Deal on the Penobscot River Restores Fish and Preserves Power Generation


On October 6, 2003, PPL Corporation, conservation groups, the Penobscot Indian Nation, the State of Maine, and the U.S. Department of Interior announced an agreement aimed at restoring sea-run fish to the Penobscot River, while giving PPL Corporation the opportunity to maintain more than 90% of its current hydropower generation.

Dubbed the Penobscot River Restoration Project, the deal will significantly improve access to over 500 miles of river habitat, allowing for the recovery of native species of sea-run fish. The Penobscot is Maine's largest river, draining 8,570 square miles, about one-third of the state.

The terms of the deal:

  • A new or existing not-for-profit corporation will purchase the Veazie, Great Works, and Howland dams for approximately $25 million between 2007 and 2010, with the option to subsequently remove the two lowermost dams: Veazie and Great Works;
  • PPL Corporation receives the option to increase generation at six existing dams, which would result in retention of more than 90% of the current energy generation;
  • The not-for-profit corporation will also, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursue a state-of-the-art fish bypass around the Howland dam; and
  • PPL Corporation will improve fish passage at four additional dams.


More information is available from the Penobscot River Restoration Trust.