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Utility Alaska Power & Telephone (AP&T) has filed a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) preliminary permit application for the 25 MW West Creek Hydropower project.

The proposed facility would be located on West Creek, a tributary of the Taiya River, near the city of Skagway in southeast Alaska and provide renewable energy to the communities of Skagway and Haines.

AP&T reports that energy surpluses could be used to power cruise ships berthing in Haines and Skagway and help meet the growing energy needs of Canada's neighboring Yukon territory.

The preliminary permitting phase, the utility notes, is just the first of many steps that will be required in advance of constructing the West Creek project. During this phase, AP&T will conduct a series of studies seeking to demonstrate that the project can be developed in an economically feasible and environmentally sound manner. If the project appears economically and environmentally sound, AP&T would proceed to file for a FERC license to construct and operate the project.

AP&T estimates that the entire permitting/licensing process could take 10 years.

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