The HEA Board of Directors 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.
The 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).
On Tuesday, August 25, the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project near Homer to celebrate its completion of the West Fork Upper Battle Creek Diversion project. The project diverts runoff from Battle Creek into Bradley Lake expanding the state’s largest hydroelectric facility.
Construction of the $47 million project began in May 2018. It includes three miles of road, a concrete diversion dam, and a five foot diameter pipeline under the road to carry water from its source to Bradley Lake. By diverting Battle Creek water into the lake, the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Facility will see an increase of about 10 percent in its energy production capacity. Once operational, the project will produce 37,000 megawatts hours of energy annually, which equates to providing power for 5,000 homes.
“For those of us who believe that hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source, this project will increase the use of renewable energy in our state. This use of renewable energy aligns well with our state’s aspirational goal to achieve a higher percentage of renewable energy in our future,” said AEA Board Chair Dana Pruhs.
“Hydroelectric power is Alaska’s largest source of renewable energy, supplying nearly a quarter of the state’s electricity in an average water year,” said AEA Executive Director Curtis W. Thayer. “The diversion of water from Battle Creek to behind the Bradley Lake dam will allow even more energy at lower cost to be produced and delivered to ratepayers, reducing the cost of energy in Alaska.”
Managed by AEA and paid for by Railbelt utility customers, this project is the largest improvement to the state-owned Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Facility since it began commercial operation in September 1991.