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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

KPU advisory board appointments
By A.M. Johnson


January 02, 2013
Wednesday PM


It is noted that the Ketchikan Public Utilities is advertising for public citizens to apply for appointment to the Ketchikan Public Utilities advisory board. Good news! It was thought this board had been dissolved for lack of activity or interest. Now is a timely moment to resurrect the board or reinforce it with new blood.

It would be a goal to urge prospective members to inquire prior to appointment, or as soon as the moment develops, to ask probing questions regarding the future direction and intent of the utility.

Here are a few questions worth consideration.

(1) Has the cost of Whitman development been fixed? What is the final energy production of this development? Who will use it? How? KPU or SEAPA?

(2) Given the opportunity to locate the mining development on Prince of Wales Island to the Seley location on Garvina, has there been upgrading cost computation to reflect the power demand of this activity?

(This activity is not a 'Given at this point for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough it could easily go to Metlakatla which has the past demonstrated power generation for the now demised Louisiana Pacific Lumber mill and logical staging/milling land or Cape Fox Corp with it's Mahoney Lake hydro site providing the required power in addition owning White River land for processing milling material both sites also have the required manpower expected to be hired )

(3) How much power demand has been determined for this proposed project and where is that power source within the Ketchikan Public Utilities system?

(4) The current relationship with SEAPA in terms of SEAPA's ability to serve uninterrupted hydro power for this project?

(5) Projected anticipated requirement of diesel generation outside of emergency requirements.example: On the 16th and 17th of January this year. it is understood that the municipality of Petersburg, Wrangell, and Ketchikan shut down or restricted, all respective municipal facilities utilizing electric heat due to demand on the system exceeding 42 Megs.

(6) Define the uninterrupted power agreement with the Ketchikan Ship Yard. Does that agreement assure the shipyard operational power requirement over the community requirement to the point that diesel generation by Ketchikan Public Utilities would be required? Then, if Ketchikan Ship yard in a re-write of this power agreement were required to provide their own diesel backup generation, would that then be a 'straw-man' used by the operators of the shipyard to justify in part, the shifting of Alaska State Ferry construction to another of their facilities where the cost of shipping material, hiring and housing of personnel would undoubtedly be less expensive?

(7)Given potential unresolvable differences between Ketchikan Public Utilities and SEAPA, would Ketchikan Public Utilities be able to regain ownership of Swan Lake? How? Bond sale to cover SEAPA indebtedness? How much is that debt? What happens to the fiscal reserves of SEAPA in a buyout?

(8) Finally, potential candidates are encouraged to inquire as to the position of the utilities on the subject of potentially connecting the SEAPA grid to B.C.Hydro via Tyee hydro station located in the Bradfield Canal.

B.C.Hydro will have in full operation,a 287 Kilo volt transmission line in the Spring of 2014.
A less than 50 miles transmission line constructed on an existing right of way legislated complete with road access, specifically legislated and designated for the purpose of connecting the SEAPA grid via Tyee hydro station to B.C. Hydro with a transmission line.(Senator Ted Stevens)

Would Ketchikan Public Utilities support or not, such an opportunity?

In earlier conversations with B.C. Hydro/Providence of British Columbia government by the State of Alaska and AC/BC power committee, the discussion of constructing this connection took place. It is a pending question of damned up demand for additional continues electrical flow of energy that will force the issue. Is Ketchikan Public Utilities prepared to acknowledge and be included with a connection effort?

Such a doable feasible connection completed would assure unlimited and continues energy,which would encourage economic development and continued expansion of resident/commercial/municipal heating requirements.throughout the whole of the currently stressed SEAPA grid energy output.

Tomorrow is termed as five year out. We were short projected energy requirements yesterday, yesterday termed as being four years back!

Just saying,


Ketchikan, AK

About: "Just an old 'five and dimer' burning beach wood, jigging for a cook fish and typing by a Coleman lantern (almost)"

Received December 29, 2012 - Published January 02, 2012





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