Copper Valley pursues permit for 6.5-MW Allison Creek hydro project

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources said in a May 25 public notice that it will take comment until June 8 on an application from the Copper Valley Electric Association to appropriate water for the Allison Creek hydroelectric project.

Up to 80 cubic feet per second from Allison Creek, located approximately 5 miles south of Valdez, would be taken. Water used to generate electricity will be returned to the creek at the powerhouse at the base of the Allison Creek. All water in excess of 80 cubic feet per second will be returned to Allison Creek at the spillway. The holder of this permit must adhere to all conditions in FERC license P-13124, the DNR noted.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects in 2014 issued a supplemental environmental assessment covering new changes to an August 2013 original license for this hydroelectric project. The Copper Valley Electric Association amended its license for the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project. The 6.5-MW project is located on Allison Creek near Valdez, Alaska. FERC on June 20 also approved the amendment.

The association amended its powerhouse and tailrace to include a single 6.5-MW Pelton turbine generator unit instead of the two smaller 3.25-MW units that were licensed. This amendment would shift the powerhouse location and pivot the tailrace approximately 90 degrees to the north.

In addition to the changes to the powerhouse and tailrace, the licensee has shifted the transmission line route south and uphill of the original licensed route along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System right-of-way. In addition the voltage would change from 34.5 kV to 25 kV.

In September 2013, the association filed an application to amend its license issued the prior month for the project to modify the penstock design, modify the temporary construction access roads, and construct a penstock/access tunnel. This amendment was approved by the commission in November 2013.

As licensed, the project will be constructed on Allison Creek at river mile 1.89, about 10,000 feet upstream of the mouth of Allison Creek and about 2,350 feet downstream of the outlet of Allison Lake near the city of Valdez.

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.