Duke Energy’s Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project was issued a new 40-year operating license, allowing the company to continue operations at its 13 hydroelectric stations and 11 associated reservoirs along the Catawba-Wateree River in North and South Carolina.
“The significance of the new license cannot be overstated,” said Steve Jester, vice president of water strategy, hydro licensing and lake services for Duke Energy. “Receiving the new license ensures the Catawba-Wateree River will continue to support and sustain communities across the Carolinas for at least the next 40 years.
“In addition, Duke Energy can now take action on the many benefits which will enhance the region and environment for generations to come,” said Jester.
Requirements of the license include expanded recreational access and amenities as well as scheduled releases of additional water flow for recreational purposes.
The new license, says Duke Energy, is the result of a three-year collaboration with community stakeholders, including state and federal resource agencies, local governments, a Native American tribe, community organizations and private citizens. More than 300 public meetings were held to discuss river-related interests, review scientific studies and develop a vision to meet the region’s needs.
Those meetings resulted in a Comprehensive Relicensing Agreement (CRA), which the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) incorporated into the new operating license.
The Catawba-Wateree River hydro project, originally licensed for 50 years in 1958, provides 843 MW of clean, renewable hydropower and cooling water to 7,721 MW of fossil and nuclear generation.