U.S. firm plans 125-MW expansion of 107-MW Holtwood

PPL Holtwood LLC plans to add 125 MW to its 107.2-MW Holtwood project, on the Susquehanna River in south-central Pennsylvania.

PPL said it expects to submit a license amendment application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the end of September seeking approval of the expansion and an extension of the license term.

The project (No. 1881) began operating in 1910 in Lancaster and York counties. It is operated under a license issued in 1980 that will expire in 2014. The amendment application is to ask FERC to extend the license term to 2030, the maximum term allowable under the Federal Power Act.

Plan proposes second powerhouse

The redevelopment plan includes a new two-unit powerhouse to be built on the site of a former coal-fired power plant adjacent to the existing 10-unit powerhouse on the eastern shore of the Susquehanna. It also would include an ice skimmer wall upstream, in-river excavation to enhance American shad passage, replacement of wooden flashboards with inflatable rubber dam segments to enhance flow and lake level control, and a new fish barrier dam downstream.

PPL provided an initial consultation document for the amendment to resource agencies, county administrators and planners, and other public officials in March. It also conducted a powerhouse tour and an initial public meeting to discuss the plan. Written comments on the consultation document and requests for studies were received through June 17. The company said additional meetings would refine the plan, consider results of planned studies, address environmental and recreational issues, and develop a settlement agreement.

PPL said it intends to proceed with the amendment only if it is able to reach a settlement with resource agencies that could be filed with the amendment application. In absence of a settlement, PPL said it would reconsider its relicensing alternatives. The company said it has worked collaboratively with state and federal regulatory agencies since early 2005 to formulate a redevelopment plan that: responds to agency concerns regarding migratory fish passage; creates new environmental and recreational opportunities; and provides an opportunity to expand generating capacity.

If the amendment proceeds as anticipated, PPL said construction would begin in December 2007 and be completed in December 2010.


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