Utilities squeeze Ohio River for a few more drops of energy

5/4/2012  |  E&E News
FOSTER, Ky. -- As barges of coal and grain bob through the Meldahl Lock and Dam here, construction crews are laying pipes and pumping water out of a 110-foot-deep crater that sprawls over 30 acres on the west bank of the Ohio River. Rupak Thapaliya, national coordinator of the Hydropower Reform Coalition in Washington, D.C., said the group accepts smaller "run of the river" projects like the ones on the Ohio, which don't change the amount of water that flows through a dam. Installing a new turbine can still hurt fish and other wildlife by heating up the water or reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen downriver, but there are often ways to avoid those problems, he said.

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