Senators Support Kantishna Micro Hydro Project

Legislation would spur development of project

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich today reintroduced legislation that would facilitate the permitting and construction of a micro hydro project inside the non-wilderness part of Denali National Park. The bill directs the National Park Service to issue a special use permit to speed construction and provides authority to exchange ten acres of Doyon owned land in the Kantishna area with the National Park Service.

“Hydropower provides electricity that is clean and renewable, and we should pursue its use where ever possible," Murkowski said. “It makes sense to develop a small hydro project within the park to reduce the use of fossil fuels.”

"When it comes to renewable energy sources we need to turn talk into action. Reducing diesel use and the use of trucks to supply that diesel is a great way to protect a national treasure,” Begich said. “This is good for park visitors, the resources of the park and Doyon’s bottom line. This just makes sense."

The project, consisting of a small weir on Eureka Creek would provide power to the Kantishna Roadhouse, a backcountry lodge owned by Doyon Limited. Located 100 miles within the park, the lodge is not connected to any utility grid and generates its own power. The micro hydro project, consisting of 50 w power plant, a small impoundment dam and a pipeline would allow Doyon to substantially reduce their diesel consumption.

Eureka Creek is not a fish bearing stream. The National Park Service assisted in the drafting of the legislation and welcomes both the project and additional lands it would gain from Doyon in the land trade.