Tag Archives: Hydropower

Nenana may be getting experimental in-river power turbine

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Monday, December 27, 2010:

Federal regulators are reviewing plans for a submerged, in-river power turbine. It’s a pilot project energy researchers and the developer think could help communities across rural Alaska, where electric costs run exponentially higher than in urban hubs.

Two similar projects have been tested in Ruby and Eagle. This one, lined up for use near Nenana, would be bigger — between 50 and 300 kilowatts, via small turbines and an underwater transmission cable in the Tanana River. It would operate a little less than half the year.

Monty Worthington, a project development director for the Anchorage-based ORPC Alaska, said he hopes to have the system up and running in 2012.

Hydro dam site recommendation to come next week

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Friday, November 12, 2010:

Analysts in state government who have spent months studying two options for a proposed large-scale hydroelectric dam in Alaska will recommend one next week.

The Alaska Energy Authority officials prefer one site over the other and will name that project as early as Tuesday.

A dam has long been discussed for Southcentral, which is connected to Fairbanks by electric grid. A year-old plan cited Chakachamna Lake, west of Cook Inlet, and the Susitna River as two top spots for the multibillion-dollar proposal.

Karsten Rodvick, a spokesman for the authority, said the agency plans to release its preference in a detailed recommendation next week. It will compare cost estimates, outline detailed construction plans, cite risks expected through permitting processes and list environmental concerns linked to both options.

“The intent of this is not only ultimately to be providing affordable, reliable, sustainable power to the Railbelt,” but also to meet the state’s goal of producing half its power from renewable resources by 2025, he said. He said the agency will post more information about the recommendation on its website following next week’s announcement. It will hold public workshops later this winter

Doyon Ltd. proposes hydroelectric project for Denali National Park

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Tuesday, October 26, 2010:

Doyon Ltd. wants to build a micro-hydroelectric project inside Denali National Park and Preserve to power Kantishna Roadhouse, a backcountry lodge the Fairbanks Native Corporation owns 100 miles inside the park.

The National Park Service supports the project, and Alaska’s two senators, Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, introduced legislation last month — the Kantishna Hills Renewable Energy Act of 2010 — that directs the park service to issue a special-use permit to speed construction of the project and authorizes a 10-acre land exchange between Doyon and the NPS.

Doyon is proposing to build the hydro project on Eureka Creek, a small fishless creek near the roadhouse in the non-wilderness section of the 6 million-acre park. The project would include a 50-kilowatt power plant, a small impoundment dam and a small pipeline to carry water. Doyon currently uses a diesel generator to power the roadhouse.

Parnell signals support for large-scale hydro option

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Saturday, September 11, 2010:

Gov. Sean Parnell says that if Alaska is to meet the ambitious goal of getting half of its electricity from renewable sources some day, it will have to make a major commitment to big hydroelectric project, such as the Susitna project.

On a visit to Fairbanks today with running mate Mead Treadwell, Parnell said that he is putting a group together to see how a major hydro project could be financed. He said he wants to send a “strong signal” of his support of hydro power as a long-range option.

He also is looking for answers on ways to reduce the cost.

The Legislature and the governor approved $10 million earlier this year to update studies on Susitna and the proposed Chakachamna project.

The state now has an official policy that it will be getting 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025, according to a law approved by the Legislature and governor earlier this year.

It may be impossible to reach that target in 15 years. It will be impossible unless decisions are made soon to get something underway.

Southeast Hydropower Plant Approaches Completion

From APRN, Monday, August 23, 2010:

A Southeast Alaska hydropower plant is closer to completion. A $9 million Alaska Energy Authority grant is the final piece of the funding puzzle for the Prince of Wales Island’s Reynolds Creek project.

Listen online: Southeast Hydropower Plant Approaches Completion

Hydroelectric project millions over budget

From The Associated Press, Sunday, July 4, 2010:

A Southeast Alaska hydroelectric project has come in millions over budget, but is expected to bring Juneau plenty of power for years to come.

Alaska Electric Light & Power now is trying to persuade the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to let it raise its rates.

The utility is trying to show that it deserves to collect an extra $15.8 million or more in additional revenue after finishing the project. The utility says it wants $12.6 million at first and the rest can come later.

Continue reading: Hydroelectric project millions over budget

Report: Wood, wind could help meet rural Alaska energy needs

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Saturday, May 1, 2010:

Fort Yukon could turn to wood-fired power to ease its reliance on diesel fuel. Tanana could install wind turbines and start using half as much fuel within a few years.

The Alaska Energy Authority published those scenarios and about 200 more, including cost estimates, this week. The report comes less than a month after the Legislature set, as official state policy, the target of using wind turbines, hydroelectric dams and other renewable projects for at least half Alaska’s electricity by 2025.

“This gives you the pathway to get there,” said Steve Haagenson, director of the authority.

The agency released the report, an “energy pathway,” to coincide with a three-day rural energy conference in Fairbanks that ended Thursday.

Click here to read the full story.

Juneau sets goal for reducing emissions

From the Associated Press, Saturday, November 7, 2009:

The city of Juneau has set new emissions goals for cars, homes and office buildings in the hopes of reducing pollution by 2012.

The Juneau Empire reports the city hopes to drop pollution by 21 percent in the next three years.

The Juneau Assembly says one percent of the reduction will come through changes to municipal facilities and operations, while the other 20 percent will need to come from the community.

But 90 percent of the community goal was met when Greens Creek Mine stopped burning diesel for electricity and started using hydroelectric energy earlier this fall.

Angoon gets preliminary hydropower project permit

From the Associated Press, Thursday, November 5, 2009:

The city of Angoon has been granted a preliminary permit for the Ruth Lake hydropower project.

The 20 megawatt hydropower project is designed to produce low cost electricity for Angoon, and to eventually provide hydropower to other Southeast communities.

Angoon Mayor Albert Howard says he’s looking for region-wide collaboration on the project.

The mayor says Angoon, as well as most communities off the road system, are getting hit hard by the rising cost of diesel fuel which powers the generators that currently provide electricity.

Governor Palin proposes energy corporation

From the Anchorage Daily News on Sunday, February 8, 2009:

Gov. Sarah Palin plans to introduce a bill calling for creating a joint corporation of the six Railbelt electric utilities.

Palin says such an entity could unite a “fragmented group of rival utilities” and could save rate payers $40 million annually.

The utilities are Fairbanks-based Golden Valley Electric Association, Homer Electric Association, Anchorage’s Municipal Light and Power, Chugach Electric Association, the City of Seward and Matanuska Electric Association.

Click here to read the whole article.