Juneau Hydropower was first envisioned in 2009 by two friends and business associates who saw a Juneau energy problem. Juneau needed energy security and needed hydropower energy that was more secure from the Snettisham avalanche hazard zone. They also saw large electrical customers wanting low cost and secure hydropower that were currently “stuck on diesel”. As they predicted years ago, Juneau has seen growth in the need for industrial energy, continued growth in electrical transportation, and a growing demand to convert and transform fossil fuel based heating to sustainable, reliable and locally owned hydropower facilities that are responsive to the needs and community values of Juneau.

Knowing that Juneau’s need for electricity would only grow, Keith Comstock and Duff Mitchell began exploring the opportunity for a hydroelectric facility at Sweetheart Lake. Now, after 6 years of effort millions of dollars, 47 reports, and 5 reviews by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Sweetheart Lake Project is on the cusp of being built atop a large outpouring of community support. All of the project development has been funded by local Juneau investors who have repeatedly rejected available federal and state grants and other forms of corporate welfare (perhaps we were ahead of our time on this aspect as well). Because of our localized development and investment approach, from people who live and work here in Juneau, Sweetheart Lake will serve to enhance and build upon our community values to maintain Juneau as a great place to do business, find a good job, and raise a family. It also builds on Juneau’s vision for energy sustainability well into the future.

Duff Mitchell, Managing Director

Having grown up in downtown Juneau and raising children, and now grandchildren in Juneau, Duff understands Juneau’s community values. He has over 25 years of experience analyzing, developing and building businesses from varied industries in Southeast Alaska, including seafood, timber, telecommunications, mining services and hydropower. Duff has worked on innovations in many business sectors having developed, patented and trademarked value-added salmon products and spent his work career creating jobs, improving the economic future for Alaskans while striving for the right environmental balance.

Duff is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the U.S. Army National Guard, initially beginning his military career as a private and attending many military schools including the Army Airborne school. He served nearly three decades in command positions as an engineer and infantry commander in operations, logistic and administrative positions. Duff also served a tour overseas during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.

Duff has a BBA and MBA and served for over 20 years as a board member on the City & Borough of Juneau’s (CBJ) Fisheries Development Board and currently serves as a Commissioner on the CBJ’s Juneau Commission on Sustainability. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Alaska Independent Power Producers Association representing the cutting edge renewable energy developers of Alaska. He is married to Catrina and together they have 3 children and four grandchildren, all of whom live in Juneau.