Tag Archives: blue lake
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.
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.
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.
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.
The second session of the 28th Alaska Legislature opens today (Tue 1-21-14), and Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins has something he lacked last year: Experience. While he’s still the youngest legislator on the hill in Juneau, and still a member of the minority, the Sitka Democrat has already pre-filed one bill on Native languages, and remains deeply skeptical of the governor’s efforts to boost oil production by reducing taxes on industry profits.
Large parts of Sitka lost power for about a half-hour this evening (Thu 1-9-14), after a technician at the Blue Lake Hydro plant bumped his ladder against a control panel while changing light bulbs. Blue Lake operator Frank Rogers said the bump was just enough to cause a protective relay to open, isolating the Blue Lake switchyard from Sitka’s other main power source at the Green Lake plant.