Raleigh, N.C. (July 10, 2006) - Progress Energy plans to conduct extensive environmental studies and modeling to measure river flow patterns, water temperature and dissolved oxygen concentrations in the Pee Dee River downstream of the Tillery hydroelectric plant.
These studies must be conducted during July and August when lake water temperatures settle into distinct regions. Studies will be conducted from July 22 to August 13.
These ongoing environmental studies support Progress Energy's relicensing project through the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its Tillery and Blewett hydroelectric plants. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) mandates these studies be conducted prior to the issuance of required water quality permits.
Every effort will be made to maintain lake levels; however, Tillery lake residents may notice a drawdown of the lake of up to two-and-a-half feet during this study period. River flows south of the power plant may also be noticeably impacted and Blewett Falls Lake levels could drop as much as four to five feet.
"We appreciate the patience of local residents and those who use these lakes and the Pee Dee River for recreation," said Phil Lucas, Progress Energy's project manager for hydro relicensing. "These ongoing studies are critical in our endeavor to develop local solutions that balance environmental, recreational and operational needs."
The original license for the Tillery and Blewett plants, issued in 1958, will expire in 2008. The planned environmental studies are necessary to evaluate the effects of power plant operations on aquatic life in the lake and river. Results of these studies will be filed with the FERC during the license renewal application process.
Progress Energy's lake monitoring and shoreline-management programs are part of the company's commitment to environmental stewardship. Details of Lake Tillery's Shoreline Management Plan and up-to-the-hour information on lake levels can be found at the company's Web site at: progress-energy.com/hydro.
Progress Energy, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 250 diversified energy company with more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity and $10 billion in annual revenues. The company's holdings include two electric utilities serving approximately 3 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. Progress Energy also includes nonregulated operations covering energy marketing and natural gas exploration. 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. In 2005, the company also received the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder's Award for dedication, commitment and sustained improvement in customer service. For more information about Progress Energy, visit the company's Web site at progress-energy.com.