US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given license to Duke Energy to operate the Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project in South Carolina for 30 years.
The operating license will allow Duke Energy to operate the Jocassee Pumped Storage Hydro Station, Keowee Hydro Station and associated lakes.
Lake Jocassee in North Carolina and South Carolina is the starting point of the project.
The lake flows into Lake Keowee and flows again into Lake Hartwell, which is home to Army Corps of Engineer’s Lake Hartwell project.
The Keowee-Toxaway project has two reservoirs with two powerhouses and generates over 868MW of hydro power.
The reservoirs also provide cooling water for Oconee Nuclear Station, which has the capacity to produce about 2.5GW of energy. The license will come into effect from 1st September, 2016.
Duke Energy said that it will implement Habitat Enhancement Program in watershed and conserve about 2900 acres of property near the lake and preserve resources that are ecologically and culturally important.
Duke Energy water strategy, hydro licensing and lake services vice president Steve Jester said: "The project provides clean, renewable hydroelectric power generation, supports regional public drinking water needs and provides high-quality recreational opportunities for the region.
"This license ensures the availability of these resources for future generations."
Originally, the project was licensed in 1966 for 50 years. Duke Energy had reapplied for the operating license in 2014 and the license application was evaluated based on the impact of its operation in the coming years, along with 16 other stakeholders.
The license renewal also includes a new agreement for operating, where Duke Energy negotiated with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Southeastern Power Administration.
New agreement will ensure operational coordination between Duke Energy’s project and Army Corps of Engineers projects downstream.
Image: The Keowee-Toxaway project spans approximately 25 river miles and encompasses approximately 480 miles of shoreline. Photo: Courtesy of Duke Energy Corporation.