Murkowski Secures Passage of Alaska Hydropower Legislation

June 29, 2018

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, last night secured the Senate’s unanimous passage of four bills that will help Alaska harness more of its vast hydropower resources. 

“Alaska has unparalleled potential in hydropower, and that presents a great opportunity for communities across our state,” Murkowski said. “The passage of these bills will help cut costs, reduce delays, and expand existing projects to ensure that more Alaskans can benefit from this clean, reliable, and affordable resource.”    

The Senate passed the following bills by unanimous consent:

S. 215 (Sen. Murkowski, Sen. Sullivan), the Mahoney Lake Hydroelectric Project Licensing Act: Authorizes a stay of the hydroelectric license for the Mahoney Lake hydroelectric project near Ketchikan, which will allow the Southeast Alaska Power Association (SEAPA) to consider this project for future needs.

S. 724 (Sen. Murkowski), a bill to amend the Federal Power Act to modernize authorizations for necessary hydropower approvals: Provides FERC with authority to extend the construction start time for a licensed hydropower project for up to 10 years without an act of Congress.

H.R. 219 (Rep. Don Young), the Swan Lake Hydroelectric Project Boundary Correction Act: Corrects a survey error to convey up to 25.8 additional acres of land to SEAPA to expand the Swan Lake dam reservoir and generate additional electricity to power Ketchikan and southeast Alaska.

H.R. 220 (Rep. Don Young), the Terror Lake Hydroelectric Project Expansion Act: Allows the expansion of an existing hydropower project to ensure that Kodiak and the largest Coast Guard base in the United States continue to receive reliable, emissions-free energy. 

S. 215 and S. 724 will be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration in that chamber. H.R. 219 and H.R. 220 will head to the President’s desk for signature. Each measure was also included in an amendment that Murkowski and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) added to an appropriations package that cleared the Senate earlier this month.

Hydropower currently provides close to 25 percent of Alaska’s electricity, but more than 200 additional sites in the state have promise for future development.

Murkowski is the Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.