The stakeholder group, representing a diverse group of local interests, nongovernmental organizations and federal, state and local governments, worked diligently for more than four years to identify, study and analyze water quality, plant operations, recreational and environmental issues.
"The comprehensive plan reflects Progress Energy's and the stakeholder group's commitment to the community and strikes a balance between the many demands on this important public resource," said Phil Lucas, Progress Energy's hydroelectric relicensing project manager. "As a result, the entire
The Tillery and Blewett hydroelectric plants, which are located on the
"The settlement agreement successfully balances Progress Energy's hydropower generation needs with improvements to the
"The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has been actively involved in the Progress Energy Yadkin-Pee Dee River hydropower relicensing process and appreciates the stakeholders' cooperative approach and willingness to include full consideration of our natural resource interests," added Ed Duncan, Director of Environmental Programs for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. "The comprehensive settlement agreement we have developed appropriately addresses our state's interest in the
The plan includes provisions to enhance plant operations that will protect downstream resources. These provisions increase minimum flows from both plants and dictate seasonal adjustments to improve aquatic habitats, which will promote and sustain healthy fish populations. As part of the process, a drought protocol was also developed that can be enacted during periods of naturally occurring low river flows. This protocol coordinates releases from the hydroelectric facilities along the
If the settlement document is adopted by FERC as the new operating license, the plan calls for Progress Energy to donate more than 1,900 acres of riparian lands to the State of
"From a conservation and recreation perspective, this agreement is very positive," said Jason Walser, executive director of the Land Trust for
Recreational enhancements are also included in the plan and will improve public access and lake use opportunities. Progress Energy plans to build new amenities including restrooms and picnic facilities at public access points located near both plants. Additionally, a new boat launch access area will be developed downstream of the Tillery Plant.
Progress Energy will file the comprehensive agreement with FERC and will request that this agreement take the place of the license application Progress Energy filed in April 2006. The application covers the Tillery and the Blewett hydroelectric plants, which have licensed generation capacities of 84 and 24 megawatts, respectively. The current operating license expires on
Progress Energy, headquartered in
Contacts: Progress Energy -- 24-hour media line, (919) 546-6189
NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources -- Diana Kees, (919) 715-4112
Land Trust for