CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy Progress has learned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a new operating license Wednesday for the Yadkin-Pee Dee River Hydroelectric Project, which is located on the Yadkin-Pee Dee River in Central North Carolina.
The new license allows Duke Energy Progress to continue operating Tillery Hydroelectric Plant near Mt. Gilead, N.C., and the Blewett Falls Hydroelectric Plant near Lilesville, N.C., as well as the associated lakes.
Receiving the new license is the result of a decade of collaboration with government and community stakeholders. The new license is effective April 1, 2015, and has a term of 40 years.
"We are very pleased the FERC proceeded with issuing the new license," said Steve Jester, vice president of water strategy, Hydro Licensing and Lake Services for Duke Energy. "Receiving the license allows us to implement environmental and recreation resource enhancements that will result in many benefits to the community and the environment for decades to come."
Enhancements were determined with input from stakeholders during the relicensing process and include provisions to protect aquatic habitats, a drought management protocol, support for migratory fish species, public recreation area improvements on both Lake Tillery and Blewett Falls Lake, recreational flow releases and land conservation.
"The plants provide clean, renewable hydroelectric power generation, support regional public drinking water needs, and provide high quality recreation opportunities for central North Carolina," explained Jester. "This license ensures the availability of these resources for future generations."
Duke Energy Progress filed the application to relicense the project in April 2006 prior to the May 2008 expiration of the original license. The application process was delayed by legal challenges, which were successfully resolved.
The project was originally licensed for 50 years in 1958. Together, the two hydro plants have a generating capacity of 108 megawatts and produce enough electricity in a normal rainfall year to power approximately 25,000 average homes.
Duke Energy Progress will carefully review the terms and conditions of the new license during the 30-day review period and discuss any items with FERC requiring clarification.
For more information about lakes and recreation resources managed by Duke Energy, including relicensing information, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/lakes.
Duke Energy Progress
Duke Energy Progress owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides about 12,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.5 million customers in a 32,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $121 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.