• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 48s

Citizens pack Susitna-Watana Hydro open house

By KTVA Alaska 6:55 AM June 5, 2014

The location of the proposed dam project is exactly why some Alaskans are speaking out against the project.

ANCHORAGE –

The Alaska Energy Authority is moving forward with plans it claims will create clean, reliable energy for the next 100 years.

The Susitna-Watana Hydro project calls for the construction of a dam, reservoir and related facilities on a remote part of the Susitna River. It’s location is exactly why some Alaskans are speaking out against the project.

“I think we need to be very careful when we think about damaging a river that provides us with the water and the food and life that we cherish Alaska for,” said Mike Wood, a board member with the Susitna River Coalition.

The coalition fears the construction of the proposed 735-foot dam would devastate wild salmon runs, irreparably damage caribou, bear, moose and bird habitats and threaten public safety.

“In spite of the fact that we do need energy, and I don’t for a second deny that, this dam is not the way,” Wood said. “This will not solve Alaska’s energy needs.”

The energy authority says it’s working to understand the potential project impacts on wildlife resources.

AEA has already begun collaborating with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in studying area caribou herds, as well as understanding the numbers and habits of area wildlife on sea and on land.

“We’re in the process of getting information and hopefully this information will have side benefits for the state as well,” said Wayne Dyok, AEA’s Susitna-Watana Hydro project manager.  “I do know that some of the fisheries information that we’ve collected, Fish and Game is already using for their management of the salmon species this year.”

As for the cost of the project – the Alaska Energy Authority expects it to be about $5.19 billion.

AEA says it does not expect the state to cover the entire cost but plans to use state funds and public financing to cover it. The energy authority will continue studying the environment up through next year and won’t file for its license application until 2016.

At the earliest, according to AEA, construction won’t start until 2018 if the project is granted a license.

AEA says the soonest the Susitna-Watana dam project could be completely up and running would be in 2025.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Friend remembers Brandon Merritt, 19-year-old killed in gas station shooting

    by Eric Ruble on May 29, 20:17

    Brandon Merritt had been in Alaska less than one month when he was shot and killed at a Holiday gas station on Abbott Road last week. He grew up here before moving to Hawai’i for his freshman year at Campbell High School in ‘Ewa Beach, where he met Sam Lewis. “Ever since the day we […]

  • News

    AFD calls Div. of Forestry, JBER for assistance with wildfire near East Anchorage

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 18:01

    The Anchorage Fire Department is responding to a wildfire just less than a mile from an East Anchorage neighborhood. The fire was first reported at 5:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. AFD Fire Chief Denis LeBlanc said the fire was located on military land and was difficult to reach, so the department has reached out […]

  • News

    Dead whale found stuck on cruise ship docking in Seward

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 17:26

    A dead humpback whale was found on the bow of a Holland America cruise ship Sunday morning in Seward. The Seward City News reported the Zaandam arrived at the Alaska Railroad terminal with what was initially believed to be juvenile humpback whale on the bulbous, lower bow. The whale has since been tentatively identified as […]

  • News

    DOF battles two wildfires near McGrath, one covers roughly 100 acres

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 17:05

    The Alaska Division of Forestry is battling two wildfires near McGrath, including one that has grown to nearly 100 acres. The larger fire, known as the Medfra fire, was reported at 10:25 a.m. and “started in an old burn area and spread into an unburned area with fresh fuel.” The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reports […]

  • News

    Firefighter: Grass fire at Glenn Highway ramp may have been started by cigarette

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 15:20

    An Anchorage firefighter at the scene of a small grass fire near the Glenn Highway Sunday told KTVA it may have been started by a cigarette butt thrown out of a passing vehicle. The fire was first reported to the fire department at 2:25 p.m., according to fire dispatchers. The fire was out less than […]

  • News

    Missing girl may be with her mother, who has no legal custody

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 14:53

    The Anchorage Police Department is searching for an 8-year-old girl whose mother has warrants for her arrest and doesn’t have legal custody of the girl. Nayla Demings was last seen at her father’s house on E Fifth Avenue around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday. Her father has full legal custody of Nayla and police said in […]

  • News

    Park Service considers visitor caps, expects record crowds

    by Associated Press on May 29, 14:15

    As the National Park Service kicks off a centennial summer expected to draw record crowds, the agency is seriously considering caps on how many people pass through some of the country’s most iconic landscapes and historical sites each day. Park managers have begun looking at whether, when and how best to manage the impact of […]

  • News

    Czech Republic man dies on Denali after 1,500-foot fall

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 29, 12:02

    A Czech Republic man died Saturday evening while skiing on Denali, according to the National Park Service. Pavel Michut, 45, “fell roughly 1,500 feet from an elevation of 17,000 feet” on the Messner Couloir route, NPS spokeswoman Maureen Gualtieri said in a statement Sunday. “The event was witnessed by multiple parties at the 14,200-foot camp […]