PPL Holtwood doubles capacity of hydroelectric facility
New 125-megawatt powerhouse begins commercial operation; project to improve
HOLTWOOD, Pa., Dec. 2, 2013
HOLTWOOD, Pa., Dec. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- PPL Holtwood on Monday (12/2)
announced completion of a new, 125-megawatt powerhouse at its Holtwood
hydroelectric facility along the Susquehanna River in south-central
The powerhouse is part of a $440 million expansion project to boost the
plant's generating capacity and improve fish passage over the century-old dam.
The integrated improvements to the fish lifts and water flows are expected to
better attract fish into the lifts and ease their migration along the
Susquehanna River and its tributaries.
The new, state-of-the-art powerhouse sits adjacent to the century-old
powerhouse and more than doubles the plant's generating capacity from about
108 megawatts to more than 230 megawatts. The additional capacity is enough to
power about 100,000 homes.
"This project, one of the largest expansions of its kind in the U.S.,
represents a major investment in clean, reliable, renewable energy," said
Victor Lopiano, senior vice president of Fossil & Hydro Generation for PPL.
"I thank everyone who was involved in design and construction of the new
powerhouse," he said. "This project highlights the potential to upgrade
existing hydroelectric facilities and expand capacity without the need to
build new dams. The new facility's two 62.5-megawatt turbines are capable of
generating more electricity than the 12 existing turbines, combined."
Lopiano said the hydroelectric expansion further strengthens the diversity of
PPL's competitive generation fleet within the mid-Atlantic. The fleet includes
hydroelectric power, nuclear power, natural gas and coal-fired power plants,
along with other forms of renewable energy.
With the project complete, the company expects to qualify for federal grants
made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The
incentives were a key factor in the company's decision to build the facility
and are expected to exceed $100 million.
The multi-year project created more than 300 construction jobs. Crews
excavated more than 1.3 million cubic yards of rock, poured more than 71,000
cubic yards of concrete, dealt with the challenge of major tropical storms in
recent years and took care to minimize disruption to wildlife in the area. The
company, for example, worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to develop a bald eagle management and
monitoring plan to minimize any impact to nesting eagles. For its efforts, PPL
Holtwood received the National Hydropower Association's Outstanding Stewards
of America's Water award.
Final grading and site work is being completed at the facility, and hunting
restrictions on PPL Holtwood land remain in effect.
Holtwood's existing powerhouse, started in 1906 and completed in 1910,
continued to operate throughout the project and will continue to generate
power moving forward. At the time the original powerhouse was built, Holtwood
included the longest dam in the U.S – nearly 2,400 feet long. The facility
supported the continued electrification of communities throughout southeastern
PPL Holtwood is a subsidiary of PPL Generation and part of the PPL Corporation
family of companies.
PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), with 2012 revenues of more than $12 billion, is
one of the largest companies in the U.S. utility sector. The PPL family of
companies delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers
in the United States and the United Kingdom, owns more than 18,000 megawatts
of generating capacity in the United States and sells energy in key U.S.
markets. More information is available at www.pplweb.com.
SOURCE PPL Generation
Contact: John Levitski, 717-560-2533, PPL Corporation
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