Lake Dorothy Hydroelectric Dam Completion Benefits Alaska Residents

Elizabeth Kaiser

The Lake Dorothy Hydroelectric Project, located near Juneau Alaska, was begun in 2006 and completed in 2010.  Karl Vander, of North Pacific Erectors, was the Project Manager.  North Pacific Erectors, a General Contractor for commercial and industrial construction, provided all construction trade labor, materials and expertise in the design-build hydroelectric development.

Lake Dorothy      Photo Credit:  North Pacific Erectors, Inc.

We recently asked Karl to describe the Lake Dorothy hydroelectric dam.  "Lake Dorothy is a 15 megawatt hydro power plant that is at sea level.  The water is brought to the project via a penstock (5' diameter metal pipe) from a lake tap (a tunnel to the bottom of Lake Dorothy.)  That water is controlled by a 5' diameter valve and a 1,100' piece of penstock.  The water is spilled out of the tunnel and down existing creeks through Louie Lake and Bart Lake.  From that point there is an intake structure for the 5' pipe that takes it the rest of the way to the power plant."

Lake Dorothy Photo Credit:  Alaska Electric Light and Power's "Lake Dorothy The Cost of Generation" presentation

Karl added, "The project is complete and has the capability, with another tunnel and two more turbines added, to produce another 15 megawatts in the future.  The power is owned by Alaska Electric Light and Power, the electrical utility in Juneau and sold to Juneau residents.  Lake Dorothy compliments the 70 megawatt hydro plant at Snettisham and three other 3 megawatt plants that supply Juneau."

In a presentation by Tim McLeod, President of Alaska Electric Light and Power, we saw a photo history of the project, including a hair-raising shot of a treacherous road being cut from the mountain side.  This made us question "how the heck did they get all the equipment to such a remote location?"

Lake Dorothy
Photo Credit:  Alaska Electric Light and Power's "Lake Dorothy The Cost of Generation" presentation

Karl explained "All the materials and equipment to build the Lake Dorothy project were barged in and the dirt crew that built the road lived there in a camp.   Our crew took a 40' boat to and from the job 20 miles everyday."


Read and see a photo history in Tim McLeod's PDF presentation.

Read Alaska Electric Light and Power Company's description of The Lake Dorothy Project.

Read the North Pacific Erectors, Inc. Lake Dorothy Hydroelectric Project Information.


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