PPL To Expand Hydropower in Maine

A PPL Corporation subsidiary will renovate and recommission its Orono, Maine hydroelectric plant, adding 20,000 megawatt-hours of electricity to the region’s power supplies per year. The US $4.7 million recommissioning project will include building a new concrete penstock to direct water to the plant, where it will move turbines and turn the electricity generators. Construction work at Orono will begin soon, and the plant’s generators are expected to be serving customers by 2009, according to PPL.

The Orono project is the second expansion by PPL of renewable energy output enabled by the agreement. In May 2006, PPL expanded the output of its Medway, West Enfield and Stillwater hydroelectric plants in Maine by a total of 10,000 megawatt-hours per year.

“Expanding our renewable energy capabilities is a priority for PPL,” said Dennis Murphy, vice president and COO of PPL’s Eastern Fossil and Hydro Generation. “This new source of clean electricity will be a significant benefit for the environment and for the region.”

This project is part of PPL’s previously announced agreement with a coalition of government agencies, private conservation groups and the Penobscot Indian Nation to restore historic runs of Atlantic salmon and other species of fish to the Penobscot River. Under the river restoration agreement, the Penobscot Trust has until June 2009 to purchase PPL’s Veazie, Great Works and Howland dams in Maine for approximately US $25 million. The trust plans to demolish two of the dams and bypass a third to help restore what once was one of the largest runs of Atlantic salmon in the United States, as well as self-sustaining runs of American shad, river herring, sturgeon and other native species.

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