Clean Currents 2023

Tour of Markland Hydroelectric Facility and Navigation Locks and Dam

Hosts: Duke Energy Corporation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Maximum Capacity: 80 people; participation limited to U.S. citizens

Tour participants will travel by bus to the site, which is located on the Ohio River, only an hour from downtown Cincinnati.

The 1,395-foot-long and 150-foot-high concrete dam bridge and locks span the Ohio River and connect Gallatin County, Kentucky, and Switzerland County, Indiana. The navigation locks were completed in 1959 and the dam was completed in 1964. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District in the Great Lakes & Ohio River Division owns and operates the locks and dam.

The Markland hydroelectric facility was completed in 1967 by the Public Service Company of Indiana (now owned by Duke Energy) and has an installed capacity of 81 Mva. The facility harnesses energy produced from the flow of the river to produce electricity, within guidelines governed by the Corps of Engineers.

In 2022, Duke completed upgrades to the plant’s three hydroelectric turbines, generators, and other equipment. The upgrade took four and a half years to complete and cost approximately $152 million – well within the company’s projected cost estimate. With the completion of these equipment upgrades, Markland Hydroelectric Station can now generate up to 65 MW of renewable, carbon-free energy, depending on the flow of the river, which is enough to power 52,000 homes. The facility’s annual energy output has increased by 39 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year.

The upgrades included replacing turbine runner hubs and runner blades with a more efficient design. The company also replaced a number of other parts and components, including discharge rings, wicket gates, generator rewinds, generator excitation controls and relay protection, station controls, intake and draft tube gates and the main power transformer. Crews also overhauled the high- and low-voltage electrical distribution systems at the station.

Quick Links