Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 6:06 PM on Wednesday, September 14, 2011

HEA should abandon project

After spending 3 years and over $2 million in public money, HEA's planned dam at Grant Creek in the headwaters of the Kenai River remains nothing more than a crude sketch on the drawing board. It's time for HEA to finally recognize what the public has long maintained: namely that the project is unnecessary, uneconomic, environmentally infeasible and completely unwanted. Even employees at the Alaska Energy Authority have cited serious reservations about the cost and overall viability of the project.

HEA General Manager Brad Janorschke, HEA Board President Debbie Debnam and the other HEA directors could salvage this financial and public policy debacle by rescinding their recent request to AEA for $4 million in construction funds that decision would fulfill HEA's fiduciary responsibility to its members, responsibly recognize widespread public sentiment against any further industrialization of the Kenai River and would allow AEA to allocate more money to any of the other 43 renewable energy projects it ranked as more deserving of public funding than HEA's project.

HEA should abandon the Grant Creek hydro project in favor of pursuing the Battle Creek project addition to the existing Bradley Lake hydropower facility a project that completely avoids adverse impacts to the Kenai River and which AEA believes could produce enough renewable electricity to power the city of Homer each year.

Mike Cooney

Moose Pass