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Senate Leaders Welcome Federal Decision to Accept Revised Susitna-Watana Study Schedule

JUNEAU-Senate Leaders are welcoming the decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue with reasonable cooperation to move the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project forward.  

Last month, FERC officials sent a letter to the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) pushing back deadlines for approval of environmental studies needed to move ahead with the dam.  AEA leaders appealed the decision saying it could put the project another year behind schedule and eventually cost $143 million.   FERC staff responded by approving a revised schedule that will allow for the project to proceed with study work this summer.

“This Revised Study Plan provides a balance between the need for power and environmental resources and will provide sufficient information to file for a FERC license in 2015 and to bring the project online in 2024,” said Senator John Coghill, R-North Pole.  “Alaska, and especially Fairbanks, needs long-term and stable sources of energy.   Susitna-Watana Hydro is a long-term power solution for the state.”

The Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project is expected to provide up to 50-percent of the Railbelt’s annual power demand and serve nearly 80 percent of the state’s population.

To read a copy of the letter Senator Coghill sent to FERC leaders, click here.

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