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Duke Energy will be filing a new license application (August 31, 2006) with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to operate the Catawba-Wateree Project. The original license expires in 2008. The Federal Power Act requires non-federal hydroelectric projects to relicense after the original license expires, with the new license being granted for 30-50 years. The original license was issued by the FERC in 1958 as Duke Energy was building the 11th and largest reservoir on the Catawba River - Lake Norman.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s license conditions for operation ensure equal consideration is given to both power and other benefits such as water quality, recreation, fish and wildlife and wildlife habitat enhancement and protection. In February 2003, Duke Energy filed its First Stage Consultation Document with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which formally initiated the relicensing process. The Catawba-Wateree relicensing process involves over 160 stakeholders, representing more than 80 organizations that have an interest in the river and it’s resources.

After the new license application is filed, many activities will continue. Please check these dates for additional information on the relicensing effort.

Additional Work Post-Final Agreement

  • August 22, 2006 – Stakeholders comment on Explanatory Statement to prepare Final Agreement for filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
  • By August 31, 2006 – Duke files License Application with the FERC, including signed Final Agreement.
  • By October 2006 – Parties that sign Final Agreement decide if any rebalancing is needed and revise and file Final Agreement accordingly.
  • By June 30, 2007 – Local governments revise drought response plans and ordinances to support Low Inflow Protocol.
  • By September 1, 2007 – Duke, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and SC Department of Natural Resources identify any boater / swimmer exclusion zones around dams and develop plan to implement.
  • By December 31, 2007 – Duke updates its FERC Public Safety Plans and files for FERC acceptance.
  • By December 31, 2007 – Duke, Water Management Group, and Drought Management Advisory Group revise plan for groundwater monitors.
  • By January 2008 – Water suppliers and Duke finalize charter for Water Management Group and begin meeting.
  • By March 1, 2008 – NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Duke and Crescent Resources identify any potential trails within / adjoining conservation easement areas in NC.
  • By August 31, 2008 – NC Wildlife Resources Commission and Duke renew maintenance agreement for NC access areas.
  • Prior to filing applications for 401 Water Quality Certifications – Duke to add detail as needed to Water Quality Monitoring Plan and Flow and Water Quality Improvement Plan based on 2006 testing and engineering designs.