Grant Lake Hydroelectric

LOCATION:  Grant Lake and Grant Creek, Alaska   |   OWNER:  Homer Electric Association (Kenai Hydro, LLC)
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The client identified four sites on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska as potential hydro facilities and preliminary permit applications were filed with FERC to obtain priority for potential site development. Subsequent analysis of the potential sites based on hydrologic, topographic, environmental, and public interest considerations resulted in the selection of the Grant Lake site for additional evaluation. This site is located at the existing Grant Lake outlet to Grant Creek, in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska and is expected to produce 5.0 MW block loading or run-of-river.

McMillen Jacobs is responsible for developing natural resources study plans, engineering and conceptual design, cost estimating, and FERC licensing for the Grant Lake Project. Scope includes development of all licensing documents, leading all stakeholder consultation and managing the natural resource and engineering teams conducting work in advance of the FERC License Application. Other tasks include strategic support to Kenai Hydro, permit acquisition, public outreach, external stakeholder communications, management of the public record and development and maintenance of a project website (

Natural Resources – McMillen Jacobs provided natural resources and environmental services to complete the study plans for Phase I of the Grant Lake Project. McMillen Jacobs assembled a team of reputable technical consultants that comprehensively met the needs of the overall natural resource program to address the environmental issues associated with the licensing of the hydroelectric project. Specific natural resource areas addressed included: (1) Aquatic Resources, (2) Water Resources, (3) Terrestrial Resources, (4) Cultural Resources, and (5) Recreation and Visual Resources. Our team conducted all field studies for the various seasons, developed the draft and final study report, and coordinated with all stakeholders. We incorporated all GIS data collected into the Master Arc Soft (Arc Map) geo database for each of the resource areas, as well as all data, drawings, software models, and documents. McMillen Jacobs’ specific responsibilities related to the natural resources effort include, overall project management, all water resources tasks (water quality, temperature and hydrology) and an instream flow study on Grant Creek consisting of low, mid and high flow measurements, bed profiling, substrate analysis, water surface elevations, habitat suitability measurements for resident and anadromous fish species and all associated modeling and analysis.

Preliminary Design and Engineering Consulting Services

In continuation of the above contracts, McMillen Jacobs was retained to provide preliminary design and consulting services including the following:

  • Surveys and Mapping
  • Geotechnical Investigations
  • Hydrologic and Hydraulic Analysis
  • Alternative Development and Evaluation
  • Cost Estimates and Schedule
  • Preliminary Design Report
  • Preparation of Exhibits to Support FERC Application

FERC Licensing and Regulatory

McMillen Jacobs (via legacy company, Longview Associates) was selected as the lead licensing consultant for the Grant Lake Project. Our team assisted Kenai Hydro in selecting the appropriate FERC licensing process. Under the approved Traditional Licensing

Process, we are continuing to manage agency consultations and facilitate stakeholder meetings—including support for specific resource area workgroups. Our team also provides document management and technical review of all study plans and reports, and management of the overall licensing schedule. Meetings with numerous statkeholders including technical staff and agency/non-governmental organization representatives address key resource questions, including identification of instream flows for anadromous and resident fish, consistency with US Forest Service road-less area policy, and state-level management directives for the Kenai River watershed. McMillen Jacobs developed the Draft License Application (DLA) and submitted to stakeholders and FERC for review. Once comments have been reviewed, McMillen Jacobs will revise and submit the application. Estimated submittal of the Final FERC application is late 2015