Federal regulators agree to put on hold licensing process for Alaska dam project



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JUNEAU, Alaska — Federal regulators have agreed to put on hold the licensing process for a massive proposed dam in south-central Alaska as the state decides how, or whether, to move forward with the project.

The Alaska Energy Authority, or AEA, requested the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission suspend the schedule for 60 days pending further notice on plans for the Susitna-Watana dam. AEA has been pursuing the project for the state.

Gov. Bill Walker last month directed that new, non-obligated funding for the dam and other big-ticket projects be halted to allow a review of the projects. The state is facing multibillion-dollar budget deficits amid a crash in oil prices.

An AEA spokeswoman says the authority is looking at options that would preserve the state's investment while preserving future license potential.

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