Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) has received the final of six new federal hydropower licenses from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for Nantahala Area hydro stations.
The latest 30-year license covers Nantahala Hydroelectric Project in North Carolina. The licenses cover 12 hydro reservoirs and nine hydroelectric stations with a combined installed generating capacity of 98.5 MW. The licenses were originally granted in 1980 and 1981.
Duke is also working on $10.5 million in enhancements in the area, including camping areas, increased continuous minimum flow releases for the Nantahala and Tuckasegee rivers and special flow releases a few days each year for boating.
Additionally, as part of a settlement agreement with relicensing stakeholders, in 2004 Duke Energy altered Nantahala Project operations to keep the lake higher during summer months, enhance downstream whitewater recreation, and help stabilize the lake level during fish spawning season.
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