AEP’s 75 MW Claytor Hydroelectric facility granted 30-year license extension

Source: American Electric Power 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has granted Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), a 30-year license to continue to operate the 75 megawatt (MW) Claytor Hydroelectric Project on the New River in Pulaski County, Va. This is the third time the company’s license has been renewed since it began building the facility in 1931 and operating it in 1943. 

“The Claytor Hydroelectric Project is an important asset to western Virginia and the customers of Appalachian Power,” said Frank Simms, Appalachian Power hydro operations manager. “Although it is widely recognized for its recreational and scenic attributes, the facility is an essential piece of Appalachian’s electric generation fleet. We’re pleased that the Commission’s order grants us the opportunity to continue to responsibly operate such an important facility.” 

Appalachian filed its application for a new license for the Claytor Hydroelectric Project June 29, 2009. Appalachian’s current license to operate the facility expired June 30, 2011. Since then, the company has operated the facility under an annual license as it awaited the final order. 

The Commission’s order requires the company to adhere to many measures to protect and enhance fish, wildlife, cultural, recreational and shoreline resources at the project. Many of the recommendations were achieved based upon the participation of dozens of state and federal agencies, local government and lake organizations that participated in the re-licensing process. 

“We look forward to working with these stakeholders throughout the term of the license to benefit the lake communities and downstream interests,” Simms said. 

The project boundary for the Claytor Project encloses the dam and powerhouse area, and generally follows the 1,850-foot contour of the lake, extending approximately 2,000 feet downstream of Claytor Dam. 

AEP owns and operates 17 hydroelectric facilities (878 MW) located on six river systems in five states. There are 17 generating facilities (8,018.1 MW) within Appalachian Power’s service area, of which Appalachian Power owns 6,415 MW. Appalachian’s Hydroelectric and pumped storage projects represent 823.1 MW.

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