The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) is working to expand the state’s largest hydroelectric facility. The West Fork Upper Battle Creek Diversion Project will be completed this summer at an approximate cost of $47 million. By diverting glacial water from the West Fork Upper Battle Creek into Bradley Lake the power capacity will increase by about 10 percent.
The diversion project began in May 2018. It includes construction of three miles of road, a concrete diversion dam, and five-foot pipe under the road to convey the water to Bradley Lake. The project is expected to produce 37,000 megawatt hours of energy annually. This amount of energy would light 5,000 homes at an anticipated cost less than natural gas generation.
Managed by AEA and paid for by Railbelt utility customers, this project is the largest improvement to the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Facility since beginning commercial operation in September 1991.
In September 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission amended the Bradley license to add this project.