Kenai Hydro lodges final license app for 5-MW hydro project in Alaska

Kenai Hydro LLC (KHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alaska Electric and Energy Cooperative (AEEC), on April 15 filed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission a Final License Application (FLA) for the 5-MW Grant Lake Hydroelectric Project.

The project would be located near the city of Moose Pass, Alaska, on Grant Creek. KHL had filed a Draft License Application for the project on March 27, 2015.

This project would divert water from Grant Lake and deliver the flow to a powerhouse located near the outlet of the existing Grant Creek natural, incised rock canyon. The project would include the following major components:

  • an intake structure in Grant Lake;
  • a tunnel extending from the lake intake to just east of the powerhouse;
  • a 72-inch-diameter steel penstock from the downstream tunnel portal to the powerhouse;
  • a powerhouse with two Francis turbines providing an anticipated combined 5-MW total output. The maximum design flow would be approximately 385 cubic feet per second (cfs);
  • tailrace detention pond;
  • switchyard with disconnect switch and step-up transformer;
  • an overhead transmission line; and
  • a pole-mounted disconnect switch where the transmission line intersects the main power distribution line.

Ninety-one percent of Homer Electric Association’s (HEA’s) current generation needs (approximately 470,000 megawatt hour (MWh)/year) are met via fossil fuel generation. In recognition of the importance to the environment and the need to provide power for sustainable growth, HEA’s Board of Directors adopted a policy that set a renewable energy goal. The goal states that the cooperative will use best efforts to meet 22% of its annual peak generation with renewable energy by 2018.

The application added: “Furthermore, the State of Alaska and Legislature have adopted a renewable energy goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2025. Additionally, HEA would like to diversify its fuel mix and reduce its dependence on the expensive natural gas supply (currently at $6.90/thousand cubic feet [Mcf]) available in the Cook Inlet area. While approximately 9 percent of HEA’s current generation needs are met through its stake in the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project, the operation of the Grant Lake Project would provide an additional 4 percent annually and represent HEA’s first fully-owned hydroelectric facility.”

An overhead 115-kV transmission line would extend from the powerhouse for this project to the existing 115-kV transmission line located on the west side of the Seward Highway. In addition to overhead transmission structures, the facilities would include a switchyard at the powerhouse consisting of a 115-kV fused pad-mounted disconnect switch and a pad-mounted 115-kV GSU transformer. The transmission line would run from the powerhouse parallel to the access road where it would intersect Chugach Electric’s transmission line. 

A project contact is: Mikel Salzetti, Manager of Fuel Supply & Renewable Energy Development, 280 Airport Way, Kenai, AK 99611, (907) 283-2375.

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.