FERC approves transfer of Maine projects to trust for dam removal

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved transfer of three PPL Corp. hydropower projects on Maine’s Penobscot River to a river restoration trust, which plans to remove or decommission them.

FERC issued orders Jan. 6 approving transfer of the project licenses to the Penobscot River Restoration Trust. The new owner previously raised $25 million necessary to buy the projects. The trust has said it plans to remove or decommission the dams to open nearly 1,000 miles of river to Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish. (HNN 8/25/08)

In August 2008, PPL announced it received the trust’s notice of intent to exercise an option to buy the dams, as provided by a 2004 salmon restoration agreement.

Under the agreement, PPL agreed to sell the three projects in exchange for agreements letting it improve its remaining hydropower projects on the river in order to retain more than 90 percent of its original generation.

The non-profit trust has said it plans to remove dams at 8.4-MW Veazie (No. 2403) and 7.917-MW Great Works (No. 2312), and decommission the dam at 1.825-MW Howland (No. 2721). The trust said it plans to leave Howland Dam in place and install a bypass channel for fish passage.

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