Currently, the HEA Board of Directors has set a goal for the cooperative to use best efforts to meet a renewable portfolio of 18% of its annual energy needs by the end of 2022. As of today, 10% of HEA’s renewable energy comes from the State of Alaska owned (Alaska Energy Authority), Bradley Lake hydroelectric facility.
A new Battle Creek Diversion (BCD) Project is one of the largest new hydro-electric opportunities is an Alaska Energy Authority led, utility supported, project to increase the amount of water in Bradley Lake (i.e. increased energy capacity for the Bradley Lake hydroelectric facility).
The BCD Project will divert runoff on the West Fork Upper Battle Creek and divert flows into Bradley Lake. The project will enable the facility, which currently produces some of the lowest cost power between Homer and Fairbanks, to increase its annual output by about 10% (enough to serve almost 5,500 homes) for the next 80 years. The roughly $48 million project would include a new 2.9-mile road along with a 6-foot-diameter, 9,100 foot Steel Reinforced Poly Ethylene (SRPE) underground pipe to convey the runoff to Bradley Lake. The facilities will be operated May through October and would divert a maximum of 600 cubic feet per second (cfs) out of the West Fork Upper Battle Creek. The additional flow diverted into Bradley Lake would allow an increase in the average annual generation of the project by approximately 36,160 megawatt-hours (MWh). The BCD Project is currently underway and is planned to be commissioned by the summer of 2020.
In 2018, HEA was able to secure Municipal Light & Power’s (ML&P) portion of the BCD Project, raising HEA’s share of the BCD Project’s additional generation output to 41.44%. These efforts move HEA one step further in accomplishing 18% of its annual energy needs into renewables by the end of 2022.
The Battle Creek Project in 2019, completed the road to the diversion site. Power and communication cables were trenched in from the Dam site to the Battle Creek diversion site. The headgate structure and diversion were being worked on through the end of the year. The HDPE Pipe was delivered to the site and staged for installation in the spring/summer of 2020. The HDPE fusing machine was delivered and on-site to start work this spring. Precast concrete anchors/barriers were manufactured and delivered to the site. Other materials have been staged to facilitate the pipe installation in 2020. The project was completed in the summer of 2020.
Just a reminder that the Bradley Lake public dock and road to the dam will be closed until Spring 2021.