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”) has filed for intervenor status with FERC and plans to oppose the project, even at this preliminary phase. FOCL cite possible impacts from the proposed diversion pipelines and access roads, including threats to the scenic area's salmon spawning and its tourist-based economy 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."
The motion continues: "This poorly conceived hydroelectric project will negatively impact tourism and can push the current marginal economy to the tipping point . . . It would be far more appropriate and in the highest public interest to conserve this area as parkland than to allow it to be permanently degraded by a minor hydroelectric project of questionable merit."
Construction was scheduled to begin in late 2012 and come on line in 2014. However, in October 2009, KHL surrendered its permit for the Ptarmigan Lake project 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