Alaska has more than 365,000 miles of rivers and 33,000 miles of coastline. This gives a lot of potential for hydro electric power.
Dependent on expensive heating fuel and diesel-fired generation, Alaskan officials have identified more than 200 promising sites for hydropower development and pledged to produce 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable resources by 2025. To get there, Alaska will rely largely on its roaring rivers and strong ocean tides and currents.
Tapping Alaska’s vast hydropower potential is a major element in Alaska’s plan to create jobs and provide much needed electricity to isolated communities throughout a state that is bigger than Texas, California and Montana combined.
“We have more energy potential than just about anywhere in the world,” said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “Our problem is how we harness it when we’re looking at economies of scale.”
Already, hydropower accounts for 24 percent of the state’s electricity consumption, with 50 hydroelectric facilities that produce more than 1.3 million megawatt-hours each year.