Susquehanna River Flooding Has Little Impact on PPL Power Plants

Sep 12, 2011, 16:15 ET from PPL Corporation

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Severe flooding along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania that began late last week has had minimal operational impact on power plants owned by subsidiaries of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). Plant staff operated the facilities safely, and the flooding caused no appreciable damage to facilities.

PPL companies operate the Susquehanna nuclear power plant, the Montour and Brunner Island coal-fired power plants, and the Holtwood hydroelectric plant in the Susquehanna River basin. Those plants represent about 5,400 megawatts of PPL's total of 19,000 megawatts of generating capacity.

"Strong planning and execution, and the dedication of our plant workers and support organizations, kept our facilities safe and minimized lost generation," said William H. Spence, president and chief operating officer of PPL Corporation. "Our employees overcame many challenges, and -- in some cases -- significant personal hardships caused by flooding in the communities where they live."

Spence said the 2,600-megawatt Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County is operating normally and at full-rated power. The plant is located on a hill well above river level, and was not threatened by the rising floodwaters.

The plant is operated by PPL Susquehanna and jointly owned by PPL Susquehanna and Allegheny Electric Cooperative.

PPL shut down the 108-megawatt Holtwood hydroelectric plant in Lancaster County on Thursday (9/8) as a precaution based on the forecasted river crest. Facilities and equipment were secured and workers evacuated from the plant for safety reasons.

Workers returned to the plant Friday afternoon (9/9) to begin cleaning up the mud and debris left behind when the floodwaters receded. Spence said the plant should resume generating electricity in one to two weeks after the cleanup and a thorough inspection of plant equipment.

Construction work is resuming on an expansion project at the Holtwood plant to add 125 megawatts of hydroelectric generation. That project remains on schedule for completion in 2013.

PPL's five coal-fired generating units at the Montour and Brunner Island power plants are in service, although the plants have had to reduce generation due to wet coal caused by the recent rainfall.

PPL shut down the 750-megawatt Unit 3 at the Brunner Island plant in York County on Thursday (9/8) as a precaution based on projected river levels, but the river did not flood the plant. Plant workers used the opportunity to perform planned maintenance on the unit, which returned to service on Monday (9/12).

Trains resumed coal deliveries to the Montour plant over the weekend after Norfolk Southern completed track inspections and repairs. Brunner Island experienced no interruptions in coal deliveries.

PPL Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa., through its subsidiaries owns or controls about 19,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. More information is available at

SOURCE PPL Corporation