This proposed run-of-river project will generate year-round and produce up to 12 MWs of power, depending on the season and associated river flow. Electricity and optical fiber would be provided to the communities of Dillingham, Aleknagik, Koliganek, New Stuyahok, Ekwok and Levelock, also supporting the electric and communications needs of Bristol Bay’s incredible wild salmon industry in these communities. Project generation potential has been estimated using over 60 years of federally collected site-specific flow data. Based upon this analysis, the seasonal generation capacity matches, or exceeds, the demand for power in these communities. This project will replace up to 1.5 million gallons of diesel fuel annually. Hydroelectric projects in Alaska have a successful history of providing electric rate reduction, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, carbon emissions mitigation and longevity. Several hydro facilities in Alaska have been in operation for more than a century and many more are currently displaying the same type of longevity potential. We believe the combination of renewable energy and increased broadband access will provide the basis for economic and social improvement and growth in the region for generations to come.
This Nuyakuk River Project location provides many advantages for low-impact hydroelectric development. Twenty Six feet of elevation drop occurs rapidly through a series of falls in a 2500’ stretch of river. The location of these falls at an oxbow (bend) would allow for a flow diversion of only 1500’ without the need for a dam. Our intent is to meet generation goals while at the same time having minimal negative impact on the environment. Key project characteristics include:
- Natural topographic and hydrologic features that benefit diversion and reintroduction of flow
- Vast upstream lake system that captures 1544 square miles of watershed and acts as a natural sediment trap
- Low visual impact site with minimal project footprint
- No disturbance of the natural course of the river
- Short bypass reach (portion of the river that is affected) through falls area that possesses limited to no rearing or spawning habitat
- Potentially positive impact for upstream fish passage through the bypass reach via reduction of high water velocities that currently create intermittent velocity barriers during key migration periods
2021 Year-End Summary and 2022 Anticipated Milestones
Over the course of 2021, NETC has made substantive progress in collaboratively developing the appropriate process for assessing the feasibility of the proposed Nuyakuk River Hydroelectric Project. While the current pandemic created a series of unforeseen obstacles, we are happy to report that the federally approved abeyance period has afforded us the opportunity to have the necessary and requested technical dialogue with local and regional experts prior to moving forward with the licensing process. This collaboration has resulted in what has collectively been characterized as a much more comprehensive and technically robust natural resource study program proposal. Given this progress and based on feedback from technical experts and the local and regional public, NETC is happy to report that they will be re-entering the formal FERC licensing process in early 2022.