Governor Parnell Backs Susitna Dam Project
November 24, 2010, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell today announced his support for the Low Watana site on the Susitna River as the primary hydroelectric opportunity for Alaska's Railbelt. The governor's support follows the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) recommendation for the large hydroelectric project.
"In order to provide low-cost electricity for the Interior and the Railbelt and to meet the state's goal of having half of Alaska's electricity generated by renewable resources by 2025, we must invest in a large-scale hydro project," Governor Parnell said.
Earlier this year, the Alaska Legislature appropriated funds to study the feasibility of major Alaska hydroelectric projects including Susitna, Chakachamna and Glacier Fork.
The AEA report concluded that the Susitna Project would produce two to three times more energy and at a lower per unit cost than the others; that Susitna is less likely to result in adverse environmental effects; that the project has fewer licensing and permitting complexities; that it can start sooner and involves simpler construction; and that it has a lower long-term operational risk factor.
Governor Parnell also announced he will propose legislation that will allow AEA to pursue funding for and ownership of the project.
AEA will hold a series of public workshops on the hydro project in February. A copy of AEA's large hydro study is available at: