Rye Development (Rye), a developer of new, low-impact renewable hydropower generation, has announced it is moving forward with the next phase of its Montgomery Lock & Dam, Emsworth Lock & Dam, and Allegheny Lock and Dam #2 projects in partnership with the US Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District (USACE).

“We are excited to announce that we are advancing final engineering, procurement, and design of our first bundle of projects in Pittsburgh,” said Paul Jacob, Chief Executive Officer of Rye Development. “We’ve released additional engineering work orders for the Montgomery, Allegheny, and Emsworth projects and have secured agreements with equipment supplies across the board.”

Marking an important step in the construction timeline of the Montgomery Project, Rye has submitted the 30% design package to USACE. The design package is significant as it is the first submission of detailed engineering based on the early design concepts for the Montgomery project and is the culmination of nearly a decade of work by Rye in the Pittsburgh Region.

“We are honored to work in close collaboration with the Army Corps on these exciting flagship projects for Rye,” said Jacob. “The excellent working relationship we have developed with the Corps allows for the continued progress of not only the Montgomery project, but Emsworth and Allegheny #2, and is vital in establishing the processes and procedures we will need as we look forward to constructing additional projects in the region.”

The locations for the hydroelectric projects in the Pittsburgh region are at existing lock and dam facilities owned and operated by USACE.

“Locks and dams are vital parts of the inland navigation system that ensure the district continues to provide safe and reliable navigation for decades to come,” said Mark Jones, Chief of Engineering and Construction for the Pittsburgh District. “Collaboration with Rye and others ensure project-design concepts are unified, cohesive and bring together the teams’ talent and expertise.”

The Montgomery Project, located on the Ohio River in Beaver County, is the largest planned project in the region. Adjacent to Neville Island, the Emsworth Lock and Dam is located on the main channel of the Ohio River, just downstream from downtown Pittsburgh; Allegheny County has entered into a power purchase agreement with Rye to supply renewable electricity to the County from the Emsworth Project. Located next to the Highland Park Bridge, the Allegheny Lock and Dam #2 project will provide the University of Pittsburgh with on-demand, locally generated renewable power.

Each project is expected to generate 150-200 family wage jobs and Rye anticipates breaking ground in 2023. In addition to providing renewable energy, the hydropower facility includes investment in new recreational fishing facilities and a walkway leading from a parking area with designated parking spaces to the fishing platform.

Image: Montgomery Lock & Dam, courtesy of the US Army Corps of Engineers