Hydroelectric, Renewables

Alaska hydro projects

MWH has been awarded a 2- to 5-year contract for hydropower engineering services by the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) to support the evaluation and development of hydropower projects along the Alaska Railbelt electrical grid.

Among the projects being examined is an updated project concept for the Susitna River in Alaska’s interior between Anchorage and Fairbanks. The project is expected to have an installed capacity of 600 MW and could cot $4.5 billion. The project is expected to be operating by 2022.

Initial project efforts are funded by a $10 million appropriation from the Alaska Legislature, with as much as half being allocated for FY2011 for the evaluation of required tasks for AEA to submit an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for an operating license.

In 2010, AEA focused on two large hydropower projects, including the Watana site on the Susitna River and Chakachamna, located across Cook Inlet from Anchorage. In November 2010, AEA said that the Watana site should be the primary hydroelectric project for the Railbelt, and Chakachamna should be considered as an alternative.

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