DALLAS -- Ohio-based American Municipal Power Inc.'s planned launch of three additional hydroelectric units on the Ohio River in March and April are positive developments for its credit and the municipal electric utilities it serves, according to Moody's Investors Service.
AMP's new units will be split between its Cannelton and Meldahl facilities. AMP is also expected to commission three more units amounting to 76 megawatts of powers at its Smithland facility in 2016.
Each of the new plants is located at lock and dam sites along the Ohio River and fueled only by water from the river. "With the launch of the three units this and next month, AMP will be on track to commercialize 11 new hydroelectric units in 2016 on the Ohio River, representing 313 megawatts of new electric generation," Moody's analysts said in the rating agency's weekly outlook released Friday.
AMP had already opened five other units in January and February, including a pair at its Willow Island facility. AMP continues to investigate other hydroelectric opportunities for its members, including considering construction of hydroelectric facilities at the Robert Byrd site on the Ohio River.
"The units will help AMP further a fuel diversification plan for its municipal participants, which should reduce power market exposure and increase generation of long-term non-carbon power supply," said Moody's. "The units will also provide low-cost energy to the municipal utilities".
Moody's rates the Belleville Hydroelectric joint venture beneficial interest certificates and the Meldahl's hydro project revenue bonds.
On Dec. 9 2015, the rating agency affirmed the A rating it assigns to certificates tied to the Belleville Hydroelectric Project. The certificates are payable from payments made by the Ohio Municipal Electric Generation Agency Joint Venture 5 project participants who are also participants in AMP projects pursuant to a Joint Venture Agreement. AMP Inc. operates the project on behalf of its members; 42 of the 131 AMP members are joint venture participants.
On June 18 2015 the rating agency affirmed the A3 ratings with stable outlook on AMP's $685 million Meldahl hydro project revenue bonds. The bonds financed the construction of the 105 megawatt hydro-electric facility on the Ohio River.