Throwing the switch at Bradley Lake.This month marks the commercial startup of the Bradley Lake Bradley Lake is located in Grand Teton National Park, in the U. S. state of Wyoming. The natural lake is located near the terminus of Garnet Canyon. A number of hiking trails can be found near the lake including a 4 mile (6. hydroelectric project, which carries the power of Kachemak Bay's pristine glaciers This is a list of glaciers.
Due to somewhat sparse information, some glaciers, especially those in the tropics, may no longer exist as listed. This is especially true for glaciers in Africa and New Guinea. and abundant waters to 73 percent of the state's population. A 90-megawatt generating facility capable of producing 376 million kilowatt-hours annually, Bradley Lake is Alaska's largest hydroelectric project. At a cost of $312.5 million, it's also the biggest capital construction project ever undertaken by the state.
Capable of meeting 10 percent of the Railbelt's long-term energy requirements, the Bradley Lake project will "help us stabilize our power costs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels fossil fuel: see energy, sources of; fuel.
Any of a class of materials of biologic origin occurring within the Earth's crust that can be used as a source of energy. Fossil fuels include coal, petroleum, and natural gas. ," says Dave Eberle, project manage for the hydroelectric facility and an employee of the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA AEA Atomic Energy Authority
AEA n abbr (BRIT) (= Atomic Energy Authority) → consejo de energía nuclear;
(BRIT) (SCOL) (= Advanced Extension Award) → ), the state agency responsible for Alaska's hydropower hy·dro·pow·er
Hydroelectric power. projects.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Eberle, statistics show that 95 percent of the electricity generated in the Railbelt area -- from the Kenai Peninsula Kenai Peninsula (kē`nī), S Alaska, jutting c.150 mi (240 km) into the Gulf of Alaska, between Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet. The Kenai Mts., c.7,000 ft (2,130 m) high, occupy most of the peninsula. to Fairbanks -- depends on fossil fuels. As fuel prices rise and fall, so do electrical rates -- creating a need for stable energy sources such as hydrogenerated electricity.
The fifth and largest of AEA's hydro projects, Bradley Lake's completion also marked several construction milestones: a $43 million savings over the original construction estimate, world records for tunnel boring and North America's first successful baldeagle-nest relocation project. Yet, to achieve these results, AEA and its contractors faced many challenges: operating in a delicate, rich natural environment; resolution of socioeconomic issues; designing a structure that could withstand earthquakes and cross fault zones; and coping with The Coping With series of books is a series of books aimed at 11-16 year olds, written by Peter Corey and published by Scholastic Hippo. The first book, Coping with Parents, was released in 1989, and the series continued until the last book, Coping with Cash funding changes.
The challenges began nearly 30 years ago, when Bradley Lake was first recognized as a prime hydroelectric site. Sitting in a narrow glacial valley glacial valley
A steep-sided, U-shaped valley formed by the erosional forces of a moving glacier. , 27 miles northeast from Homer at the tip of Kachemak Bay, the lake receives water from glaciers at the southern end of the Harding Icefield The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. It is named for United States President Warren G. Harding. . In 1962 the site was authorized as a federal hydro project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
When the Crops failed to secure federal funding for construction, the Alaska Legislature The Alaska Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is a bicameral institution, consisting of the lower Alaska House of Representatives, with 40 members, and the upper house Alaska Senate, with 20 members. assumed development of the project in 1982, giving responsibility to the Alaska Power Authority (now AEA).
The challenges had only begun. Before receiving a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the United States federal agency with jurisdiction over electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing, and oil pipeline rates. to construct and operate the Bradley Lake hydroelectric facility, AEA had to answer many environmental questions. The Kachemak Bay area lies surrounded by state and federal parks and protected habitat regions. Not only would the proposed dam drown out Verb 1. drown out - make imperceptible; "The noise from the ice machine drowned out the music"
make noise, noise, resound - emit a noise the habitat of moose, goats and bears in the lake valley, but changes in the Bradley River flow could affect fish and waterfowl waterfowl, common term for members of the order Anseriformes, wild, aquatic, typically freshwater birds including ducks, geese, and screamers. In Great Britain the term is also used to designate species kept for ornamental purposes on private lakes or ponds, while in areas. Also discharge from the dam into Kachemak Bay had the potential to increase winter ice conditions.
With input from Homer residents, AEA worked through answers to the environmantal questions and by December 1985 received the FERC FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FERC FEMA Emergency Response Capability license for Bradley Lake. As AEA contracted with Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., of Boston, Mass., to design and engineer the project, Homer residents began asking other questions.
They sought to identify socioeconomic changes that could come with a potential construction boom. Residents wanted to know about the rules for local hire, the safety of workers on the job and the impact of job-seekers flocking to town.
AEA also faced engineering challenges. The proposed mountain valley dam, at 125 feet high and 600 feet long, had to be strong enough to withstand severe earthquakes. The 3.5-mile underground tunnel from the dam to the powerhouse at tidewater tidewater, in U.S. history, that part of the Atlantic coastal plain between the shoreline and the farthest upstream points in rivers reached by oceanic tides. In many cases the fall line is given as the western boundary. had to cross two fault zones.
Financing issues, too, threw up barries. An estimated $350 million was needed to complete the project. Initially, the state agreed to pay 50 percent, or $175 million, and a power sales agreement with Raibelt utility companies would finance the remaining 50 percent. Before signing a final agreement, however, the utilities wanted state assurance for funding an intertie system to connect the Bradley Lake project with their local electrical systems.
To answer local questions, AEA backed a Bradley Lake Steering Committee steer·ing committee
A committee that sets agendas and schedules of business, as for a legislative body or other assemblage.
Noun composed of Homer city council members and local residents. According to Larry Smith
To answer design and funding questions, AEA worked through ongoing rounds of meetings, studies and signed agreements, while at the same time trying to move ahead with the project's construction timetable.
Funded by the state's $175 million, AEA obtained designs for a threephase construction plan that included four major contracts. Phase one covered the first major contract, site prereration, and would last from May 1986 to May 1987.
Phase two covered three more major contracts: general civil construction, powerhouse construction and transmission line completion, as well as procurement contracts for the project's turbine-generator units and remote-control equipment. Approximately 2.5 years would be needed to complete this phase.
The third and final phase would include site rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy. and installation of electrical-stability support equipment. It would start when the project came on-line in January 1990.
Phase One. Right on schedule, in June 1986, AEA awarded the first phase of the Bradley Lake contract to Alaska International Constructors-Martin Joint Venture. Bidding $22.9 million against a phase-one estimate of $33.3 million, Alaska International started a low-bidding trend that ran consistently for many other contracts awarded during the project's life span.
With a new name, Enserch Alaska Construction, the company started work in July 1986, facing formidable tasks. Because there were no roads to the site, a barge facility and airsstrip had to be built immediately to bring out materials and personnel. A road network -- reaching 10 miles up to the dam site and four miles along the bay's contour contour or contour line, line on a topographic map connecting points of equal elevation above or below mean sea level. It is thus a kind of isopleth, or line of equal quantity. to the powerhouse -- had to be developed. Finally, a diversion tunnel had to be excacated so that the Bradley River could be rerouted while workers built the dam.
To satisfy local residents, Enserch agreed with the state's request to use local hire whenever possible for this first phase, which would require 150 to 200 workers. Other phase-one contract provisions also brought economic benefit to Alaskans: 10 percent of each amount had to go to minority-owned subcontractors and 3.2 percent to women-owned businesses.
As equipment was gathered on the construction site, environmental studies were started, bringing together the coordinated efforts of many different local, state and federal groups. One experiment focused on removing two active bald eagle bald eagle
Species of sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) that occurs inland along rivers and large lakes. Strikingly handsome, it is the only eagle native solely to North America, and it has been the U.S. national bird since 1782. The adult, about 40 in. nests built close to the construction areas.
An eight-year salmon study was begun to monitor salmon populations in the lower Bradley River to determine how flow from the project would affect the five local salmon species. To answer local concerns about increased icing in Kachemak Bay, AEA launched ice studies.
Other parts of the detailed environmental program focused on wildlife, waterfowl and human use of the area. Once the hydroelectric project was completed, everyone wanted assurance that the region's natural and human environment would be maintained or improved. AEA placed an environmental field officer, Dave Trudgen trudg·en also trudg·eon
A swimming stroke in which a double overarm movement is combined with a scissors kick.
[After John Trudgen (1852-1902), British swimmer.] , on the job site throughout construction to enforce these programs.
"Our of our greatest challenges was to ensure that the Bradley Lake project was permitted properly," says Trudgen. "It was quite a challenge because we needed more than 150 permits from multiple agencies to cover the whole job."
At the end of December 1986, Enserch completed 70 percent of the site-preparation work, finishing up by July 1987. Still without a finalized See finalization. power sales agreement, AEA shut the project down, leaving Bradley lake a quiet ghost town ghost town, term for any once flourishing American community that has been abandoned, generally for economic reasons. While most of the towns have little or no population, they often contain old buildings, which may serve as tourist attractions. through the 1987 construction season.
By December 1987, six Railbelt utilities had signed a final agreement to buy Bradley Lake electricity. The commitments were from chugach Electric Association, 30.4 percent; the municipality MUNICIPALITY. The body of officers, taken collectively, belonging to a city, who are appointed to manage its affairs and defend its interests. of Anchorage, 25.9 percent; a consortium of Homer Electric Association and Matanuska Electric Association, 25.8 percent; Golden Valley Electric Association, 16.9 percent; and the city of Seward, 1 percent.
One last regulatory hurdle remained: to remove the power sales agreement from the purview The part of a statute or a law that delineates its purpose and scope.
Purview refers to the enacting part of a statute. It generally begins with the words be it enacted and continues as far as the repealing clause. of the Alaska Public Utilities Commission, whose review process could further slow project construction. The Alaska Legislature exempted Bradley Lake from APUC APUC Average Procurement Unit Cost
APUC Afghan Persons Under Control (US DoD)
APUC Anno Post Urbem Conditam (Year After the Founation of Rome, epigraphy) review in early 1988, which paved the way for AEA to take out long-term bond financing to complete the project.
Phase Two. In July 1988, AEA awarded the general civil construction contract to a joint venture of Enserch Alaska Construction, a subsidiary of a Dallas, Tex., firm; Losinger USA of Santa Anna, Calif.; and Ebasco Services of New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , N.Y. Under their low bid of $9.15 million, the Ensearch partners agreed to build the 125-foot high dam and dig the 3.5-mile power tunnel. Because of the one-year delay, AEA moved the startup of the hydroelectric facility to September 1991.
Quiet for more than a year, the mountains around Bradley Lake again hummed with activity when Enserch began construction in July 1988. Contract stipulations required that 90 percent of the Bradley Lake jobs go to qualified Alaska residents, with at least 50 percent of the workers from 22 different trades coming from the depressed Alaska Gulf Coast region. During phase two, only union workers were employed at the job site.
Other phase-two contract provisions were targeted for economic benefits: in addition to 10 percent minority-owned subcontractors and 3.2 percent women-owned contractors, AEA adopted federal equal employment opportunity hiring standards. As a result, 15.1 percent of the jobs went to qualified minorities and 6.9 percent to qualified women workers. Also, an Alaska Products Preference statute gave bonuses to contractors for using state-produced materials.
Through the 1988 construction season, Ensearch focused on excavating the powerhouse, drilling the power tunnel and tunnels that lead from the power tunnel to the powerhouse, and excavating the dam site. By year's end, 34 percent of the total project stood completed.
With the start of 1989, AEA awarded the second major phase-two contract, powerhouse construction, to H.C. Price Construction Co. of Dallas, Tex., for $31.7 million. The powerhouse would contain two turbine-generators capable of providing in excess of 45 megawatts each, with provisions for adding a third turbine-generator.
The company projected work would begin in April 1989, with the powerhouse struture largely completed and ready for turbine installation by early 1990. By early 1991, turbines would be ready for testing, with power on-line by September 1991.
Throughout 1989, Enserch kept drilling the power tunnel. The tunnel had three major segments: a 16,000-foot-long lower power tunnel going from the powerhouse up into the mountain, connected to a 750-foot vertical shaft that joined a 700-foot-long upper power tunnel bored into the Bradley Lake basin.
For the long, demanding lower tunnel, Enserch used a sophisticated tunnel-boring machine. Weighing 150 tons and stretching 400 feet, the $3.5 million "Mole" could work three times faster than conventional blasting and drilling techniques to excavate the tunnel's 15-foot diameter hole.
The tunnel-boring machine proved so successful that it broke two world records at the Bradley Lake site, boring 275 feet in a 24-hour period and 116 feet in an 8-hour shift. Beginning in March 1989, the tunnel excavation was finished in September 1989, 10 weeks ahead of schedule. Boring of the other two tunnel sections also was completed early.
"This could have been one of the worst projects we'd ever worked on, but we had some good things going for us," says Eddie Meeghan, Enserch's tunnel superintendent, who has 31 years of experience on worldwide tunnel projects. "We had some real experienced people, and, fortunately, we did not hit any bad ground with the boring machine boring machine
Machine tool for producing smooth and accurate holes in a workpiece by enlarging existing holes with a cutting tool, which may bear a single tip of steel, cemented carbide, or diamond or may be a small grinding wheel. ."
Outside, on the upper dam site, Enserch also worked fast during 1989. In early April, work began on the concrete plinth, or toe, of the dam. Rock fill lay in place by August, and by late September, a 12-inch concrete facing covered the dam, seven weeks ahead of schedule. Spillway spillway,
n a channel or passageway through which food escapes from the occlusal surfaces of the teeth during mastication. The occlusal, developmental, and supplemental grooves, as well as the incisal, occlusal, labial, buccal, and lingual embrasures, excavation also was completed.
In other respects, 1989 became the peak year for the project. Manpower reached a high of 385 contractor personnel in June. The final major contract, for the 20-mile transmission line consisting of two parallel 115-kilovolt lines and support equipment, went to Newbery Alaska, the Anchorage subsidiary of a Buffalo, N.Y., company, for $17.2 million. On schedule with powerhouse construction, H.C. Price employee had the structure completely enclosed en·close also in·close
tr.v. en·closed, en·clos·ing, en·clos·es
1. To surround on all sides; close in.
2. To fence in so as to prevent common use: enclosed the pasture. before winter started.
Financially, 1989 brought good results for AEA. Low-bidding had already reduced the construction costs. The first issuance of Bradley longterm revenue bonds in September 1989, for $105 million, netted an average interest rate of 7 percent, far below the estimated 10 percent.
The purchasing utilities also benefited from the financial savings, as wholesale power costs dropped from 6 cents per kilowatt hour Kil´o`watt` hour
1. (Elec.) A unit of work or energy equal to that done by one kilowatt acting for one hour; - approximately equal to 1.34 horse-power hour.
Noun 1. to 4 cents per kilowatt hour. In the long term, the state would receive its savings as a rebate for its $175 million equity in the project.
Positive environment results also appeared by the end of 1989. The 1986 attempt to move two young bald eagles from their natural nest to an artificial area resulted in the first successful direct relocation of bald eagles in North America North America, third largest continent (1990 est. pop. 365,000,000), c.9,400,000 sq mi (24,346,000 sq km), the northern of the two continents of the Western Hemisphere. . Close on-site monitoring by AEA with oversight by federal and state officials had greatly reduced the project's potential environmental impact during construction.
"The project was developed in an ideal environmental manner," says Don McKay Don McKay (born 1942) is an award-winning Canadian poet, editor, and educator.
Born in Owen Sound, Ontario, McKay was educated at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Wales, where he earned his PhD in 1971. , an Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist who supervised the project's permitting program. "It contained environmental specifics right from the beginning and the power to implement these specifics. It's rare to see this level of effort in a construction project."
The 1990 construction year saw the completion of most of the details for the hydroelectric facility. By the end of October, 86 percent of the job was finished. Initial startup testing of the turbine-generators done in May 1991 proved successful, giving a green light for commercial operation in September 1991.
Phase Three. The phase-three contract for site rehabilitation went to Doyle Construction of Kenai in April 1991 for $4 million.
Overall, it appears that challenges presented by the Bradley Lake project were met successfully. While environmental questions such as icing on the bay are still being studied, local residents seem satisfied with the project. Nancy Lord Nancy Lord was the vice-presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party in the U.S. presidential election, 1992, as the running-mate of Andre Marrou.
Lord completed undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Maryland. , a writer, commercial fisherman and Bradley Lake Steering Committee member, says, "AEA did a first-rate job in the way it went about this project."
Socioeconomic questions also received positive answers. It is estimated that $90 million in wages and area businesses received nearly $60 million in goods and services In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility (unless the "good" is a "bad"). It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax. . In addition, 96 percent of the jobs went to Alaska residents, and the accident rate "was about one-tenth of the national average on similar projects," says Dave Eberle.
In terms of engineering challenges, the construction broke world-tunneling records, produced a dam capable of withstanding earthquakes measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale Richter scale (rĭk`tər), measure of the magnitude of seismic waves from an earthquake, devised in 1935 by the American seismologist Charles F. Richter (1900–1985). and built a powerhouse that can withstand 8.3 foot ideal waves.
Financially, the project exceeded expectations. AEA's second revenue bond sale of $60 million in July 1990 again brought a low interest rate, dropping utility costs for utilities to less than 4 cents per kilowatt hour. Although initially power costs from Bradley Lake will be slightly higher than that for fossil fuels, they are projected to be lower within the next decade. In August 1990, AEA's Board of Directors revised the overall construction budget from $355.9 million to $312.5 million, almost $43 million below the original estimate.
"This project shows that Alaska can take short-term oil profits and put them into long-range future energy projects," says Eberle. "Perhaps this is an approach our state should follow more in the future."