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PPL Penobscot River dams to be removed following sale

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust has struck a $24 million deal with PPL Corporation to buy three dams on the river. Two of the dams are to be removed.

PPL Corporation announced it has completed the sale of its remaining three hydroelectric generating facilities in Maine to the Penobscot River Restoration Trust for approximately $24 million.

This sale culminates an agreement reached in 2004 by PPL and a coalition of environmental groups and governmental agencies to facilitate the removal or bypassing of the three generating facilities to restore runs of Atlantic salmon and other migratory fish to Maine's Penobscot River.

The trust will take over the 8.4-MW Veazie, 7.9-MW Great Works and1.9-MW Howland hydro projects. The group plans to remove the Veazie and Great Works dams and build a fish passage around the Howland dam, local media reported. That will open up nearly 1,000 miles of river habitat to eleven species of sea-run fish, including endangered Atlantic salmon, sturgeon and river herring, the trust says.

In addition to its sale proceeds from the trust, PPL also has received $14 million in contingent consideration from Black Bear Hydro Partners, LLC, an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC. As previously announced, this additional compensation is related to the rights to increase output at certain other hydroelectric facilities in Maine that PPL sold to Black Bear in late 2009. These contingent expansion rights, as well as associated obligations, were part of PPL's original agreement with the coalition, and were transferred to Black Bear as part of the 2009 sale transaction.

In 2009, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $6.1 million in economic stimulus money to Penobscot River Restoration Trust to help fund removal of the 8-MW Great Works hydroelectric project.

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