On November 30, 2017, a key milestone was completed to allow construction to begin on the Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric facility when Juneau Hydropower Inc. (JHI) was issued a Special Use Permit (SUP) by the United States Forest Service (USFS). The Sweetheart Lake Plant will be constructed on Sweetheart Creek in the Tongass National Forest, approximately 30 miles south of the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) on the 2,058.24 acres of federal land administered by the USFS.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued Juneau Hydropower its FERC license (Project No. 13563-003) and Environmental Impact Statement on September 8, 2016. The issuance of the USFS Special Use Permit was the last governmental milestone required to begin construction on the 19.8 MW Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Facility that will generate 116,000,000 kWh a year adding 25% new generation and increased energy security to Alaska’s Capital City.
Since receiving their FERC license, JHI has completed a successful drilling program that has verified a solid foundation for the site to be built upon and has made preparations to begin full scale construction in 2018. The only remaining mandated license condition to complete, prior to full scale development, is an interconnection agreement with AEL&P. This would allow JHI to connect their power to the existing State of Alaska owned, Avista/AEL&P controlled, Snettisham transmission line to deliver the renewable energy to the city of Juneau.
“The construction of the Sweetheart Lake facility is key to Juneau’s energy future, and will bring immediate economic and environmental benefits to all the citizens of Juneau. In addition to reducing Juneau’s electrical deficit, Sweetheart Lake will provide a renewable electricity source for transportation, District Heating, and meeting the sustainable needs of our growing economy” said Keith Comstock, CEO.
View the permit here.