The letters “PPL” have been plastered all around Lake Wallenpaupack for years.
The company built the lake in the 1920’s to make hydroelectric power.
There is little indication of what if any changes might occur with the power company’s deal other than a name change and folks around the lake hope that’s all that changes.
Lake Wallenpaupack is a big lake by anyone’s standards; 13 miles long, nearly 6,000 acres with public and private properties spread around 52 miles of shoreline.
At the northern end near Hawley sits a hydroelectric plant, producing at any one-time 44 megawatts of electricity.
Now the plant will be under a new name and a new company without a clear indication of what it will mean for Lake Wallenpaupack.
“At first a little leery, we hope everything remains the same as far as the structures,” said Steve Gelderman of East Shore Lodging.
Gelderman is part of a group that’s worked with PPL over the years to look out for businesses like his.
If and when the switch is made to Talen Energy, Gelderman and others said there’s a lot at stake for dock owners and the overall lake community.
“Commercial business owners have built a good relationship up with PPL over the years so we hope that continues and not too many dramatic changes take place,” added Gelderman.
PPL owns the lake and has the final say for all the docks and properties that are on the lake and the shore. That includes most everything used for fishing, swimming and boating, but the power company has had a lot to do with the water quality as well.
“They provide office space to us and significant financial contributions to management of the lake,” said Nick Spinelli, Executive Director of Lake Wallenpaupack Watershed Management District which handles the lake’s water quality.
Spinelli and others said a name change, from PPL to Talen Energy, may be the most noticeable change when the time comes.
“There are still a lot of people around here who call it PP&L, I think a name change is definitely going to be a major hurdle to get over and take some getting used to,” said Spinelli.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could approve the PPL deal within one year, according to a news release.
When it happens, officials at the power company said plants like the one at Lake Wallenpaupack may see few changes if any.
Other than the name and all those signs around the lake.