Are any upgrades to the Railbelt transmission system needed?

Yes, independent of Susitna-Watana Hydro. Alaska’s Railbelt electrical grid serves 75 percent of Alaska’s population and accounts for more than 85 percent of the state’s electricity. The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) owns the 170-mile Willow to Healy portion of the transmission line.

Alaska’s energy infrastructure is limited and aging. AEA is working with the Railbelt utilities to identify projects that will strengthen the backbone of the state’s energy distribution system and examine how electricity is generated, transmitted and distributed to meet the Railbelt’s needs in a safe and efficient manner.

The $5.66 billion estimated cost of Susitna-Watana Hydro includes transmission facilities which will connect the project to the Railbelt transmission system.