Hydropower is currently Alaska’s largest renewable energy resource, and has been a powerhouse of energy production in our state. Providing 24% of energy production in Alaska,
hydropower is something we do well and do right. Hydropower requires low maintenance costs while supporting a long lifespan of energy, making it a great way to produce sustainable, consistent energy. Unlike coal, oil, or other limited energy supplies, Hydropower uses the natural power produced by moving water to effectively harness energy for our needs. As Alaska expands operations into sustainable energy, hydropower is sure to expand as well, creating efficient energy production for our state as it has since 1908.
Most of the region’s existing and proposed hydroelectric sites are lake-tap developments, on relatively small drainage basins with heavy runoffs. These lakes, typically formed by glaciers which receded after the last ice age, are perched at higher elevations, with tunnels or penstocks leading to powerhouses at lower elevations. Lake-tap projects often do not require a dam, and thus tend to have relatively low environmental impacts.