New water source for Terror Lake due online in coming months

Despite the lack of rain this summer Kodiak’s water-fed electric source—Terror Lake—has held up fine, in large part because it started the summer with plenty of water, according to Kodiak Electric Association President and CEO Darron Scott.

A lack of precipitation should be even less of a problem in the future because of a new water diversion project which will bring approximately 25-percent more water into the lake.


Terror Lake Hydro Project. Photo courtesy KEA website.


It’s called the Upper Hidden Basin Diversion Project and is currently under construction on the east side of the Terror Lake. The project will catch water from two streams and divert it down into the lake by way of a 1.2-mile tunnel.


“Basically what that is, is we’re taking two high altitude streams and connecting those two together, and we’re digging a tunnel through the mountains and letting those two streams divert into Terror Lake itself. And that adds a lot more water, about 25-percent more water, to the Terror Lake system.”


Teror Lake with Upper Hidden Basin Diversion Project. Photo/Graphic courtesy KEA.


Scott says the unusually dry weather could be problematic if it continues into the later part of the year. But with the new diversion project expected online in the coming months, the impacts of a late year draught are expected to be minimal.


“That’s really not too concerning as far as long term because fortunately we have the Upper Hidden Basin Diversion Project which will be adding additional water to it. And that project is going along really well and right now our current schedule shows that it will be online later on this year. And that will help us build the lake level back next year in case we do happen to get a little bit lower than we like this year due to the low rains.”


In addition to that added measure of protection from future low rains, Scott adds that the extra lake water be available to produce more power as local demand increases.


Terror Lake Hydro Project. Photo courtesy KEA website.

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