Business, News, North America, Rehabilitation and Repair

AEA completes Battle Creek diversion project at 120-MW Bradley Lake hydro

On Aug. 25, the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) held a ribbon cutting ceremony at its 120-MW Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project near Homer to celebrate completion of the West Fork Upper Battle Creek Diversion project. The project diverts runoff from Battle Creek into Bradley Lake, expanding the state’s largest hydroelectric facility.

The Bradley Lake project is located at the southern end of south-central Alaska. It began operating in 1991 and transmits electricity to the state’s main power grid via two parallel 20-mile-long transmission lines. Homer Electric Association operates the project under contract with AEA.

Construction of the $47 million project began in May 2018. It includes 3 miles of road, a concrete diversion dam, and a 5-foot-diameter pipeline under the road to carry water from its source to Bradley Lake. By diverting Battle Creek water into the lake, the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Facility will see an increase of about 10% in its energy production capacity.

“For those of us who believe that hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source, this project will increase the use of renewable energy in our state. This use of renewable energy aligns well with our state’s aspirational goal to achieve a higher percentage of renewable energy in our future,” said AEA Board Chair Dana Pruhs.

“Hydroelectric power is Alaska’s largest source of renewable energy, supplying nearly a quarter of the state’s electricity in an average water year,” said AEA Executive Director Curtis W. Thayer. “The diversion of water from Battle Creek to behind the Bradley Lake dam will allow even more energy at lower cost to be produced and delivered to ratepayers, reducing the cost of energy in Alaska.”

AEA is a public corporation of the state. Its mission is to reduce the cost of energy in Alaska.