Alaska awards $1.1 million to 15 hydro projects

The Denali Commission and Alaska Energy Authority have awarded more than $1.1 million to 15 Alaska hydropower projects representing a total investment of more than $2 billion.

The awards, announced June 24, were part of $5 million in grants for alternative and renewable energy projects in Alaska. The Denali Commission, which delivers federal government services in Alaska, is providing $4 million and the Alaska Energy Authority is contributing $1 million to the total program.

The winning projects were selected from 96 responses to a December 2007 call for proposals. (HNN 1/8/08) In addition to the hydro projects chosen, the agencies said they are offering funds for wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal projects.

Developers of the hydro projects plan to use grants totaling $1,131,200 for pre-construction activities, including feasibility studies, environmental studies, licensing and permitting, and preliminary design. Non-hydro project sponsors plan to use grants either for pre-construction activities or for construction.

The hydro project sponsors, projects selected, total project cost, and amount of funds granted are:
o Alaska Power Co., Yerrick Creek hydro assessment, $7.5 million, $100,000;
o Chenega Corp., Chenega Bay hydro assessment, $837,000, $100,000;
o City of Coffman Cove, Coffman Cove hydro assessment, $1.9 million, $80,000;
o Community of Elfin Cove, Elfin Cove hydro assessment, $1.6 million, $100,000;
o Fishhook Renewable Energy, Fishhook hydro at Hatcher Pass, $3.8 million, $100,000;
o Golden Valley Electric Association: Little Gerstle hydro assessment, $130 million, $60,000; and Nenana run-of-river hydro assessment Healy, $35 million, $60,000;
o Haida Corp., 5-MW Reynolds Creek hydro pre-construction (No. 11480), $11 million, $100,000;
o City of Homer, Homer water main hydropower assessment, $364,000, $31,200.
o Homer Electric Association: Crescent Lake/Creek low-impact hydro assessment, $19 million, $50,000; Falls Creek low-impact hydro assessment, $19 million, $50,000; Grant Lake/Creek low-impact hydro assessment, $19 million, $50,000; and Ptarmigan Lake/Creek low-impact hydro assessment, $15.5 million, $50,000;
o City of Tenakee Springs: Indian River Hydro assessment, $1.7 million, $100,000; and
o TDX Power, 330-MW Chakachamna hydro assessment (No. 12660), $1.75 billion, $100,000.

Steven Haagenson, AEA Executive Director and State Energy Coordinator, said the need for the projects is great.

�Rising energy costs have created urgency for these projects,� Haagenson said. �This funding will help develop projects that could annually displace millions of gallons of diesel fuel and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.”

Despite being an oil producing state, Alaska has some of the highest per capita electric power and fuel costs in the U.S., particularly in rural, isolated villages.

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