- Associated Press - Saturday, May 7, 2016

HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) - A southwest Ohio city expects to produce nearly half its energy this year using hydroelectricity, now that a $685 million hydroelectric plant about 30 miles southeast of Cincinnati has become fully operational.

The Meldahl Hydroelectric Facility at the Capt. Anthony Meldahl Locks and Dam on the Ohio river has been operating for more than two weeks, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported. Construction began six years ago.

The city of Hamilton expects 49.2 percent of its energy portfolio to come from either buying or creating hydroelectric power this year, the newspaper said.

The city produced about 35 percent of its power through hydroelectricity in 2003, and less than 30 percent in 2015.

Hamilton estimates that nearly 17 percent of its power will come from natural gas this year, and more than 30 percent from coal.

The hydroelectric plant is the largest of its kind on the Ohio River, The Akron Beacon Journal reported. It can power more than 100,000 homes.

Forty-seven other American Municipal Power Inc. member communities in four states will also receive electricity from the plant, including five in northeastern Ohio.

Hamilton also buys electricity from the New York Power Authority’s hydroelectric plants through the Columbus-based energy wholesaler.

AMP has also planned to build three other hydroelectric plants on the Ohio River and is launching solar-energy-production, spokesman Kent Carson said.

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