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Hydroelectric Plant to Expand in Alaska

The $46.4 million expansion will add 37,300 megawatt hours per year.

The Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project.
The Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project.
Alaska Center for Energy and Power

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) โ€” The Alaska Energy Authority will continue with its plans for a $46.4 million expansion at its Bradley Lake hydroelectric plant near Homer following the approval from its board of directors.

The directors unanimously voted in favor of the expansion at their Thursday meeting in Anchorage, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported. With the board's approval, the Alaska Energy Authority can look at developing and financing options for its Battle Creek diversion project on the Kachemak Bay, on the southwest side of the Kenai Peninsula.

The energy office has said the project would add about 37,300 megawatt hours per year to Bradley Lake's current power production, equivalent to about 10 percent of its average annual output.

The project has also received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and is "shovel ready," Executive Director Michael Lamb said.

To pay for the project, the energy authority is weighing five funding options. The least expensive would seek funds from the New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds, while the most expensive option would require financing from the utilities.

With the board's approval, the energy authority is planning to quickly move ahead with an application for a U.S. Treasury Department allocation drawn from the remaining American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that would take care of 70 percent of interest on the project.

"There aren't many of those funds left, but there is enough," Fred Eoff, the director of PFM Financial Advisors LLC of Seattle, informed the board. He is confident that, as a clean renewable energy project, it meets the criteria to get the money, Eoff said.

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