Cosmos Hills Hydrologic Network
Shishmaref Airport Weather Station
Project Information

Welcome (Paglan) to the Cosmos Hills Hyrdo-Electric Hydrologic Network Project website. The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) is embarking on a feasibility study of potential hydropower sites and associated power lines in the Kobuk River Valley, in collaboration with NANA Regional Corporation. In 2009, AVEC received partial pre-construction funding from the Alaska Energy Authority's Renewable Energy Fund (REF) program (awarded grant #2195413) to pursue feasibility and design of hydroelectric sites in the Cosmos Hills area north of Shungnak and Kobuk. AVEC and other project partners are providing additional financial and In-Kind resources to help evaluate renewable energy solutions for Kobuk Valley communities. WHPacific, Inc., a subsidiary of NANA Regional Corporation, has been hired by AVEC to oversee the Cosmos Hills hydroelectric feasibility studies. Geo-Watersheds Scientific, Brailey Hydrologic, and EEInternet are the project partners investigating and reporting hydrologic characteristics of the study watersheds.

Currently, diesel-fuel power generation is the only source of electricity for the upper Kobuk River communities of Ambler, Shungnak, and Kobuk (Site Map). The purpose of small hydroelectric plants would be to supplement diesel fuel used for power generation. Diesel fuel can be expensive when it has to be flown in due to shallow-water conditions on the Kobuk River. Run-of-river hydro sites in this area could provide electricity from about mid-April until early November, although the Kogoluktuk River may be able to provide power later into the winter, and earlier in the spring.

Run-of-river hydroelectric plants do not require a large dam, and rely on the natural flow volume of the stream or river. Such facilities tend to have far less environmental impacts compared to conventional dam-storage hydroelectric plants because of the lack of a large artificial reservoir. With proper siting, construction techniques, and operation and maintenance, run-of-river hydropower in the region could have minimal impacts on fisheries and other subsistence resources. These hydrologic studies will help determine the water available for hydroelectric generation. Additional studies will be conducted to determine project features, estimated project costs, operating conditions, energy production costs and overall project feasibility.

The network consists of four climate/hydrologic stations (Upper Cosmos Creek , Upper Wesley Creek , Upper Dahl Creek , and Upper Kogoluktuk River). Four repeater stations (Cosmos Creek Repeater , Wesley Creek Repeater , Dahl Creek Repeater , and Kogoluktuk River Repeater) collect air temperature and also relay information from the climate/hydrologic stations to a base station located at the school in Kobuk. Water depth is being collected at each climate/hydrologic station and utilized with discharge measurements performed by team members to develop stage/discharge relationships. Additional data is being collected to evaluate climate and river conditions including air temperature, summer precipitation, camera images, and water temperature.

Last updated: 4 February 2015
Instrumentation and Environmental Sciences Supporting Partners
GW Scientific and Campbell Scientific Inc.

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