Tag Archives: blue lake

‘Gremlins’ partially to blame for Sitka outage

Utility director Chris Brewton says he would have "bet his paycheck" that there would have been more outages like today's during the commissioning of the Blue Lake turbines. Instead, he expects to do more fine-tuning over time. (Blue Lake Expansion Project photo)Sitka lost power for a little under an hour Wednesday afternoon when a relay tripped at the Jarvis St. diesel substation. Utility director Chris Brewton says this won't be the last outage of this kind.

Fault at switchyard cuts power across Sitka

Due to a fault in the Blue Lake switchyard, all of Sitka lost power this afternoon at approximately 1:40 PM. Powerhouse technicians are currently re-energizing the grid, and estimate that electric service will be restored throughout the community by 2:30. Once power is back up, they’ll investigate the cause of the outage.

Heavy rains flood creeks, fill reservoirs

A dog reconsiders his walk down the Nelson Logging Road. A 12-foot high tide plus heavy rains sent Starrigavan Creek over its banks at 1 PM today (1-21-15). (Hugh Bevan photo)There is an upside to having rainy, autumn weather in the middle of winter: both Sitka’s reservoirs are filling up. Frank Rogers, Sitka’s senior hydroelectric operator, says water levels in Blue Lake rose 2 feet overnight on Tuesday (1-20-15), after over two inches of rain fell in the area.

Sitka’s water: Smelly, temporary, safe

Sitka's environmental superintendent Mark Buggins says Sitka's water smells more strongly of chlorine -- because there's more chlorine in it. The temporary filtration plant at Indian River has much different disinfection requirements than Blue Lake, including higher chlorine. Disinfection standards are higher now than when the Indian River was last used as Sitka's water supply in 1984. The city should go back on Blue Lake water in mid-October.

Sitkans asked to conserve water, power during hydro changeover

After 53 years of continuous service, the turbines at Sitka’s Blue Lake Hydro plant are quiet. Walt Dangel, one of the original powerhouse operators at Blue Lake, threw the switches turning off the plant in a small decommissioning ceremony Monday morning (8-18-14). Dangel was assisted by Frank Rogers, Sitka’s senior plant operator. The two old turbines produce a combined 6 megawatts of power. They’re being replaced by three new turbines that will produce 16 megawatts.

Blue Lake dam now 75% done

City Engineer Dean Orbison told the Chamber of Commerce that the city will have to rely on Indian River for drinking water in September and October, while the Blue Lake project is completed. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)City officials updated the Chamber of Commerce on the Blue Lake hydro project this week. Engineer Dean Orbison reminded the Chamber that Sitka has continued to rely on Blue Lake for drinking water through the construction. But for about two months this fall, the city will have to switch to Indian River.

Assembly approves contract to bottle Blue Lake water

The Sitka Assembly approved a contract Tuesday night with a California company that hopes to bottle water from the Blue Lake reservoir. The contract gives the company, I Water, the right to buy up to 200-million gallons of city water a year. But I Water must start exporting water soon -- or risk losing its water rights.

Legislature approves Blue Lake loan

Just before it gaveled out on Friday, five days late, the Alaska Legislature passed a bill of particular importance to Sitka: Senate Bill 99, which includes language authorizing the city to apply for a low-cost state loan to complete the Blue Lake dam hydroelectric project.

Legislature to decide fate of Blue Lake loan

Sitka’s last chance to avoid another electric rate hike is in the hands of the Alaska House of Representatives this weekend. The city wants access to a low-cost loan to finance the final portion of the Blue Lake hydroelectric project. But first it needs the approval of the state legislature.

Cost overruns add up to a bigger bill for Blue Lake

Sitka’s Blue Lake Dam hydro expansion project will cost about $3.6-million more than expected. The total project -- not including new backup diesel generators -- was originally estimated to cost about $142-million. It is now up to about $145-million, Utility Director Chris Brewton told the Sitka assembly Tuesday night. Brewton later told KCAW that this is the only major cost overrun the project has seen so far.