Protecting our water resources: New operating license will sustain region for generations to come
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a new operating license to Duke Energy effective November 1, 2015, for the Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project, which includes 13 hydropower stations and 11 reservoirs in North Carolina and South Carolina. The project provides drinking water for nearly 2 million people, supports energy generation and offers numerous recreational opportunities to residents and visitors. The new license ensures the Catawba-Wateree River will continue to support and sustain communities for at least the next 40 years.
With the new license in hand, Duke Energy will invest about $100 million to implement an agreement designed over a three-year period with input from about 160 community stakeholders. The agreement’s new benefits range from operational changes to protect aquatic habitats to land conservation to new and enhanced recreation amenities.
The new license includes several water management provisions designed to ensure long-term availability of the water resource. A new drought management protocol will be implemented by a regional advisory group composed of major water users, governmental agencies and Duke Energy. Another organization of regional water utilites and Duke Energy will study and implement long-range strategies to ensure the region’s water supply continues to be sustainable.
Duke Energy also received a new operating license in April 2015 for its Yadkin-Pee Dee Hydroelectric Project, which includes two hydropower stations and associated reservoirs in North Carolina. This license and the supporting regional stakeholder agreement provide many regional benefits and promote smart water management practices.