Republican News

Republican News

Leads Approval of Bills to Expand Terror Lake Project, Extend License for Mahoney Lake

Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today led the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s approval of two of her bills to expand the use of clean, renewable hydropower to generate affordable power for Alaska communities

“Hydropower is a great option to meet energy needs in Alaska and across the Lower 48,” Murkowski said. “With the committee’s approval of these measures, communities like Kodiak and Ketchikan are one step closer to expanding the use of this clean, renewable, reliable, cost-effective source of energy.”

The committee today approved S. 1583, which Murkowski introduced to authorize the expansion of an existing hydroelectric project at Terror Lake on Kodiak Island. The bill authorizes the construction, operation, and maintenance of a tunnel and associated facilities and activities for the Upper Hidden Basin Diversion within the boundaries of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

Kodiak’s Terror Lake facility has been in operation since the 1980s. In order to avoid burning approximately two million gallons of diesel fuel annually to meet the community’s growing energy needs, the Kodiak Electric Association is seeking to add to the flow of water into Terror Lake.

“Kodiak’s ability to access on-demand hydropower from Terror Lake has allowed it to cut electricity prices and grow the local economy. It has also given Kodiak the flexibility to integrate a small group of wind turbines to further cut its need to burn diesel fuel,” Murkowski said. “The planned expansion of Terror Lake will go further, allowing the community to meet almost 100 percent of its power needs with renewable energy.”

The committee also approved S. 2046, which Murkowski introduced to authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to continue an existing stay of the hydroelectric license for the Mahoney Lake project near Ketchikan.  

Mahoney Lake was first proposed in the 1990s as a 9.6 megawatt lake-tap project. In 2002, FERC granted a stay of the project’s construction license until the Swan-Tyee electrical transmission intertie could be completed. While that transmission line has since been built, the Cape Fox Native Corporation of Ketchikan, the Alaska Power and Telephone Company, and the City of Saxman have requested an additional stay of the license while the Southeast Alaska Power Authority reviews potential power sources to meet the region’s projected power needs over the next decade.