Tag Archives: Chris Brewton

Sitka back on Blue Lake water, hydro project end in sight

Workers pouring cement at the Blue Lake dam in June, 2014 (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz)Sitka, pour yourself a glass of water -- tap water. As of Wednesday, we are officially drinking from Blue Lake.

Brewton: Bad transformer ends Blue Lake’s hot streak

Sitka utility director Chris Brewton, with the hundreds of pages of planning documents for the Blue Lake project. (KCAW photo/Ed Ronco)Hopes were dashed this week that the Blue Lake Hydro project would come online weeks ahead of schedule. Utility director Chris Brewton delivered the news that one of the step-up transformers -- which convert the 12,000 volts produced by the hydroelectric turbines to 69,000 volts for transmission into town -- is defective.

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.

Conservation can ease Thursday night’s planned outage

Rocket or diesel turbine? With added hydro capacity comes the need for added backup power. This Titan 130 diesel turbine will help keep Sitka powered in emergencies. (City of Sitka/Chris Brewton)Large parts of Sitka will be without power for most of the night Thursday (4-10-14) -- or not, depending on what actions residents take to conserve electricity. The Sitka Electric Department is installing the switches and transformers needed to operate a new backup generator. But, as KCAW’s Robert Woolsey reports, the Department has a trick up its sleeve that will keep the electricity on at most homes, as long as we power off our big appliances.

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.