French Development Enterprises, Oldcastle Precast and GEI Consultants have constructed and assembled the first prototype French Dam, a modular precast impoundment for construction and retrofit of dams to impound water for hydroelectric facilities, water control systems and powerhouses.
According to a joint press release, the prototype is 24 feet long and 16 feet high and consists of six 27,000-lb concrete blocks 8 feet by 8 feet by 8 feet. The blocks are interconnected and anchored to the foundation. The entire dam was installed and assembled in less than 3.5 hours, the release says.
“With the introduction of modular precast technology to dam construction, we can significantly decrease time, reduce cost and minimize risk of the civil stage of the construction process, making it more feasible and attractive to investors, developers and dam owners,” said Lenny Lozinsky, executive vice president of French Development Enterprises.
French Development Enterprises’ technology was funded for $1.7 million in January 2016 by the U.S. Department of Energy under its Research and Development of Innovative Technologies for Low Impact Hydropower Development offering. The technology was also supported by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.