Soule Hydro works through issues with 77-MW Alaska project

Alaska Power & Telephone (AP&T), a joint venture partner of Soule Hydro LLC, told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 31 that it is running into problems with a federal agency on its 77-MW hydro project.

“AP&T anticipates that a license application for the project could continue to be delayed due to the U.S. Forest Service reluctance to provide a Transportation & Utility System corridor (TUS) for the project Land Use Designation (LUD), which should be allowed as an overlay, and reluctance to implement their Regional authority to issue Roadless Rule decisions that would allow new forest roads,” the report said. “Both of these issues are outside the control of the applicant but have a significant importance in regards to the licensing effort.”

FERC on May 20 had granted the company a successive preliminary permit on this project, which granted it an extended period of time to look at project feasibility. A license application would be needed if the decision is made to advance the project into the development stage.

The Oct. 31 report, the first six-month update filed under the new permit, said the project appears to be technically feasible from the standpoint of an interconnection with the BC Hydro grid, with the interconnection study already completed. “We expect to begin consultation with BC Hydro as the end-source customer sometime over the next year,” the company added. “Power could still be wheeled down to the Lower 48 States where the market is more receptive to outside sources of renewable energy.”

This is called the Soule River Hydroelectric Project, to be located on the Soule River within the Ketchikan Recording District, near Hyder, Alaska. The project is located on U.S. Forest Service lands in the Tongass National Forest. 

The project would include: a powerhouse with three Francis-type turbine/generator units with a total installed capacity of 77 MW; and a 138-kV, 700-foot-long buried transmission line across the Soule River connecting to a 10-mile-long submarine cable across the Portland Canal and ending with a 2.5-mile-long overhead line to the point of interconnection at the existing BC Hydro substation near Stewart. The estimated annual generation would be 283 gigawatt-hours.

The company contact is: Robert Grimm, President/CEO, 
Soule Hydro LLC 
c/o Alaska Power & Telephone Co., 193 Otto Street, 
P.O. Box 3222,
 Port Townsend, WA 98368, telephone
 (360) 385-1733 x120.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.