Hydroelectric Power

  • Hydro Overview
  • Hydro Process
  • Hydro Links
  • Hydro Projects
  • Hydro Database
  • Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project
  • Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project

Hydroelectric Program Fact Sheet

As Alaska’s largest source of renewable energy, hydropower supplies more than 20 percent of the state’s electrical energy in an average water year. There are nearly 50 operating utility‐scale hydroelectric projects in Alaska. The majority of Alaska’s existing hydro projects are located in the southeast and southcentral regions of Alaska.

Alaska Energy Authority focuses its hydroelectric program activities on providing technical assistance through staff and contractors for hydroelectric feasibility assessment and development. AEA manages public funding for developing conventional hydropower projects, including funding for studies, permitting, final design, and project construction.

AEA is a statewide resource for hydroelectric technical assistance by:

  • Maintaining an existing potential hydroelectric site database for communities to use
  • Collecting active hydroelectric project data
  • Provide a Working Group forum for owners and developers
  • Technically review and provide feedback on engineering reports
  • Assist in identifying project financing opportunities
  • Answer community questions on hydroelectric project development

In addition to facilitating development and construction of small hydro projects throughout Alaska, AEA is an active participant in large hydro infrastructure. AEA owns the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric project, which is the largest hydroelectric project in Alaska.

Hydroelectric plant configurations include conventional dam reservoir projects which regulate flows through the drawing down of reservoir levels, and smaller capacity run‐of‐the‐river projects which rely upon the rate and fall of natural streamflow to produce power. Though time consuming to permit and expensive to construct, hydropower is a mature technology with the capability of locking in power rates for 50 to 100 plus years.