“Speaking clearly about 790 ft”
If Duke Energy’s Jeffrey Lineberger wanted to accomplish nothing than other to clearly speak about a 790-foot water level in Lake Keowee, he may have accomplished that goal in front of the Oconee County Council. While the county’s leaders sat in front several concerned lakefront property owners satbehind the Duke director of hydro strategy and licensing. Oconee County government is one of more than 30 stakeholders in the process for Duke to obtain federal relicensing of its Keowee-Toxaway project. Duke’s Lineberger made a focus of his presentation the controversy over a “trial balloon” that would have the electric utility draw down Lake Keowee by five feet, as a way to meet water supply agreements downstream, yet still draw enough water to keep the Oconee Nuclear Station operating in times of drought. “If we had our druthers here, we’d keep these lakes full all the time,” Lineberger said. As he told the county leaders, to a great extent, lake levels are predicated upon something beyond the control of man–rainfall.