Exelon Generation seeks license extensions for Conowingo, Muddy Run hyroelectric facilities

KENNETT SQUARE, PA – Exelon Generation has submitted applications to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend the operating licenses of the company’s Conowingo Hydroelectric Station and Muddy Run Pumped Storage Facility.

Exelon will work with FERC and other agencies to extend the operating license period between 30 to 50 years for each facility.  The applications support Exelon Generation’s commitment to preserve these emission-free sources of electricity, enhance the local environment and improve the quality of life in nearby communities.

Conowingo is a conventional hydroelectric power plant located on the Susquehanna River in Darlington, Md.  The plant’s 11 units can generate 572 megawatts at full power with no carbon emissions. It began operations in 1928.

Muddy Run is a pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant located on the Susquehanna River in Drumore Township, Pa., north of Conowingo.  The plant’s eight units can generate 1,070 megawatts of clean electricity at full power.  It began operations in 1966.

Conowingo is a conventional hydroelectric dam that uses river flow to generate power.  In contrast, Muddy Run pumps water uphill to a raised reservoir.  The stored water is released to run downhill through turbines to generate electricity at times when power is most needed.

The federal operating license for Muddy Run expires on Aug. 31, 2014, and for Conowingo on Sept. 1, 2014.  Both facilities are operated by Exelon Power, a business unit of Exelon Generation.  Exelon Generation is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation.

Conowingo and Muddy Run have a significant positive impact on their surrounding communities beyond the clean generation they provide.  Exelon Generation spends more than $40 million annually to operate and maintain both facilities and pays nearly $5 million in property taxes.

“Our goal is to keep Conowingo and Muddy Run providing clean and safe electricity for decades to come,” said Vicky Will, vice president, Environmental Services, Exelon Power.  “We’re committed to protecting our environment and providing recreational opportunities to the community,” added Will.

Exelon has invested millions of dollars in recreational opportunities along the river, including the construction of a $4.5 million wharf at Conowingo that provides river access for fishing, bird watching and photography and is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Recreation and shoreline management plans, based on three years of environmental studies conducted by Exelon, and extensive input from federal and state agencies and the public are included in the application.  As part of the license renewal process, the next steps will involve further discussions with these interested parties to address any additional comments.