Southeast hydro: Low water
Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg electric utilities have had to fire up diesel generators due to low water levels at Lake Tyee and Swan Lake, which supply hydro plants. Fuel supplier PetroMarine agreed to give Petersburg a special price of $2.55 per gallon in recognition of the situation.
GVEA drops Eco-Green deal
Golden Valley Electric Association of Fair- banks has suspended its analysis of a proposal from Colorado-based Eco-Green Generation to sell wind and propane-fueled power to the Interior utility because the Colorado company has not yet filed a required application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to qualify as a small private power producer to supply a public utility under a 1978 federal law. Eco-Green has applied to state regulators but not FERC, Golden Valley said. The company had given the utility a Feb. 27 deadline to respond. Eco-Green proposes to expand wind power production in Delta under an agreement with Mike Kraft, who now operates a small wind facility there, and to build a network of propane generators in the Fairbanks area.
Rural renewable energy program
State Sen. Natasha von Imhof, R-Anch., is working with Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, to fashion a rural energy program that could maintain the progress rural communities have made
in renewable energy development. State energy programs are on the chopping block along with everything else, in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s new budget. Von Imhof mentioned the plan, which is still being discussed with communities and stake- holder groups, in a March 4 talk before a meeting of Commonwealth North, the Anchorage-based business policy group
UA’s new power plant to fire up
University of Alaska Fairbanks’ new-technology coal-fired power plant is set to begin operations in April. The 17-megawatt plant was built at a cost of $245 million and will
be the first new U.S. coal plant to open since 2015, bucking a trend of coal plant closings in the nation. UAF’s new plant replaces an obsolete, aged coal plant that has operated for decades and which put the university at risk if a shutdown occurred in winter. The coal plant provides heat to university buildings as well as power. Coal is shipped by rail to the plant from the Usibelli Mine, Alaska’s only producing coal mine, which is about 100 miles southwest of Fairbanks.