The powerhouse is part of a $440 million expansion project to boost the plant's generating capacity and improve fish passage over the century-old dam. The integrated improvements to the fish lifts and water flows are expected to better attract fish into the lifts and ease their migration along the Susquehanna River and its tributaries.
The new powerhouse sits adjacent to the century-old powerhouse and more than doubles the plant's generating capacity from about 108 MW to more than 230 MW. The additional capacity is enough to power about 100,000 homes.
The hydroelectric expansion further strengthens the diversity of PPL's competitive generation fleet within the mid-Atlantic. The fleet includes hydroelectric power, nuclear power, natural gas and coal-fired power plants, along with other forms of renewable energy.
With the project complete, the company expects to qualify for federal grants made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The incentives were a key factor in the company's decision to build the facility and are expected to exceed $100 million.
PPL Holtwood is a unit of PPL Generation and part of the PPL Corp. family of companies.