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Susitna Hydroelectric project, opposition efforts move forward

Posted: Monday, January 2, 2012 6:20 pm | Updated: 6:57 pm, Mon Jan 2, 2012.

By ZAZ HOLLANDER For the Frontiersman | 0 comments

SUSITNA VALLEY - Becky Long cut her teeth as an environmental activist on the first version of a Susitna River dam - the one mothballed in the 1980s with the discovery of Cook Inlet gas.

The Alaska Energy Authority recently got the ball rolling on a new version of a massive hydroelectric project for the Susitna Valley. The state agency last week filed a 500-page pre-application document for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the first step in the licensing and design process.

The energy authority wants to build a 700-foot-tall dam and power plant on the Susitna River 34 miles upstream from Devils Canyon, about 50 miles northeast of Talkeetna in the Mat-Su Borough. The dam would create a reservoir two miles wide and 39 miles long. An access road could follow the Susitna or cut 40 miles to the Denali Highway.

Long is back, too, as one...