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PPL requests federal approval to sell Wallenpaupack

Published On: Jul 18 2014 02:27:38 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 18 2014 05:57:52 PM CDT

Lake Wallenpaupack could go up for sale

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

PPL is seeking federal approval to sell its popular Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos.

But a PPL spokesman stressed it's only one option in a request made this week to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the Allentown-based utility.

Lake Wallenpaupack is a 5,700-acre lake in Pike and Wayne counties that is owned and operated by PPL, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The 13-mile-long lake was created in 1926 to power a hydroelectric plant, but it is open to the public for recreation purposes.

Wallenpaupack's hydroplant is used in times of high electricity demand.

PPL owns most of Lake Wallenpaupack’s shoreline.  It operates several campgrounds, observation and overlook areas, a wildlife refuge, two natural areas and an environmental learning center at the lake.

PPL is seeking federal approval to combine PPL Energy Supply’s generation assets with Riverstone Holdings generation assets to form Talen Energy Corporation.

Talen Energy will be a new, stand alone, publicly-traded company.

PPL filed the request Tuesday with FERC.

PPL outlined two potential options in case FERC finds the transfer would result in too much influence over pricing.

"These are simply proposals to FERC at this time, should FERC require us to sell any power plants in order to obtain approval for the transaction," stressed  PPL spokesman Ryan Hill. "No final decisions have been made. "

In one option, hydroelectric plants at Lake Wallenpaupack and Holtwood on the Susquehanna River would be sold, with the balance of plants being Riverstone's.

In another, PPL would sell off its natural gas-fired power plant at Ironwood in Lebanon. The rest of the plants are Riverstone plants.

 Hill said the FERC review will take about three to six months.

He  said any sale of assets would take place within a year after the FERC's approval of transactions.