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Entries in Penobscot River (5)


Energy News Roundup: July 20-July 26

This week in regional energy news …


Dam Removal Expected to Help Restore Fish Stocks

As the New York Times reported this week, the removal of the Great Works Dam from the Penobscot River is expected to result in increased stocks of the endangered Atlantic salmon, alewives, shad, sturgeon, river herring, and other fish species.  See photographs of early stages of the dam removal here.

Verrill Dana represents the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, which is funding the removal of hydroelectric dams from the Penobscot River with no net loss in energy production.  The Trust’s historic public-private initiative has earned it national attention and acclaim.


Photographs of Historic Great Works Dam Removal

The historic and collaborative Great Works Dam removal and Penobscot River Restoration project is underway.  Below are photographs from June 11, the first day of the dismantling.  Click on each thumbnail for a full-size image.




Penobscot River Dam Removal Gets National Attention; Live Stream Available

The dismantling of the Penobscot River’s Great Works Dam has begun, part of a project that Forbes calls a “hat trick.”  A live stream of the dam removal is available here

The Penobscot River Restoration project involves the removal of several dams along the river to allow fish stocks to replenish, while energy production is increased at other dams with no net loss of electric generation. 

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust closed on the purchase of Great Works (and other dams) in December 2010.  Verrill Dana represents the Trust in this unique and historic public-private collaboration to improve the environment while maintaining important local sources of energy.


A River Restoration Riddle...

Question:  When does the removal of a hydropower dam result in increased energy generation?

Answer:   When the Penobscot River Restoration Trust removes the dam.

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust, a collaboration between environmental groups, state and federal resource agencies, the Penobscot Indian Nation, and PPL Corporation, has struck a deal to restore 1,000 miles of Atlantic Salmon (and other species) habitat on the Penobscot River by removing two dams formerly owned by PPL (Veazie and Great Works) and constructing a fish bypass around a third (Howland).  Verrill Dana has been there from the start, helping the Trust with contracting, permitting and strategic planning (read more about it on our website)

“Well,” you say, “that’s great for the fish, what about the energy?”  With bombs falling overseas, don’t we need to keep all of our home-grown electrons?

The Trust and PPL thought so—so they structured this deal to allow PPL or its successor (now Black Bear Hydro) to increase generation at other facilities in the Penobscot River watershed.  The result—happy fish- AND the river system will maintain its generating capacity (maybe even eke out a little more than it did before).

It can be done.  We’re doing it in Maine.