At the start of the decade, PP&L announced plans to build its first nuclear power plant. By the time construction reached its peak in the late 1970s, more than 2,500 construction workers were employed at the Berwick site. By the late 1970s, energy conservation became a major buzzword at PP&L and at utility companies throughout the country.
As the United States celebrates its first Earth Day in April 1970, PP&L focuses on environmental protection. PP&L commits $40 million over a five-year period beginning in 1970 to company programs aimed at preserving clean air, clean water and natural landscapes and recreational areas.
For the first time since the construction of the Wallenpaupack hydroelectric plant in the 1920s, PP&L builds generating units that do not burn coal. The decision to install two oil-fired units at the Martins Creek power plant requires construction of an 80-mile pipeline to carry the oil to the plant and illustrates the company’s growing environmental awareness. When the new units begin commercial operation in 1975 and 1977, Martins Creek becomes the largest plant on the PP&L system.