The proposed $5 billion Watana dam project in south-central Alaska would have a 600-megawatt capacity -- but it would take 11 years to build and the electricity it produces would be cost more than power from existing sources. Roller-compacted concrete could help reduce the cost, but it's not clear if that method would work in Alaska's climate. Without a subsidy from the state to keep rates down, the project will not move ahead, said Alaska Energy Authority's manager for the project.

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