by Christine Kim
9:07 AM AKST, January 27, 2011
A multi-billion dollar hydroelectric dam may be up and running by 2022 if the Susitna Project moves forward.
The project would cost $4.5 billion, but Alaskan officials say it would bring long term benefits with expectations that the dam could operate for a century or longer.
The Alaska Energy Authority has been meeting with lawmakers and testifying before the Senate Resources Committee and House Energy Committee.
Last year the legislature established a new goal for the state to produce 50 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2025.
Alaska Energy Authority says a dam is the only way to meet that goal.
"The challenges start with the permitting process, which is long, lengthy and complex. So with the governor's support, we are hoping to move forward," said Alaska Energy Authority spokesperson Karsten Rodvik.
Public meetings to discuss the Susitna Hydro Project are tentatively scheduled for late Feb. and early Mar. in Fairbanks, Talkeetna, Palmer and Anchorage.
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