Natural Resource Development
In September, Juneau Hydropower announced an approximately $200 million joint development agreement with J-POWER, a Tokyo-based developer, for the construction of the 19.8 MW Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Facility, which would be located approximately 30 miles south of Juneau on the east shore of Gilbert Bay.

Construction on one of the largest hydroelectric projects scheduled for development in Alaska in the last twenty years is expected to start in 2023, according to Duff Mitchell, managing director for Juneau Hydropower. It’s a long-awaited step forward—Juneau Hydropower has been planning a potential development at Sweetheart Lake since 2009 and finished acquiring all necessary permits in 2016. Mitchell anticipates that construction will span two to three construction seasons, but an exact date when power generation would start has not been set.

In addition to the hydrokinetic facility, construction will include 40 miles of high voltage transmission line to connect it so the state-owned Snettisham electrical transmission line. When operational, the Sweetheart Lake hydroelectric facility is expected to provide power not only to Juneau but also to Kensington Mine, located nearby, reducing the mine’s dependence on diesel.