FERC issues license for 5-MW Grant Lake Hydroelectric Project in Alaska

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the U.S. has issued an original operating license to Kenai Hydro LLC for its proposed 5-MW Grant Lake Hydroelectric Project in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska.

The small hydro project will be located on Grant Lake and Grant Creek near the town of Moose Pass. It will occupy about 1,689 acres of federal land within the Chugach National Forest.

Kenai Hydro filed the application for an original license in April 2016. A final environmental impact statement was issued in May 2019.

The Grant Lake project will consist of the following new facilities: an intake, diversion weir, bypass flow pipe, power tunnel, surge chamber, penstock, powerhouse, tailrace, detention pond, transmission line and switchyard, and access roads. The powerhouse will contain two horizontal Francis turbine-generator units and generate an average of 18,600 MWh of electricity annually. The project will operate in a peaking mode.

FERC determined the project will cost $86.02/MWh in the first year of operation, more than the likely alternative cost of power. However, “it is the applicant who must decide whether to accept this license and any financial risk that entails,” FERC noted.

The license for the Grant Lake project is effective for 40 years from Aug. 1, 2019.

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