PPL Holtwood

At a Glance

  • 482 Old Holtwood Road,  Holtwood, PA 17532
  • About 109 megawatt generating capacity
  • Hydro
  • 100 percent ownership

The Holtwood plant has been generating electricity since 1910, using the power of the water held back by a 55-foot-high dam across the Susquehanna River between Lancaster and York counties.

The 10-unit hydroelectric facility, located in Martic Township about 15 miles south of Lancaster, Pa., has a total generating capacity of about 109 megawatts. The plant employs about 15 people and is owned by PPL Holtwood LLC, a subsidiary of PPL Generation.

In 2010, PPL began a $438 million expansion project to add 125-megawatts in generating capacity, more than doubling Holtwood’s existing generating capacity.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project in November 2009. FERC also extended the plant’s existing operating license for the Holtwood hydroelectric plant through August 2030.

The Holtwood fish lifts — the largest in the nation — are part of a multimillion-dollar project to enable the migrating American shad to continue their annual spring journey up the Susquehanna River to spawn. The expansion of the plant will include enhancements to the fish lifts to improve the passage for migratory fish along the Susquehanna River and its tributaries.

Behind the dam is 2,400-acre Lake Aldred, a popular boating and recreation area. PPL is working closely with a number of organizations as part of a broad public-private initiative to preserve and protect about 3,000 acres of land through a mix of land transfers and conservation easements.


PPL Holtwood opens new Susquehanna boat ramp, fishing platform

HOLTWOOD, Pa. (July 30, 2013) – PPL Holtwood has made life a little easier for outdoor enthusiasts looking to boat and fish in Lake Aldred and along the lower Susquehanna River between York and Lancaster Counties.

The company has opened a new boat ramp that extends 120 feet into Susquehanna River, a new fishing platform that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, an expanded parking area and a new road to access the Susquehanna River boat ramp.

“We appreciate the public’s patience throughout this project,” said John Levitski, PPL Regional Affairs director for the Lancaster area. “We encourage boaters to wear their flotation devices and practice safe boating. Please heed the marker buoys in place and keep a safe distance from Holtwood Dam.”

The Pequea Creek boat ramps, including a new boat ramp, previously reopened May 15.  


PPL Holtwood Bald Eagle Monitoring Program Honored by the National Hydropower Association


HOLTWOOD, Pa. (April 23, 2013) -- In recognition of the development and successful implementation of the bald eagle monitoring and management plan during its expansion project, PPL Holtwood on Tuesday (4/23) received an Outstanding Steward of America’s Waters award from the National Hydropower Association.

“This award is a testament to all PPL Holtwood and Engineering and Construction employees, and key partner Kleinschmidt Associates, who have thoughtfully and systematically found an innovative way to protect and support the bald eagle population in Lancaster and York counties,” said Chris Porse, site supervisor for PPL Holtwood.

The award, nationally competitive and granted by a diverse panel of judges, was presented during the National Hydropower Association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. Porse and Dale Zeisloft, senior project manager for PPL Generation, accepted the award on behalf of PPL.

“Leading through example, PPL Holtwood has raised the bar on excellence for the entire industry,” said Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of the association. “The efforts they have put into their project is not only worthy of the prestigious OSAW award, but is emblematic of the commitment our industry has made to enhance the communities and ecosystems of which we are a part.”

Said Porse, “This award also celebrates the strong working relationships we have with our local and state agencies and stakeholders.”

Since the mid-1980s, the area around the Holtwood hydroelectric plant has been home to several breeding pairs of bald eagles. The bald eagle is a threatened species in Pennsylvania and is federally protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

In 2009, PPL started its expansion project to enhance fish passage and to increase the generating capacity of its Holtwood plant from 107 megawatts to 232 megawatts. Construction activities included drilling, blasting, and excavation of the tailrace channel, river channel and in the area of the new powerhouse.

To protect the bald eagles from potential negative consequences due to construction activities, PPL Holtwood worked with Kleinschmidt Associates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Pennsylvania Game Commission to develop a bald eagle management and monitoring plan.

This site-specific and adaptive management plan included blasting and construction limitations within the specific range of an eagles nest during nesting season; phased construction activities; visual, acoustic and seismic monitoring 30 minutes before and after each blast; noise restrictions at the nest; and installation of bald eagle global positioning system transmitters on two juvenile eagles to gather data on nesting habits during construction.

“The results from these studies have produced new information about the tolerance of bald eagles to construction activities,” said Porse. “This information will assist regulators, consultants and other companies so that they can help protect this iconic symbol of the United States.”

To learn more about the Outstanding Steward of America’s Waters award, visit www.outstandingwaters.org.

PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), with annual revenue of more than $12 billion, is one of the largest companies in the U.S. utility sector. The PPL family of companies delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom, owns more than 18,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and sells energy in key U.S. markets. More information is available at www.pplweb.com.