N.C. House Committee Votes Against Government Takeover of Alcoa’s Yadkin Project
RALEIGH, N.C., July 28 /PRNewswire/ — A legislative bid to pursue a government takeover of Alcoa’s Yadkin Hydroelectric Project was thwarted by a N.C. House committee today. The Water Resources and Infrastructure Committee voted 8-6 against allowing Senate Bill 967 to move forward.
“We applaud the committee for standing up for private property rights and voting against an unprecedented government takeover that could have cost North Carolina $500 million or more,” said Gene Ellis, a spokesperson for Alcoa. “We remain eager for a new license and look forward to implementing the many positive benefits included in the Relicensing Settlement Agreement.”
Under the terms of the relicensing agreement, Alcoa will:
- Continue to improve water quality in the Yadkin River
- Allow for increased water withdrawals by local municipalities
- Better protect the water supply when drought conditions are present
- Set aside thousands of acres for long-term land protection
- Create new parks, public swim areas and other recreation opportunities
- Provide more stable lake levels and a consistent downstream flow of water
- Give homeowners more flexibility regarding shoreline development
FERC staff has already recommended issuing a new long-term license to Alcoa.
“We are gratified that the House took the time to carefully consider this legislation and weigh the pros and cons. Once they did that, they voted their conscience,” said Larry Jones, president of the High Rock Lake Association. Jones addressed the committee on behalf of more than 1,000 lakefront property owners, including approximately 50 members who attended the committee meeting.
Since planting roots in North Carolina in 1915, Alcoa has been a strong supporter of the local community. Together, Alcoa and Alcoa Foundation have donated $3 million to support non-profit organizations to improve economic development, education, recreation, public safety and more.
About The Yadkin Hydroelectric Project
The Yadkin Project is owned and operated by Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (APGI), a subsidiary of Alcoa, Inc. For nearly a century, the company has operated four hydroelectric dams and reservoirs along a 38-mile stretch of the Yadkin River as a source of clean, renewable energy. The Yadkin Project includes four reservoirs — High Rock, Tuckertown, Narrows (Badin Lake) and Falls — where North Carolinians enjoy boating, fishing, camping and other recreational opportunities.
The Yadkin Project, one of 22 privately-owned hydropower projects in North Carolina, is licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Yadkin Project received a 50-year license in 1958, and APGI is currently seeking a new long-term license. APGI began the relicensing process in 2002 and developed a Relicensing Settlement Agreement that is widely supported by state and federal agencies, local governments, environmental interest groups, local homeowners and recreational users, business organizations and others.
Additional Background Information