The Penobscot River Restoration Trust has raised the US$25M needed to buy three dams and remove two of the structures in Maine to improve Atlantic salmon fisheries.

Dam owner PPL Corporation said the Trust had given notice of its intent to purchase the three dams – Veazie, Great Works and Howland – on Penobscot river as provided under a prior agreement. The sale is subject to approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Trust plans to remove the Veazie and Great Works dams but decommission the Howland structure and install a fish passage. Details on the proposed schedule of dam removal works were not immediately available.

PPL bought eight plants over 1999-2000, plus an interest in a ninth, mainly on the Penobscot and Union rivers. Under the agreement to improve fisheries, the company has already increased installed capacity at the dams that will remain.

The company said that work started in May on a project to renovate and recommission a plant in Orono, Maine, which would produce 20GWh of electricity annually.