Terror Lake Hydro Expansion Reviewed


Jacob Resneck/KMXT

A meeting between Kodiak’s power utility and state and federal agency representatives appeared to go smoothly with few concerns raised over a proposed third turbine at the Terror Lake hydro dam. The Kodiak Electric Association wants to upgrade its hydro plant as part of a plan to add three more wind turbines on Pillar Mountain to reach a goal of generating 95 percent of its power through renewable resources by 2020.

KEA is applying to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to add a third 11.25 megawatt hydro turbine at Terror Lake. That would allow the utility to generate more power at a faster rate. Only then could it expand its wind production on Pillar Mountain to six turbines and wean its dependence on diesel, says KEA’s president and CEO Darron Scott.

— (hydro 1 :19 "Diesel’s not our future … down that pathway.")

Representatives from Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others attended a Tuesday presentation in person and via teleconference. Few questions were raised on the plan. Fish and Game biologist Larry Van Daele asked Scott about impacts on the Kizhuyak (kah-zhoo-yak) River if there are increased flows from the hydro dam.

— (hydro 2 :25 "When you have the increase … explain that in greater detail."

The expansion is projected to cost about $10.6 million and go online in the fall of 2013. If the utility is able to upgrade its wind production on Pillar Mountain it projects a savings of $30 million over the next 25 years.

KEA is applying to federal agency regulators as well as securing a habitat permit from Alaska Department of Fish and Game. KEA says adding three more wind turbines and upgrading its hydro plant would eliminate the need to burn more than a million gallons of diesel fuel a year, reducing Kodiak’s carbon footprint by 12,108 tons of CO2.

KEA’s currently completing an environmental study for the project. Tuesday’s meeting was part of that process. Its application to federal regulators is scheduled to be submitted in February.


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