BILLINGS, Mont., May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PPL Montana's 12 hydroelectric facilities across the state are operating in anticipation of the many rivers and streams running high from a combination of rain and a heavy mountain snowpack
"Our dams and facilities are designed to handle the kinds of runoffs we're seeing across Montana this spring," said David Hoffman, director of External Affairs for PPL Montana.
"We do remind the many people who use the rivers and streams around PPL Montana hydroelectric facilities for recreation to use common sense and caution around high, fast-running water," he said.
PPL Montana's dams undergo regular inspections and maintenance programs to ensure their structural integrity. PPL Montana employees also participate in drills and exercises with local, state and federal authorities to coordinate and practice emergency plans and identify roles and responsibilities, Hoffman said.
"Our hydroelectric facilities are operated to provide variable flood control on the Flathead, Clark Fork, Madison, Missouri and West Rosebud rivers. The Kerr, Mystic and Hebgen dams provide significant seasonal flood control that reduces higher spring flows in their downstream areas that would otherwise occur," Hoffman said.
"PPL Montana's other nine hydroelectric plants also provide limited seasonal flood control and are generally operated as run of river dams," he said.
The unusually high water conditions resulting from precipitation and thick snowpack — in some cases approaching 200 percent of average — have also created opportunities to generate more clean, renewable electricity from the power of running water. Hoffman said PPL employees who operate PPL Montana's hydroelectric plants have set generation records this year.
PPL Montana provides safe, reliable energy from coal-fired power plants at Colstrip and Billings, as well as 11 hydroelectric plants along West Rosebud Creek and the Missouri, Madison, Clark Fork and Flathead rivers. It has a combined generating capacity of more than 1,200 megawatts and has offices in Billings, Butte and Helena. PPL Montana and its 500 employees are dedicated to Montana and its communities, supporting educational, environmental and economic development programs across the state. PPL EnergyPlus operates a trading floor in Butte that markets and sells power for PPL Montana in wholesale and retail energy markets throughout the western United States. PPL Montana and PPL EnergyPlus are subsidiaries of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). More information about PPL Montana is available at www.pplmontana.com.
SOURCE PPL Montana