Alaska project earns "low-impact" hydro certification

The Low Impact Hydropower Institute has certified the 4.5-MW Black Bear Lake project on Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island as �low-impact� hydropower.

Black Bear Lake is the first hydropower facility in Alaska to earn LIHI certification and one of 22 nationally. Alaska Power and Telephone owns and operates Black Bear Lake (No. 10440) 8.6 miles east of Klawock.

LIHI is a non-profit organization that certifies �low-impact� hydropower facilities nationwide to inform energy consumers and to support market incentives for reducing the effects of hydropower projects on U.S. rivers and streams. (HNN 8/30/06)

To become certified, an applicant must demonstrate its project meets criteria addressing: river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed protection, threatened and endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation use and access, and whether the dam is recommended for removal.

Seven applications for certification are pending: 943-kW Skagway-Dewey Lakes, 4-MW Goat Lake, and 2-MW South Fork, all in Alaska; 2.04-MW Mother Ann Lee in Kentucky; 366.82-MW Pelton Round Butte in Oregon; 21-MW Raystown in Pennsylvania; and 6.8-MW West Branch St. Regis in New York.

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