Environmental Performance and Technology:
Hydroelectric Generation

Ohio Falls Station


photo of Ohio Falls StationOhio Falls Hydro Station was built from 1924 to 1925 and became operational in 1926. During the plant's first years of operation, the amount of electricity generated could power the city of Louisville. In 2005, the company renewed its license to operate the facility and is investing $75 million to update and refurbish eight existing turbine and generator units over the next several years. As a result, the station's emissions-free generating capacity will be increased from 80 megawatts to 101 megawatts.

This facility operates by using the stored energy of water from the Ohio River as it flows past downtown Louisville toward the Falls of the Ohio. The Army Corps of Engineers control a dam at the falls to help control the river level and monitor the flow. Ohio Falls Station is built into this dam.


Water first flows through a set of trash bars, which prevent large pieces of debris, such as trees, stumps and trash, from going through the units and causing damage. After passing through the trash bars, the water flows through the turbine, whose blades rotate a shaft connected to the generator, which also rotates with the turbine. When the generator rotates, electricity is produced. The water then flows out of the plant unaltered and continues down river.




Dix Dam Station


photo of Ohio Falls StationBuilt in the 1920s, the Dix Dam Hydro Station is capable of producing up to 24 megawatts. Situated on the banks of Lake Herrington, the Dix Dam Hydro Station is adjacent to KU's E.W. Brown Generating Station. The palisades around the facility also provide sanctuary for the endangered grey bat.