An Anchorage man has spent more than a decade planning and building a micro hydro hydro project in his backyard. Now, it can light up more than 300 homes.

An anchorage hydrologist recently modified a state-of-the-art hydroelectric power system near his Ram Valley over the Eagle River.

The Juniper Creek hydroelectric project began to provide power to homes Around July 24 in connection with the Matanuska Electric Association.

Dave Breley started dreaming of a $ 1.7 million project ten years ago. His wife, Melanie Janigo, and another couple are part owners of the project and the land.

With the occasional help from family and friends, Bryley accomplished his plan and did most of the physical work. He hired a civil engineer to oversee the project. And other professionals for special work. He paid a helicopter company to fly in materials such as large pipelines.

The 300 kW project is located in the Brush Valley, about 2,000 feet above sea level.

Drainage diverts some of the water from the river. The 18-inch pipe collects the water and feeds it about a quarter of a mile, mostly underground, into computerized power lines.

Mountain springs also contribute to relatively warm water, which makes the project flow throughout the year. A steep, zigzag construction road connects the trails.

At the peak of summer, Pine Creek hydroelectric power will provide power to more than 300 homes, Breley said. In May, it destroyed at least 50 homes.

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“I thought we had to do something about carbon emissions, and that became the purpose of my life to do something for my children and for humanity,” says 60-year-old Brelie.

He said the project will pay off in 15 years and generate electricity for generations.

An educated believer

Braille says he is an ordinary person when it comes to renewable energy projects.

But he has worked as an hydrologist at Anchorage for 35 years, often as a self-employed consultant.

A.D. In 2005, he and his wife, along with friends Stephen and Ilisa Parker, bought a 100-acre[160 ha]property.

They wanted to get back to skiing and hiking.

But Braille spent many years studying the prospect of hydroelectric power on the ground and penning other details for the project.

Braille received 14 licenses from anchorage, state and federal authorities, and construction began in 2018.

At times, he spent much of his time in a cabinet on the ground floor, far away from home.

“I’m a hydro hydro widow,” Janigo laughed.

“I have lost my wife for many years,” she said of the project.

Juniper Creek Hydroelectric has never won support from state or federal agencies, Brieley said. He called it “disappointing.”

He said the couple often spent money on their retirement accounts.

“As soon as we left, we continued to pay the bills,” he said.

Welcome to Effort

The Juniper Creek system provides a small fraction of the energy used by the Matunusca Electric Company, said Ed Jenkins, the utility’s chief operating officer.

But it is unique, in part, because one has a vision and a vision rather than an engineering company or a team of engineers.

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The cooperative, which has more than 50,000 members, has connected two other power generation projects to the grid, utility officials said. This is the first in many years.

He said many people are taking steps to generate their own renewable energy. Some sell energy for consumer goods, including some homeowners with solar panels on the roof. Other projects, such as Braley, are larger, such as Alaska’s largest solar panel project in Willow.

“We are really open to new and new forms of energy in our system,” said utility spokeswoman Julie Este. We are very specific about what technology is, we want it to be safe and cost effective for our members.

Wind and solar projects can produce more continuous energy, Affected by wind or cloud changes. But the Juniper Creek system works Provide predictable power supply, says Jenkin.

It does not affect consumer prices, he said.

“Overall, it’s a very welcome project,” said Jenkin.

Fish-safe energy

Juniper Creek Hydroelectric is a river flow system. According to Brelie, they borrowed some of the water from the ground.

“The water is with us for two minutes, then it goes back to the river,” he said.

The Alaska Department of Fisheries and Gaming has decided to protect the fish habitat.

“Because there are no fish, they have decided that it is not necessary,” says Brelie.

David Shade, Director The State Department says he lives with a creek that falls into the Eagle River. The river receives some water from Juniper Creek.

He said the project will not affect the flow of the property.

When the project was presented to the council about three years ago, Shade was president of the Eagle River Community Council. Some residents said they initially opposed it. However, he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat the rebels, and sought to justify their actions.

“They designed it economically, ecologically,” Shade said.

During a visit to the project, he told The Reporter on Friday that Braille was careful to protect pine and algae streams.

Some people did not like it because I took the stream. But the stream is still here.

“I took a lot of pain in the project to save things like that,” he pointed to fall te.

He said a solar-powered radio communication system allows the power to be turned off remotely if there is an emergency or other need.

Breley seems to have many other opportunities for similar small hydropower projects in the municipality, many of which are based on the Eagle River and the Gridwood, hydrological reports and self-research.

“Further investigation is necessary,” he said.

Semi-owner Stephen Parker, a retired emergency room doctor, said he was skeptical at the start of the project. But he never doubted that his friend would die.

Parker is an “incredible success.”

“He had a trained eye and experience to see his potential, and he had the strength, the will and the determination to come to fruition,” he said.

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