Construction begins on Holtwood hydropower project expansion

Construction is under way on a US$434 million expansion of the 108-MW Holtwood hydropower plant on Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River.

Preliminary construction of a new powerhouse began in January 2010. The project, which will add 125 megawatts of capacity, is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.

The 100-year-old Holtwood plant is owned and operated by Allentown, Pa.-based PPL Corp. The plant was placed into service in October 1910.

The expansion, which was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in November 2009, is expected to create 200 “green energy” construction jobs over the next three years. Additional jobs will be created at York, Pa.-based Voith Hydro, which is manufacturing the turbine-generators for the Holtwood expansion.

The expansion also calls for improvements to fish passage at Holtwood Dam, enabling more migratory fish to reach upstream spawning areas along the Susquehanna and its tributaries.

A ground breaking ceremony is scheduled for May 3, 2010. Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell and U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., are expected to attend.

For more hydropower news and information, click here

Previous articleNHA presents Henwood Award to American Hydro President Selim Chacour
Next articleThe Control Room of the Not-Too-Distant Future

Construction begins on three Albania hydro projects

Austrian utility EVN and Norway’s Statkraft began construction June 8, 2009, of three hydroelectric plants totaling 340 MW on Albania’s Devoll River.

Albania Prime Minister Sali Berisha participated in ceremonies to begin construction of the three hydro plants, valued at 950 million euros (US$1.37 billion). Called the biggest proposed hydropower project in Europe, the plants are to generate about 1,000 gigawatt-hours annually. (HydroWorld 12/29/08)

Berisha called building the Devoll River complex one of the major events in the history of Albania, both advancing energy and providing thousands of jobs.

Albania’s government approved a deal in January between the Energy Ministry and EVN AG, Statkraft AS, and Devoll Hydropower Sha (Holding) as co-owners of the concession to build, operate, and transfer the hydropower projects. EVN and Statkraft each have a 50 percent share in the venture to build three peak-load hydro plants over eight years.

One of the three plants is a partially constructed hydropower station in Banja, which was abandoned at the end of the communist regime. Another plant will be built at Lozhane-Grabove and the third one at Skanderbegas.

The companies have been negotiating a contract with Albania since January, when they won a build-operate-transfer concession for 35 years, or until the project reaches 59,000 GWh, to exploit the whole potential of the Devoll Valley.

A few days earlier, Berisha participated in ground breaking with Austrian utility Verbund and SPV Energji Ashta for construction of the 48-MW Ashta hydropower plant on Albania’s Drin River. (HydroWorld 6/5/09)