DARLINGTON, MD (Dec. 5, 2014) - Exelon Generation will withdraw its application for a water quality certification for the Conowingo Hydroelectric Project to allow time for a study of sediment and nutrients in the Susquehanna River, the company announced today. The application will be resubmitted in early 2015.
The action is being taken in consultation with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
"After review of both Exelon's application for a water quality certification, and the draft Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment, MDE asked for an additional study to understand the impacts of sediment and nutrient transport on water quality in the Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay ," said Vicky Will, vice president, Operations Support, Exelon Power. "To provide the necessary study time, we have withdrawn our current application and will submit a new one shortly."
Exelon has entered into an agreement with MDE to work with state agencies in Maryland, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Chesapeake Bay Program to design and conduct the multi-year study. Exelon will contribute $3.5 million to the effort.
Exelon expects to refile the application within 90 days. MDE must act on the application within a year of the refiling, which asks MDE to certify that the Conowingo Project meets acceptable Maryland water quality standards. FERC requires the certification before it will issue a new long-term operating license for the dam.
FERC issued Conowingo Dam an annual operating license in September, allowing the facility to continue generating clean reliable electricity while a new long- term license is being approved. The Conowingo Dam is Maryland's largest source of renewable electricity, producing more clean energy than all other renewable sources combined.
About Conowingo - Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant located on the Susquehanna River in northern Maryland. The plant's 11 units are capable of generating 572 MW of clean electricity. Conowingo has been providing electricity to the regional system since 1928.