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Nuyakuk River Hydroelectric Project

 

PROJECT VISION

This proposed run-of-river project will generate year-round and produce up to 12 MWs of power, depending on the season and associated river flow.  Electricity and optical fiber would be provided to the communities of Dillingham, Aleknegik, Koliganek, New Stuyahok, Ekwok and Levelock, also supporting the electric and communications needs of Bristol Bay’s incredible wild salmon industry in these communities.

Project generation potential has been estimated using over 60 years of federally collected site-specific flow data. Based upon this analysis, the seasonal generation capacity matches, or exceeds, the demand for power in these communities. This project will replace up to 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

Hydroelectric projects in Alaska have a successful history of providing electric rate reduction, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, carbon emissions mitigation and longevity. Several hydro facilities in Alaska have been in operation for more than a century and many more are currently displaying the same type of longevity potential. We believe the combination of renewable energy and increased broadband access will provide the basis for economic and social improvement and growth in the region for generations to come.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

 

This Nuyakuk River Project location provides many advantages for low-impact hydroelectric development. Twenty Eight feet of elevation drop occurs rapidly through a series of falls in a 2500’ stretch of river. The location of these falls at an oxbow (bend) would allow for a flow diversion of only 1500’ without the need for a dam. Our intent is to meet generation goals while at the same time having minimal negative impact on the environment. Key project characteristics include:

PROJECT STATUS

NETC initiated a feasibility assessment for this project in late 2017. Since confirming initial feasibility, the Cooperative has held more than 80 stakeholder meetings involving local communities, Native corporations, other local stakeholders, State and Federal law makers. This outreach has been well received, and we have been able to build strong support for this renewable energy and telecommunications project.

During the 2019 session of the Alaska State Legislature, legislation was passed unanimously to authorize NETC to continue feasibility studies within Wood Tikchik State Park, where a portion of the Nuyakuk project is located.  The Alaska Department of Natural Resources and its Division of Parks supported the legislation that was signed into law by Alaska Governor Dunleavy in August 2019. 

NETC received a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in June of 2018. This permit provides NETC priority to the site for the purposes of beginning the federal licensing process including development and implementation of a study plan. In October of 2019 NETC filed the Pre-Application Document with FERC, which serves as our current conceptual vision of the project and sets the stage for the upcoming natural resource and engineering studies that will ultimately determine the feasibility and layout (infrastructural and operational) for the project.


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Integrated Licensing Process  

FERC has licensing authority for this project. Under their default Integrated Licensing Process (ILP) FERC will act as the lead agency for development of a study plan and evaluation of a license application. This responsibility includes gathering input from stakeholders, including individuals, communities, tribal entities, and agencies. More information about FERC’s ILP can be found here:

https://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/gen-info/licensing/ilp.asp

The Study Plan development phase has just started with FERC’s initial Scoping Meeting held on December 11th 2019 in Anchorage. There are several opportunities in the schedule for public participation, the schedule can be found in appendix B of FERC’s Scoping Document SD1. Both the Pre-Application Document and the Scoping Document, along with all public comments filed, can be viewed and downloaded from FERC’s eLibrary site by searching the docket number P-14873 here:

https://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/docket_search.asp

Subscription to updates will allow a subscriber to be notified of any new filings in the docket, via email. Register for the subscription service here:

https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp


Documents, Information and Contact

As additional key documents are developed and filed with FERC, they will be posted here for review.