Pennsylvania town wins license for 2.6-MW Beltzville

The borough of Lehighton has received a federal license to build, operate, and maintain the 2.6-MW Beltzville hydroelectric project, proposed for the Corps of Engineers’ Beltzville Dam in Carbon County, Pa.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a 50-year license (No. 12455) to Lehighton Sept. 12, effective Sept. 1. The license stipulates construction must begin by Sept. 11, 2010, and be complete by Sept. 11, 2013.

The project is located on Pohopoco Creek five miles upstream of its confluence with the Lehigh River, and four miles northeast of Lehighton.

It will use head created by the 175-foot-tall, 4,600-foot-long Beltzville Dam, which the Corps built to provide water supply, flood control, flow augmentation, and recreation. The project’s two turbine-generatings �- one 1.7-MW unit and one 900-kW unit �- are expected to generate a total of 9,470 MWh annually.

In 2007, the state of Pennsylvania awarded a $750,000 grant to Leighton to support project development. (HNN 11/2/07) The Beltzville project grant was one of 24 Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority grants totaling $11.2 million announced by Gov. Edward Rendell.

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