Berea unveils hydroelectric generating plant on Ky. River

Published 5:59 am Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Berea College has completed work on a hydroelectric plant that will supply renewable power generated from the Kentucky River.

The college in eastern Kentucky near the Daniel Boone National Forest said the small-scale plant can generate 2.64 megawatts, or about half the electricity the campus uses in a year.

The project is located on Lock and Dam 12 on the Kentucky River near Ravenna. Construction crews installed five underwater generators into an unused navigational lock.

“The hydroelectric generating plant shows that local green initiatives like this one can be financially feasible and create reliable sources of income and acceptable rates of return on investment,” Berea College President Lyle Roelofs said in a media release from the college.

The $10 million hydroelectric station, named for Berea College co-founder Matilda Hamilton Fee, will provide energy to Jackson Energy Cooperative customers, and revenue generated will to to the college’s general fund.