The US-based Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) has certified the Black Bear Lake hydroelectric project as low impact, making it the first hydro facility to earn LIHI certification in the state of Alaska and the 22nd nationwide.
The Black Bear Lake project is a 4.5MW hydro project at Black Bear Lake on Prince of Wales Island, Tongass National Forest, Alaska. The Project is located at Sections 1 and 12; T73S, R82E, CRM about 14km east of Klawock. The facility is owned and operated by the Alaska Power and Telephone (APT), and licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
The Black Bear Lake Project meets LIHI’s eight environmentally rigorous low impact criteria addressing river flows, water quality, fish passage and protection, watershed health, endangered species protection, cultural resources, recreation use and access, and whether or not the dam itself has been recommended for removal.
The Black Bear Lake successfully completed LIHI’s application process, which includes a public comment period, review by an independent technical consultant, consultations with state and federal natural resource agencies, and evaluation by the LIHI Governing Board, including leaders in the river conservation and renewable energy fields.
The Board’s vote to certify the Black Bear Lake Project was seven for and one abstention.