Lake Dorothy hydro project moving forward

Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) Developers of a proposed hydroelectric plant near here have agreed to pay $70,000 to the state for about 3,000 nonnative brook trout that could be affected by the project.

It's one less stumbling block for Lake Dorothy Hydroelectric Inc., which is proposing a $34 million power plant about 16 miles southeast of Juneau.

Lake Dorothy developers would pay the state Department of Fish and Game to fund aquatic habitat restoration and sport fishing access around Juneau.

The company proposes tapping Bart Lake and Lake Dorothy using a large pipe to control the flow of water and carry it downstream to the powerhouse.

The Lake Dorothy project would divert water from streams that are home to as many as 3,000 eastern brook trout. The species is not native to Alaska and was introduced in the area in 1931.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is poised to grant a 50-year license for the project once it satisfies any state concerns raised, said Sandy Harbanuk, of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. The plant could begin generating power by 2009.

''The FERC has already made its decision to license,'' Harbanuk said. ''So what they're waiting for is for the state to issue a determination that the project is consistent with state coastal management standards,''

Corry Hildenbrand, president of Lake Dorothy Hydro, said the project would help provide stable energy rates and reduce Juneau's use of diesel fuels.

It could provide power for Juneau and, with the construction of power lines, also help power the Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island and Hoonah on Chichagof Island.

An environmental assessment of the project shows that the annual operational expense of such a facility would be about $1.8 million cheaper over a 30-year period.

The plant would connect to the state-owned Snettisham Hydroelectric facility, which already provides Juneau with about 85 percent of its power, about 40 miles southeast of town.

In addition, the company will pay the non-profit Southeast Alaska Land Trust $10,000 to protect federally managed species.

Lake Dorothy Hydro and Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. are both owned by Alaska Energy Resources.

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