OPPOSITION: Friends of Cooper Landing, a non-governmental NIMBY organization.
BACKGROUND: Nonprofit Homer Electric Association (“HEA”) and its for-profit partner, Wind Energy of Alaska doing business as Kenai Hydro Limited Liability Corp. (“KHL”), secured a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to study generating electricity from Crescent, Grant and Ptarmigan Lakes as well as Falls Creek, all on Chugach National Forest and State of Alaska land.
Opposition group Friends of Cooper Landing (“FOCL”) filed for intervenor status with FERC with plans to oppose the project. FOCL cited possible impacts from the proposed diversion pipelines and access roads, including threats to the scenic area's salmon spawning and its tourist-based economy. Crescent Lake is a popular hiking and biking destination. Opponents argue that the flows of Crescent Creek west toward Cooper Landing would be reduced. Specifically, FOCL's motion with FERC alleges:
• "[FOCL recognizes] the proposed hydroelectric project to be high-impact in nature, directly contrary to the best interests of business, property owners and residents of Cooper Landing."
• The project is "egregiously insensitive to traditional public use, natural values and the local economy."
• Crescent Creek's Dolly Varden and grayling fisheries would be placed at risk should the hydro project pass. Also, the surrounding black bear and moose habitats would be negatively affected by increased human activity.
Construction was scheduled to begin in late 2012 and come on line in 2014. However, in October 2009, KHL surrendered its permit for the Crescent Lake after determining that the project was currently not economically feasible.
SOURCES: Anchorage Daily News: http://www.adn.com/3221/story/675881.html;
Home Electric Associations: http://www.homerelectric.com/SavingEnergy/RenewableEnergy/tabid/118/Default.aspx;
Last updated November 5, 2010