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Interview: Including "green" hydro in US energy strategy

SITKA, ALASKA The Sitka Electrical Department is currently developing a project that would raise the existing dam at Blue Lake, and add a third turbine near the existing powerhouse at Sawmill Creek. The project could be on line as early as 2015.
Although the project is designed to be funded by rate payers, federal renewable energy legislation has created an opportunity to pay for some of the $50-million dollar project with government dollars. But hydroelectric power – as most of the nation sees it – is not considered renewable.
The Sitka Conservation Society and the Sitka electrical department are working to eliminate that particular stigma for projects like Blue Lake. This summer SCS hired a Willamette intern, Lexi Fish, to develop a legislative strategy for renewable hydro power. Fish, along with Scott Snelson, the watershed staff officer for the Tongass, and electric department engineer Dean Orbison, stopped by KCAW recently to discuss the Blue Lake expansion with Robert Woolsey:
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