Feds approve PPL land sale to Conservancy
BY TIM MEKEEL, Business Editor
PPL's plan to sell 1,260 more acres of land along the Susquehanna River to the Lancaster County Conservancy has received federal approval.
The long-awaited $6 million transaction has gotten the go-ahead from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, PPL said Wednesday.
The land -- 825 acres in Lancaster County and 435 in York County -- is both upstream and downstream from PPL's Holtwood hydroelectric plant.
It includes such well-known areas as Pinnacle Overlook, Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve and Kelly's Run.
FERC, which oversees the operation of hydroelectric plants, said the sale is "in the public interest" and enjoys broad public support.
A PPL spokesman said the sale will take another year to complete because the acreage consists of multiple parcels requiring multiple settlements.
The agreement between the company and the conservancy was announced three years ago this month.
The price is less than a third of the land's assessed value -- $20 million.
PPL will not profit from the sale.
Instead, PPL will donate the $6 million to a restricted endowment fund for preserving, maintaining and enhancing the land for public use.
The company also will make an annual donation in excess of $100,000 to the endowment fund.
PPL already has transferred 320 other acres in the area to the Conservancy.
However, that 2010 sale did not require FERC approval because the land was outside the Holtwood plant's boundary.
The $6 million transaction includes such well-known areas as Pinnacle Overlook, Shenk's Ferry Wildflower Preserve and Kelly's Run.