U.S. utility files to relicense 876.6-MW Keowee-Toxaway

Duke Energy announced March 15 it filed documents with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to officially begin the multi-year relicensing process for the two-development, 867.6-MW Keowee-Toxaway hydroelectric project in South Carolina and North Carolina.

North Carolina-based Duke said it filed a notice of intent to file an application for a new license (relicense) and a pre-application document that provides FERC, federal and state agencies, and other stakeholders with information on Keowee-Toxaway (No. 2503), which includes the 157.5-MW Keowee plant and the 710-MW Jocassee pumped-storage plant on the Keowee, Little, Whitewater, Toxaway, Thompson, and Horsepasture rivers, all tributaries of the Savannah River.

FERC recently certified incremental hydropower generation planned for Jocassee to be eligible for a renewable energy production tax credit. Duke Energy unit Duke Power plans to replace runners and perform related work at pump-turbine Units 1 and 2 of Jocassee.

Duke said the pre-application document compiles existing information on environmental, cultural, and natural resources; recreation; and socio-economics. It also identifies pertinent issues and defines potential studies that Duke and stakeholders will undertake during relicensing.

“Our emphasis has always been to operate these facilities in a way that balances the need for providing electricity for our customers while protecting water quality, water supply, recreation, aquatic life, and wildlife habitat,” Duke relicensing manager Jen Huff said. “We remain committed to this same balance and look forward to working with stakeholders as we develop this new license application.”

Keowee-Toxaway original was licensed in 1966 for 50 years. The current license expires in 2016. More than 30 agencies and organizations have participated in relicensing teams since September 2009.

Duke plans to submit its relicense application to FERC by August 2014, seeking a new license term of 30 to 50 years.

The pre-application document may be obtained, and the licensing process followed, on Duke’s Internet site under www.duke-energy.com/lakes/keowee-toxaway-relicensing.asp.

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