St. Louis Public Radio News
3:53 pm
Mon November 11, 2002

Alton Dam Could Be Fitted for Hydro-Electric Plant

Alton, IL – A Tennessee company wants to attach a grid of hydroelectric turbines to an area dam to produce up to 90 megawatts at a time.

W.V. Hydro has applied for a federal permit to put the grid on the Price Locks and Dam near Alton. It's a technology that's been used only a few places worldwide.

The dam is an Army Corps of Engineers project, and Corps project manager Brian Kleber says his agency's top priority has to be maintaining water conditions for navigation. But the agency frequently allows hydroelectric production at its dams, producing about a quarter of the nation's hydroelectric power.

The plant would produce less electricity that most fuel-burning plants, but is large by hydroelectric standards. The Sierra Club will discuss the project at a meeting in Alton tonight.