Tag Archives: Chris Brewton
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.
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.
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.
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.