News from the Alaska State Legislature, the Office of Senator Stedman
For Immediate Release: September 15, 2020
Swan Lake Hydroelectric Expansion Utilized after Record Rainfall
KETCHIKAN – After a summer of record-setting rainfall, the Swan Lake Hydroelectric Facility reached full capacity following expansion totaling an additional 15 feet of storage for the first time. Due to drought conditions since construction was finished three years ago, this summer marked the first time water levels made it all the way up on the flashboards, forcing a reservoir spill on July 24.
“This expansion allows for increased storage of one of our area’s most important renewable energy sources: hydropower,” said Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka. “This expansion ensures that we can store more hydropower and use it during the fluctuating rainy seasons. This is just a part of a larger ongoing expansion, and we are currently reviewing other hydropotentials to increase storage generation in the future.”
The Swan Lake Reservoir Expansion Project achieved its objective of increasing regional hydro storage capacity, which was identified as a priority in the Southeast Alaska Integrated Resource Plan. The expansion was a 22MW hydroelectric facility on Revillagigedo Island that expanded the capacity from 86,000 acre-feet to 111,800 acre-feet, allowing for about 25-30% more storage.
Annually the expansion will provide up to 12,000 MWh of additional energy, which equates to 800,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, according to the Southeast Alaska Power Agency (SEAPA). In the first year of the project an additional $1.1 million in diesel generation to Ketchikan was offset. In addition to the cost savings of displacing 800,000 gallons of diesel is the elimination of 17,904,000 pounds of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.
“This is a great example of maximizing the value of an existing hydroelectric asset without the need for additional transmission or powerhouse infrastructure,” said SEAPA CEO Trey Acteson.
The project was completed on an accelerated schedule and came in under the engineer’s estimate of $13.3. million. It was partially funded through a $3.9 million direct appropriation from the State of Alaska and SEAPA sold bonds for the remaining balance. Alaska’s congressional delegation supported the project, as well, which subsequently led to the passage of related Swan Lake Boundary Adjustment Act. Numerous state agencies and the U.S. Forest Service also worked collaboratively to bring the project to fruition.
“SEAPA is grateful for Senator Stedman’s support in securing partial state funding for this important project benefitting the communities of Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg,” Acteson said.
The intertie between Swan Lake Hydro Facility to the Tyee Lake Hydroelectric Facility is another major benefit of this project. It allows for greater utilization of the energy generation capability of the Tyee Facility and better reliability throughout the system, as well. The Swan Lake facility is used to power Ketchikan and the Tyee Lake system sends power to Wrangell and Petersburg. Since completing the intertie, the 15-feet expansion is the first major upgrade to benefit this power station.
“Hydroelectricity and this expansion to the system increases the stability and reliability of the electrical system throughout the district,” said Stedman. “This expansion is a perfect example of how we are working to sustainably develop our great state and bring cheaper, more reliable electricity to our residents.”
SEAPA is a regional generation and transmission entity providing wholesale power to member utilities. SEAPA is authorized under Alaska state law to design, develop, acquire, purchase, own, operate, manage, maintain and improve power projects or generation and transmission facilities.
Stedman and Acteson would like to extend thanks to these other participants who were instrumental in the successful completion of this project:
- Eric Wolfe, SEAPA Director of Special Projects
- Ed Schofield, SEAPA Power Systems Specialist
- McMillen LLC
- Randy Presleigh, Structural Engineer of McMillen LLC
- Finlay Anderson, Sr. Licensing & Regulatory Specialist of McMillen LLC
- Pacific Pile & Marine, General Contractor
- Kuenz America, Inc., fixed wheel gate & flashboard
- Hot Wire, LLC, electrical contractor (sub)
- Bering Industrial Contractors, Inc. (sub)
- Evergreen Concrete Cutting, Inc. (sub)
- Local Ketchikan Shipyard
- Steve Scheldt of PML Environmental
- James Volk of Segrity, LLC (controls configuration/programming)
- Pool Engineering, site support
- Steve Seley of Seaborne Marine, marine transport
- Kent Halvorsen of Boyer Tug, marine transport
- Steve Negri, Tetra Tech, Sr. Wildlife Biologist
- Tyler Rental
For more information contact: Mollie Barnes, email@example.com, 907-465-1729.
News & Videos more >
JUNEAU – Incorporating feedback from Alaskans across the state, Senator Mike Shower, R-Mat-Su Valley, today in the Senate State Affairs Committee unveiled a new version of Senate Bill...
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed legislation to ensure Alaska veterans are fully aware of free Veteran Service Organization (VSO) services they are entitled to....
JUNEAU – In the wake of the 2019 loss of accreditation for the University of Alaska Anchorage’s School of Education, the Alaska Senate today unanimously passed a bill requiring the...
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed legislation expanding access to college coursework for public high school students.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a contract to revitalize its port facility in Ketchikan, Alaska so that the NOAA Ship Fairweather can finally be...
The Alaska Senate passed Senate Bill 19 unanimously today, extending the Special Education Service Agency’s (SESA) sunset date to June 30, 2029.
JUNEAU – A joint resolution that urges for the completion of a federal land grant endowment to the University of Alaska, SJR 8, was passed today by the Alaska Senate....
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed a bill to merge oversight of emergency medical services system (EMS) under a single agency.
The Alaska Legislature today unanimously passed Senate Bill 24, allowing corporate shareholder meetings and nonprofit member meetings to be held electronically....
JUNEAU – The Alaska Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 24, allowing corporate shareholder meetings and nonprofit member meetings to be held electronically....
Find your Senator full map
- Chugiak/Peters Creek
- Eagle River
- Jewel Lake, Kincaid, Turnagain, Lake Hood, Sand Lake, Spenard, Dimond, Campbell Lake
- Midtown, Dimond, Huffman, Klatt, Southport, Bayshore, Oceanview
- Huffman, O'Malley, Abbott, Loop, Independence Park, East Dowling
- Northeast Anchorage, Anchorage Hillside, Indian, Bird, Girdwood and Portage
- Downtown, Airport Heights, Fairview, Government Hill, Mountain View, Russian Jack, South Addition
- Spenard, Midtown, UMed
- Muldoon, JBER, College Gate, Nunaka Valley, Wonder Park
- Palmer, Butte, Eklutna, Fairview, Lazy Mountain Knik, Gateway
- Wasilla, Meadow Lakes, Knik Big Lake, Point MacKenzie, Goose Bay, North Fairview
- Mat-Su, Delta Junction, Valdez, Copper River Valley, Talkeetna, Valdez
- North Pole, Farmers Loop
- UAF & University West, Chena Ridge, Cantwell, Nenana, Tanana, Kenny Lake, Tok, Copper Center & Tanana
- Adak, Bethel, Cold Bay, King Cove, Sand Point & Unalaska
- Barrow, Nome, Kotzebue, Hooper Bay, Northeast + Northwest Alaska