The award, by PG&E National Energy Group, involves the installation of two Hydromatrix plants at the US Army Corps Engineers’ existing Smithland and Cannelton locks and dams on the Ohio river in Kentucky.

The innovative Hydromatrix principle uses existing structures to tap the hydro potential of rivers, with no need for additional civil works. At the Kentucky plants, va-tech will install turbine gensets in five power modules. The modules will be fitted into the radial gate bays of the existing dams.

The total output of both plants is around 172MW. The first will begin commercial operation in two years, with both contracts scheduled for completion within five years.