Tazimina Hydroelectric Project
Tazimina Hydro Electric Project
Cost: $12 million:
· $5.0 million State of Alaska grant
· $3.5 million federal grant
· $3.5 million loan from the Rural Electric Administration
Description: The Tazimina Hydroelectric Project is a run-of-river project (no dam) on the Tazimina River 12 miles northeast of the village of Iliamna. It is 9 miles upstream from the confluence of the Tazimina and Newhalen Rivers. The project takes water from above the 100-foot Tazimina Falls and re-routes it into a penstock and powerhouse just below the falls. The project is owned, built, and operated by INNEC, which supplies electricity to the villages of Iliamna, Newhalen, and Nondalton. The hydroproject provides almost all the electricity for the three villages. In 1998, Tazimina Hydro supplied less than 50% of the power required for all three villages, and by 2012, 98.5%. The hydro plant saves approximately 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
The project has installed capacity of 824 kW but was designed and permitted for 1.4 MW. Thus, it is expandable without additional permitting. At times the project has excess capacity and supplies interruptible electricity for heat for the Newhalen School. There is excess water that flows over the falls that could be captured by the project, and INNEC has approximately $2.5 million in savings for expanding the project to provide electric heat to villages. It is currently undertaking a feasibility study for that purpose. Depending on the result of the feasibility project, the cooperative hopes to expand the project by reconfiguring the intake to capture more water and possibly to add a second turbine in the powerhouse (which is built for that configuration).