FERC Seeks Update on Scenery Creek Hydroelectric Project

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has sent a notice to the city of Angoon about an overdue progress report – for the Scenery Creek hydroelectric project.

Angoon holds the preliminary FERC permit to study the potential for hydro power at Scenery Creek, one of three waterways under consideration for hydro development in Thomas Bay on the mainland north of Petersburg. Angoon is also the permit holder for Ruth Lake and received a notice of an overdue progress report on that project earlier this month.

The federal permits require filing a report every six months and Angoon’s latest report on Scenery Creek was due Oct. 1. Failure to file the report can mean the cancellation of a permit. Angoon has 30 days to submit a filing to try and keep the permit.

Angoon’s city council voted earlier this year to freeze all action on the Thomas Bay projects. Angoon permit filing proposes the construction of a 120-foot-high dam on Scenery Lake, which is nearly 1,000 feet above sea level. Water siphoned from the lake would be dropped down to sea level and would power four turbines capable of generating up to 40 megawatts.

Scenery Creek is the one project of the three in Thomas Bay that has fish that could be impacted by hydro development.  Scenery Creek is also within a roadless area of the Tongass National Forest.

Petersburg opposed Angoon’s application for the Scenery Creek permit because of Angoon’s decision to work with the private company Cascade Creek on the project. That company held the preliminary permit for Scenery Lake from 2006 to 2009.

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