Alaska’s 174-kW Packer Creek hydroelectric plant comes on line

Alaska borough Chignik Lagoon is hoping to see decreased energy costs following the recent completion of the 174-kW Packer Creek hydroelectric plant.

The micro run-of-river facility is enough for the needs of Chignik Lagoon’s 70 residents, borough officials said, and reduces the community’s reliance on fossil fuel.

Data from Chignik Lagoon Power Utility indicates Packer Creek will eliminate the need for about 90% of the 45,000 gallons of diesel currently used annually by the community. The developers said the savings will help pay for infrastructure improvements.

Water for the plant will be drawn from a 1.7 square mile basin at a designed flow of 8 cubic feet per second, traveling through a penstock measuring 3,220 feet in length.

The project was first proposed more than two decades ago after the Chignik Lagoon Tribal Council commissioned a feasibility study from Polar Consult Alaska, Inc.

The $5 million project was funded in large part by the Alaska Energy Authority, which provided $4 million, with additional contributions from the borough and village of Chignik Lagoon.

Construction on the project began this past spring. Officials said the community will hold an official ribbon cutting ceremony later this year.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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