During normal conditions, AEL&P produces 100 percent of its base-load generation through hydroelectric power. This provides clean, renewable, and low-cost power for Juneau.
The Juneau community has five hydropower plants: Snettisham, Lake Dorothy, Annex Creek, Salmon Creek, and Gold Creek.
Snettisham is the largest hydro project with a maximum peak output of 78 megawatts and an average annual energy output of 295 million kilowatt hours. This project is located about 28 miles southeast of downtown Juneau and provides about 70 percent of Juneau's electric energy. Built by the Federal Government in 1973 and expanded in 1990, the Snettisham Project was sold to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) in 1998. AEL&P operates and maintains the project under the provisions of a long-term power sales agreement between AEL&P and AIDEA.
The second largest hydro project, Lake Dorothy, was commissioned in 2009 with a maximum capacity of just over 14 megawatts. It is located on the east bank of Taku Inlet, about 15 miles from Juneau. Lake Dorothy is a two-phase project. The completed first phase has boosted Juneau's hydro resources by about 20 percent. The second phase will add another 20 percent and will be constructed sometime in the future as load growth warrants.
The Annex Creek and Salmon Creek Power plants are historically tied to the gold-mining days when low-cost power was needed to operate the mills. The two plants were engineering marvels for their day, built in 1913-16, and continue to provide low-cost, reliable power today. Both provide the remaining six megawatts of capacity and add an additional 50 million kilowatt hours of energy production yearly.