FERC accepts surrender of license for 225-kW Dillsboro

Duke Energy Carolinas LLC has surrendered its license to operate the 225-kW Dillsboro project, as agreed in 2004 settlements for relicensing nine hydroelectric developments in southwestern North Carolina.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission accepted surrender of the license July 19 and dismissed the company’s pending application for a subsequent license for Dillsboro (No. 2602). The nine other hydro developments mentioned in the settlement agreements are part of six projects still in the relicensing process.

Duke and stakeholders crafted by the agreements over three years to resolve issues associated with relicensing 43.2-MW Nantahala (No. 2692), 26.175-MW East Fork (No. 2698), 24.6-MW West Fork (No. 2686), 980-kW Bryson (No. 2601), 1.04-MW Franklin (No. 2603), and 1.8-MW Mission (No. 2619). The East Fork project features three powerhouses and West Fork two powerhouses. Each of the other projects has a single powerhouse.

Tuckasegee River and Nantahala River agreements provide for removal of the 12-foot-tall, 310-foot-long concrete masonry Dillsboro dam, on the Tuckasegee River. Dam removal would open 9.5 miles of the river to aquatic resources.

Duke proposes to remove the Dillsboro powerhouse and dam in three stages. In the first stage, the company will: dismantle or demolish the powerhouse superstructure and machinery; remove a wall that directs water through the tailrace; and raise or remove the powerhouse headgates to allow minimum flow through the remaining powerhouse substructure. Duke proposes to begin the second stage — dam demolition — in January 2008, and complete dam removal by March or April. In the third stage, Duke proposes to demolish and remove the powerhouse substructure.

Duke Power purchased the seven projects, on the Nantahala and Tuckasegee rivers, from Nantahala Power &Light in 1988. In 2000, Nantahala changed its name to Nantahala Power and Light, a division of Duke Energy Corp. Subsequently, FERC approved a transfer of the projects to Duke Energy Corp., under the name Duke Power, a division of Duke Energy Corp., Nantahala Area. In March 2007, the commission approved the transfer of the Dillsboro license from Duke Power to Duke Energy Carolinas LLC.

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