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December 1, 2005
Alcoa Obtains Low-Impact Hydropower Certification; New Upgrades Increase Generating Capacity
PITTSBURGH and ALCOA, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 1, 2005--Alcoa (NYSE:AA) announced today that the independent, non-profit Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has certified Alcoa Power Generating Inc.'s (APGI) Tapoco hydroelectric project as an environmentally-responsible, low-impact hydropower project that meets and exceeds the most stringent operating requirements recommended by expert state and federal resource agencies.
APGI's Tapoco project is the largest hydropower project to be certified by LIHI on the east coast and is the first to receive an eight-year certification in recognition of meeting special watershed management criteria. The project consists of four powerhouses and four dams in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina totaling 350 megawatts (MW) of electric generation capacity, which power Alcoa Tennessee Operations near Knoxville.
The certification comes on the heels of APGI's recent completion of its second turbine upgrade at the Calderwood powerhouse in eastern Tennessee, which resulted in 14 MW of additional peak generation capacity. When the third and last turbine at Calderwood is upgraded in mid-2006, Calderwood's total demonstrated capacity will increase by 42 MW.
"This project is part of Alcoa's commitment to increase the use of natural, renewable energy sources such as hydropower that help lower emissions and reduce contributions to global warming," said Kevin Anton, president, Alcoa Materials Management. "In addition to increasing Calderwood's capacity by 37 percent, the new turbines improve efficiency and generate up to 6 percent more energy with the same water flow. By increasing the capacity and efficiency at Calderwood without constructing new dams, Alcoa is bringing additional renewable energy to the region while reducing dependence on electricity generated by fossil fuels."
The Calderwood powerhouse is currently undergoing upgrades as part of Alcoa's overall $187 million program to improve the Tapoco hydroelectric system. The program began in 2002 and involves upgrading a total of 13 hydroelectric generating units and other system infrastructure over a 15-year period.
As one of the founding members of the Green Power Market Development Group convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in 2000, Alcoa is one of 13 leading corporations seeking to develop corporate markets for 1,000 MW of new green power. The incremental 42 MW at Calderwood is part of nearly 360 MW of green power resources the group has caused to bring about to date. Earlier this year, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted a 40-year relicense for the Tapoco project.
LIHI certification is a voluntary program designed to help identify and reward hydropower dams that meet LIHI's strict criteria that measures water quality, watershed protection, fish passage and protection, threatened and endangered species protection, river flows, recreation and cultural resource protection.
The evaluation process includes a public comment period, review by an independent technical consultant, consultations with state and federal natural resource agencies, evaluations, and a decision by the LIHI governing board, which is comprised of leaders from a number of environmental organizations including the National Resources Defense Council, American Rivers, and Union of Concerned Scientists.
Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, fastening systems, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 131,000 employees in 43 countries and has been named one of the top three most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at www.alcoa.com