Won’t silt build up in the reservoir and impact the turbines?

The impacts of Susitna River silt have been studied since the 1980s by several different engineering consultants.  The short answer is not for many centuries. The amount of unconsolidated sediment that is estimated to be deposited in the reservoir over 50 years is about 104,000 acre-feet. The gross reservoir volume is about 5.2 million acre-feet.  Based on the engineering studies, it would take more than 2,500-3,200 years to fill the reservoir with silt.

 Hydroelectric projects are constructed in various river systems across the globe, including other glacially-fed systems in Alaska as well as Norway, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand and more.  Modern turbine technology provides protection from silt and debris while allowing for efficient project operations.

Posted in: Susitna-Watana Hydro Basics