DARLINGTON, Md. – Yesterday, Exelon Generation’s Conowingo Dam received a 50-year operating license from a unanimous Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The license is a critical step forward for Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts and paves the way for long-term investments that will enhance water quality, fish and eel passage, aquatic habitats and debris removal. It also enables the continued operation of Maryland’s largest source of renewable energy, which generates safe, reliable power for tens of thousands of Maryland families and businesses.
“This license renewal is a big win for Maryland’s environment and economy, paving the way for up to $700 million in improvements that will benefit Chesapeake Bay water quality and aquatic life,” said Bryan Hanson, executive vice president and chief generation officer. “As a result, the Conowingo Dam will continue to help Maryland achieve its long-term renewable and clean energy goals, combatting air pollution and helping preserve the Bay for another half-century.”
The benefits from the new license conditions include changes in the flow regime that will enhance habitat for aquatic species like American shad and river herring, and submerged aquatic vegetation, which trap sediment and remove pollution. Benefits also include new programs for mussel restoration, fish and eel-passage, turtle management and waterfowl-nesting. Exelon will also continue its investments to address the accumulation of trash and debris that float down from New York and Pennsylvania, as well as shoreline-management and stream flow regime changes.
“As Conowingo Dam employees, we take pride in knowing that we have provided clean energy to our region for over 90 years and will continue to make this state a better place to live,” said Conowingo Dam Plant Manager, Dusty McKeown. “This new license will further our efforts to protect and preserve the Chesapeake Bay and allow future generations of Marylanders to enjoy the many benefits of the dam for the next half-century.”