RALEIGH, N.C. (October 10, 2007) -- Progress Energy has reached agreements with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relating to fish passage at the company's Tillery and Blewett hydroelectric plants. The agreements represent an important milestone in the relicensing process for the plants, which are located on the Pee Dee River in central North Carolina.
The agreements represent collaborative efforts that included North Carolina and South Carolina state resource agencies. Under the agreements, a fish passage facility will be built and will begin operation by 2013. Fish will be captured, sorted and transported by tanker truck to unloading areas above the Blewett and Tillery dams. The plan will focus on the long-term enhancement of two major migratory species, American shad and American eel, in the Yadkin - Pee Dee River Basin.
"These agreements provide a balanced, scientific approach to passing these species upstream of our power plants," said John Crutchfield, lead environmental specialist for Progress Energy. "They are the culmination of two years of negotiations among all parties to reach a mutually agreeable solution to enhance this migratory fish resource."
Progress Energy's hydroelectric plants constitute a significant part of the company's overall electricity generation capacity. The Tillery and Blewett plants provide customers in the Carolinas with low-cost, environmentally friendly power, as well as boating and fishing opportunities created by Lake Tillery and Blewett Falls Lake.
The relicensing process for the Tillery and Blewett hydroelectric plants began in 2003. As it has throughout the process, Progress Energy continues to work with the communities and stakeholders affected by the plants. "The four-year process has produced a balanced solution for the long-term management of water and other natural, recreational and cultural resources of the Yadkin - Pee Dee River," said Larry Mann, Progress Energy's hydro relicensing project manager.
The National Marine Fisheries Service is a division of the Department of Commerce responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living marine resources and their habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the Department of the Interior whose mission is to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 energy company with more than 21,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $10 billion in annual revenues. The company includes two major utilities that serve more than 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. Progress Energy is the 2006 recipient of the Edison Electric Institute's Edison Award, the industry's highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence. The company also is the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for customer service. Progress Energy serves two fast-growing areas of the country, and the company is pursuing a balanced approach to meeting the future energy needs of the region. That balance includes increased energy efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at www.progress-energy.com.