The City of Atka constructed a hydroelectric project on Chuniisax Creek, approximately 0.75 miles northwest of Atka. The project includes a 13-ft reinforced concrete buttress dam, intake, 1000 ft. HDPE and 50 ft. of steel penstock, and a powerhouse containing an Ossberger cross-flow turbine and generator with a nameplate capacity of 284 kilowatts (kW). The project can utilize an average flow of 18 cubic feet per second (cfs). The Chuniisax Creek Hydroelectric Project generates over 400,000 kWh/yr, and can displace all of the community's electrical needs.
There are times throughout the year when the project has excess capacity beyond the community’s electrical demand. To utilize the energy that would otherwise be lost as spill over the impoundment, the City of Atka is in the process of installing electric boilers at community buildings to provide interruptible loads for heat. It is estimated this will displace an additional 8,300 gallons of diesel fuel per year.
The project was completed December 2012.
Chuniisax Creek Hydroelectric Project powerhouse, Atka.
Creek dam, Atka (photo courtesy of Polarconsult Alaska, Inc.)