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Conowingo Generating Station

CONOWINGO's CLEAN ENERGY FOOTPRINT

The Conowingo Dam
generates as much electricity in ten years from falling water as a coal plant does from burning 7.5M tons of coal.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY MIX

The Conowingo Dam remains Maryland's largest source of renewable energy and
is one of the ways that Maryland is taking action on climate change.

Other Hydro
1%

Solar



Conowingo

Source: U.S. Department of Energy, 2017

Other

Consists of wood,
waste to energy,
other biomasses



Wind

PARTNERSHIP WITH MARYLAND

The Conowingo Dam is a major driver of economic benefits
for residents across the State of Maryland.

In addition to powering homes and businesses, the Conowingo Dam produces economic and environmental benefits for the state and local communities throughout the region.

With more than a dozen community events every year, Exelon Generation is proud to support charitable activities and non-profit organizations committed to Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay.

79-acre

Roberts island donation to the Chesapeake National Historic Trust

1+ Million

American shad restored to the watershed

Pays

$10 million

in annual state and local taxes

~50 scientific studies

conducted or funded to improve undersatanding of the Chesapeake Bay watershed ecology

PROTECTING THE CHESAPEAKE BAY

  1. DEBRIS & POLLUTION FORM
  2. Debris and pollution originate upstream in the Susquehanna River from more than 27,500 miles of tributaries and streams from New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and funnel down to the Conowingo Dam.

  3. DEBRIS REACHES CONOWINGO DAM
  4. Once the debris reaches the Conowingo Dam, it is blocked from entering the Chesapeake Bay during normal operations.

  5. EXELON TAKES ACTION
  6. Exelon intervenes by deploying crews, overhead grapple devices, debris skimmer boats, and holding community clean up events to remove debris blocked by the Dam.

By The Numbers

165,000

homes powered

$273 million

in economic benefits throughout Maryland

265

full-time equivalent jobs every year

Prevents 880,000 tons

of greenhouse gas emissions every year

365,000+

annual recreational visits

More than a dozen

community events held every year

600 tons of upstream debris

removed on average by dam operators annually

300 eagles

gather by Thanksgiving

Conowingo Dam crest gates​
To comply with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requirements, we open Conowingo’s crest gates when river conditions require. We are committed to continually informing and working with community and government partners to fulfill our shared responsibility to protect and restore the health of the bay.







​We share the State of Maryland’s commitment to restoring and sustaining the health of the Chesapeake Bay. That's why in October 2019, the State of Maryland and Exelon Generation reached a historic agreement that will help protect the Chesapeake Bay for decades to come. The benefits to Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay are valued at more than $200 million over the anticipated 50-year life of the license, which will be funded from the dam’s earnings over that time period. These funds will be used to address key issues facing the Bay, including upstream debris, fish and eel passage, nutrient reduction, mussel restoration and resiliency initiatives. 

Read more about the full agreement and all of the benefits for the Chesapeake Bay here


Protecting our Waterways
One of the key environmental issues for the Bay is debris. Debris originates upstream from the more than 27,500 miles of tributaries and streams in the Susquehanna River watershed, flowing down through New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Our agreement with the Dept. of Interior also includes significant investments in fish passage improvements at the dam and the creation or re-introduction of a trap-and-transport program to transport fish from Conowingo Dam to north of the York Haven Dam. In addition, Exelon Generation will fund a total of $11 million for improvements to eel passage and to benefit nutrient reductions and aquatic habitats, plus $1 million to fund eel passage research. 

To comply with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requirements, we open Conowingo’s crest gates when river conditions require. We are committed to continually informing and working with community and government partners to fulfill our shared responsibility to protect and restore the health of the bay.
 
Exelon Generation uses a variety of tools and resources to help remove the debris safely and efficiently, including:
  • Deploying crews to operate overhead cranes and grapple devices;
  • Launching debris skimmer boats to assist with clean up; 
  • Sponsoring two major annual events: the Lower Susquehanna Heritage River Sweep and Conowingo Pond clean-up day, where we remove 600 tons of debris and refuse from the river each year;
  • Supporting other groups also focused on Bay clean-up, as with our $25,000 donation in 2018 to the Chesapeake Bay Trust to support local debris clean-up efforts after a severe flooding event.

Through these efforts, we removed more than 4,000 tons of debris in 2018 alone. Although Exelon Generation voluntarily removes debris from the river, it is not possible to remove all debris flowing toward the dam from the upstream watershed. This is especially true during flood conditions, as seen during the summer of 2018 when the Susquehanna River swelled to 10 times its normal level. 

Protecting our Wildlife
The Conowingo Dam continues to play an instrumental role in wildlife conservation. In the early 1990s, a $12 million fish lift was completed at the Conowingo Dam, which has restored more than 1 million American shad, returning them to the upper Susquehanna River and supporting local recreational fishing. Moreover, 300 American Bald Eagles gather at the Conowingo Dam annually by Thanksgiving, which serves as a major breeding, nesting, and foraging ground. 

In addition to powering homes and businesses, the Conowingo Dam produces economic and environmental benefits for both the state and local communities throughout the region. 

In October 2019, the State of Maryland and Exelon Generation also reached a historic agreement that will help protect the Chesapeake Bay for decades to come. Read more about that agreement here

As a part of Maryland’s vital energy infrastructure, the Conowingo Dam provides $273 million in economic benefits every year, which includes supporting 265 full-time equivalent jobs, paying $10 million in annual state and local taxes, and attracting 365,000 recreational visits annually. As a major tourist site in eastern Maryland, the Conowingo Dam and recreation area contribute to Cecil and Harford Counties’ $21.7 million in tax revenue from tourism in 2018. The Conowingo Pond, located behind the Dam, is vital to the water supply for several communities, serving as a back-up water supply source for both the City of Baltimore and the Chester Water Authority.

With more than a dozen community events every year, Exelon Generation is proud to be involved with several charitable activities and non-profit organizations committed to Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay. Our employees proudly participate in a variety of charitable activities, such as donations to the local United Way chapters, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cecil and Harford Counties, the Harford Family House, the Stroud Water Research Center, and the Plumpton Park Zoological Gardens, Inc., among others. 



FAQ's

Located on the lower Susquehanna River in northern Maryland, the Conowingo Dam has served as Maryland’s largest source of clean energy for more than 90 years. Owned and operated by Exelon Generation, the Conowingo Dam currently has 11 turbines, which can produce up to 572 MW of electricity. Over the years, the Conowingo Dam has played an important role in protecting the Chesapeake Bay, supporting local and state economies and providing recreational opportunities for thousands of local residents and tourists.

The Dam also has a Visitors Center where the public can learn about the history of Conowingo, the role of hydroelectricity as a renewable energy source, and about Conowingo’s nearby recreational facilities and public access areas available for residents and tourists. These recreational activities include bird-watching, picnics, photography and more. Exelon Generation maintains several public parks as part of its Conowingo license and welcomes thousands of visitors eager to learn about local ecology every year.

Constructed in 1928, Conowingo originally produced 252 megawatts (MW) of power, becoming the second largest hydroelectric project in the United States after Niagara Falls. Today, the dam includes 11 turbines and can generate up to 572 MW of pollution-free electricity, powering 165,000 homes, on average. In fact, Conowingo’s renewable energy production is greater than all other Maryland renewable energy sources combined. 

The dam is also a critical player in meeting the state’s renewable energy and climate action goals and prevents 880,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year – the equivalent of taking 170,000 cars off the road.


 

 

 

 

Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station<div class="intro-content copy-section">​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station is a run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant owned and operated by Exelon Power, a business unit of Exelon Generation. </div><div class="copy-section"><p>Located on the Susquehanna River in northern Maryland, Conowingo has been providing energy to the regional system since 1928. When constructed from 1926 to 1928, Conowingo was the largest power plant ever built and had the largest turbines and generators to date. When the Conowingo Dam was completed in 1928, producing 252 megawatts (MW), it became the second largest hydroelectric project in the United States, behind Niagara Falls.</p><p>The original plant had 7 turbines and, in 1964, 4 more turbines were added. The water flow of the Susquehanna River provides the fuel for the 11 current turbine generators, producing 500 MW of electricity. Because water is used to turn the turbines, Conowingo can be used to "jump start" the electric distribution system in the event of a system failure of the PJM connection.</p></div><div class="grouper"><div class="row"><div class="grouper-section"> </div><div class="section-header"><h4>Exelon Generation's culture and business practice make us safety-first</h4></div><div class="grouper-content"><div class="cta-generic"><p>All Exelon Generation facilities employ sophisticated emergency response plans to protect public health and safety. Plans are reviewed and approved by state governments and federal regulatory agencies. Emergency planning includes coordination with local and municipal officials, and thousands of volunteers and first responders. </p><p>To protect the safety and health of our employees, contractors, customers and communities, we've implemented a number of initiatives to promote safe behaviors both on and off the job. </p><p>Exelon has a safety behavior observation program and focused initiatives on areas of high risk. We offer safety training, which is integrated with leadership development programs for supervisors and managers, as well as new employee orientation. And the safety peer group identifies successful pilot programs or new practices that can then be adopted by the entire organization.</p></div></div></div></div><div class="grouper"><div class="row"><div class="grouper-section"> </div><div class="section-header"><h4>License renewals mean clean, zero-carbon energy well into the future</h4></div><div class="grouper-content"><div class="cta-generic"><p>Conowingo has a license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that expired September 1, 2014. In August 2012, Exelon filed an application with FERC for a new long-term license. Conowingo is currently operating on an annual license issued by FERC, which renews automatically while relicensing activities continue. Relicensing Conowingo Dam would ensure its continued emissions-free operation, benefitting our local economy, environment, and community. Exelon wishes to preserve this virtually emissions-free generating capacity and its electrical output, while enhancing both the environmental integrity and local community relationships.</p> <p>Typically, a FERC license is issued for a period from 30 to 50 years. Exelon filed an application to relicense Conowingo with FERC in August 2012. <a href="/locations/ferc-license-renewals/Conowingo/Pages/Background.aspx" target="_blank">Learn more​</a> about Conowingo relicensing efforts. </p></div></div></div></div><div class="grouper"><div class="row"><div class="grouper-section"> </div><div class="section-header"><h4>Supporting the local economy</h4></div><div class="grouper-content"><div class="cta-generic"><p>Exelon Generation spends more than $40 million annually to operate and maintain both Conowingo and Muddy Run and pays nearly $5 million in property taxes annually. The plants have a shared workforce of over 60 Exelon employees. </p></div></div></div></div><div class="grouper"><div class="row"><div class="grouper-section"> </div><div class="section-header"><h4>We live here too, and we're good neighbors</h4></div><div class="grouper-content"><div class="cta-generic"><p>Conowingo aims to be a good neighbor and is very active in the local community.</p><ul class="styled-bullets"><li> <strong>Sponsorship.</strong>The power plant sponsors several community events including the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway's Riversweep and Port Deposit's annual Rockfish tournament.</li><li> <strong>Charitable Giving & Volunteering.</strong> ​Conowingo and its employees give generously to the community through a variety of charitable activities, including donations to the local United Way chapters, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cecil and Harford Counties, the Harford Family House,  the Stroud Water Research Center, and the Plumpton Park Zoological Gardens, Inc. Conowingo and its employees also donate food, clothing and time to the Ray of Hope Mission in Port Deposit, and provide winter coats for area children through Operation Warm.</li><li> <strong>Recreation & Education.​</strong> Conowingo Dam provides a variety of opportunities for recreation and education to the local community. Exelon Generation maintains several public parks as part of its Conowingo license, including Broad Creek Public Landing, Line Bridge Access, Funk’s Pond, Conowingo Fisherman’s Park and Dorsey Park. Additionally, Exelon welcomes thousands of visitors every year to two Visitors Centers to learn about local ecology. The Dam affords local residents and tourists access to the river for fishing, bird-watching, picnics, photography and more. ​</li></ul></div></div></div></div><div class="grouper"><div class="row"><div class="grouper-section"> </div>​ <div class="section-header"><h4>Environmental Impact</h4></div><div class="grouper-content"><div class="cta-generic"><p>Since 1972, Conowingo Dam has been vital to returning American shad to the upper Susquehanna River. A $12 million fish lift was completed in the early 1990s and has restored more than 1 million shad.</p></div></div></div></div>Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Station

  
  
  
Crest Gates Open
3
3/30/2020 6:53 AM
Total MW
490
3/30/2020 10:15 AM

 

 

 

Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating StationGP0|#036d7cad-49e3-4a98-8821-efa704301d6d L0|#0036d7cad-49e3-4a98-8821-efa704301d6d|Exelon Generation GTSet|#bb697efb-4d63-4298-b4d0-ab279caf3fe8https://www.exeloncorp.com/locations/Lists/Locations/DispForm.aspx?ID=554Conowingo Hydroelectric Generating Stationhttp://bit.ly/Conowingo_FERC_license_renewal, License renewal

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