City, State: Summersville, West Virginia
Hydro Plant Type: Run-of-River
Capacity: 80 MW
Head: 281 feet
# Turbines: 2
Equipment Type: Vertical Francis Units
The Gauley River Hydroelectric Project is located at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam that forms Summersville Lake near Summersville, West Virginia. At 80 MW, it is one of the largest hydro projects developed and constructed by an independent power producer in the United States. The project began commercial operations in July 2001, and in December 2002 Enel Green Power North America, Inc. acquired 100 percent of the economic interests. Licensed by the City of Summersville, the economic interests will revert to the City in 2031.
The run-of-river project is expected to produce more than 200 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. Energy is sold under a long-term contract to Appalachian Power Co., a subsidiary of American Electric Power.
The project contains two 40-MW turbine-generators provided by IMPSA. A 10-mile, 69-kV transmission line connects the project to the Appalachian Power electric system.
The Animal Upper Gauley Race
Enel North America Inc. sponsors the Animal Upper Gauley Race, a nine-mile whitewater paddling competition held downstream of ENA's 80 MW Gauley River Hydroelectric Project in West Virginia.