose

Hydraulic dredge in operation for approach channel

View of the landside closure structure


Removing the draft tube liner formwork

Electrical testing of the Unit 2 rotor assembly

Receiving first inner gate barrel


Jacking strut for the realignment of the Unit 1 bulb turbine


Formwork for the landside exterior intake beam 1

Drilling for the drilled shaft transmission tower foundations

Hardfill placement for the landside closure structure

Assembly of the 80 ton bulkhead lifting beam 1


Aerial view

Lifting Unit 2 rotor to move to pre-assembly area

Heat trace equipment installation on Unit 3 stay cone bracing

Formwork and shoring for the Unit 1 intake beam


Installing rebar for the powerhouse concrete placement

Shoring for the Unit 1 intake beam concrete placement

Foundation walls and slope for the landside closure structure

Rebar installation at Unit 1 second stage concrete


2013      2012      2011      2010      Top


Smithland 2013

Smithland 2012

Smithland 2011

Smithland 2010


Cannelton Hydro Project

Meldahl Hydro Project

Willow Island Hydro Project