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Stetson Creek diversion project continues   

Work continues on a project that will allow Chugach to divert the cold waters of Stetson Creek into the reservoir of its Cooper Lake Hydroelectric Project and release relatively warmer water from the reservoir into the drainage channel of Cooper Creek. The $21 million project was a requirement of the new 50-year license Chugach received from the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission in 2007 to continue operating the hydro project located near Cooper Landing. The goal of the project is to provide 3-5 degree warmer water in the lower reaches of Cooper Creek near its juncture with the Kenai River to restore fish habitat.

In 2013, Chugach’s contractor began installing 2 miles of buried pipeline to move Stetson Creek waters to Cooper Lake. This year will see the construction of the siphon works that will allow the release of water from behind the dam into Cooper Creek. The project is expected to be completed this fall.

Increased production at the power plant – augmented by State grants – will fund the project. Even with the releases, the increased inflow will boost the annual energy output of the project by about 10 percent.