Hydroelectric power plant in development along Ohio River

Rye Development LLC

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — On Wednesday, with little fanfare, a company held a public meeting in New Cumberland to discuss their plans for a new hydroelectric power plant.

If you missed it, you weren’t the only one. There were five people in the room; three were there to learn and two were there to talk about a project that is in the very early stages.

“What we are proposing is a hydroelectric power plant of about 50 megawatts. It would provide energy to approximately 22,000 homes,” said Andrew Blystra, Rye Development engineer.

Rye Development has completed preliminary studies and now they are eyeing space along the Ohio River. Their plan is to build the hydro power facility south of the New Cumberland locks and dam.

“The stated goal of the company is to develop hydro projects at all existing dams—hydro power plants renewable energy at existing dams,” Blystra said.

Company officials say the facility will be operational in the next five to six years. The total investment, per officials, would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million.

The project would create 150 to 200 construction jobs and 2 or 3 operational jobs.

“There’s a lot of other things that are happening. For example, trash racks have to be raked. Some of it has to go to landfills and we would have a contract with a local entity to do that. Similarly, with snow plowing so there are a number of maintenance and operation requirements beyond the two or three people that would operate the plant,” Blystra said.

There will be a 60-day comment period for members of the public to provide feedback. That feedback will then be taken back to members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.