SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Allow residents to grid tie
By Ed Fry


August 06, 2011

Dear Islanders:

Words for the generation of electrical power including the lack of forward thinking: Ketchikan hegemony.

The reason that I say that is because I did my homework and found funding to offset my electrical consumption, conservatively, by upwards of 20% following the installation of the renewable wind generated electricity (Site evaluation ).  But here is the problem, Ketchikan Public Utilities balks at federally and State of Alaska net metering (Regulatory Commission of Alaska adopted regulations (3 AAC 50.900 - 3AAC 50-949)) legislation which allows residents to “grid tie” their own dollar investments as well as claim Federal Tax credits for installation of renewable.  Why?  It is a hegemony and it has not been challenged... is this representation for residents or Five Ape Theory?  Geeze, we as residents are not even able to apply for residential renewable funding!  Can you say United States Constitutional Violation of Ammendment 14?

Likewise, when it comes to consideration and voting on KPU related issues, why is it that only City Residents get to vote on items that affect all on the island?  We should challenge these issues as Gateway Borough Residents are plugging into the same power source as City Residents.  My bill says “PUBLIC” utility where all players are not equally represented!  I believe that a “friendly” complaint needs to be filed with the Regulatory Commission to address this item.

I am in the process of sifting through the legislation of which there are several deficiencies and “holes” in KPU’s exemption story that begs inquiry from both State and Federal Agencies.  This is not the sole country of Ketchikan, it is the Island of Ketchikan, State of Alaska, Notion of the United States of America, yes we are on an island, but hegemony creation of the outdated thinking needs to be challenged.  I would encourage all residents to do the same as the “decision makers” have very little forward thinking.  Instead they are looking at tomorrow and what money will flow into their (decision makers) agenda rather than a decisive, congruent, and sustainable plan ahead.

Piont being that there are several “major” projects in new construction underway; the headlines whether to install or not install renewable technology is a point of contention as evidenced by installation of “pellet” boilers.  A half of a million dollars for the re-engineering of a heat system to pellet is a bit steep to invest, however take into consideration the additional load/need for oil and electricity will cost more than that over the serviceable life of not changing!  By way of example, let’s look at the cost per million (and that is a best guess) of British thermal units (BTU) generated by available local resources (Source: :

1. The cost of wood pellets at $245 per ton (has to be shipped in) and costs less than $19/per million BTU (based on a unit that has an efficiency rating of 80%).

2. Electric without starting the Diesel generators is at $26/per million BTU (based on a unit that has an efficiency rating of 100%).

3. LP Gas is at $38/per million BTU (based on a unit that has an efficiency rating of 80%).

4. Oil fired is at $36/per million BTU (based on a unit that has an efficiency rating of 80%).  A side note of the 80% efficiency is that many of the newer technologies such as LP on demand heat and hot water as well as pellet fired boilers have a rated efficiency of over 90%; a greater savings over time!

I am not a mathematician, but common sense says that wood pellets are far more efficient and a better return on taxpayer money!  The “hegemony” standard answer is….. we will have to research it further?  Give me a break... As J. Harris was quoted in the KDN about upcoming compliance of KPU’s Diesel generators and upcoming compliance as “asinine”….. Well, the lack of forward thinking in community planning of City and Borough, lack of introduction of renewable technologies, and hegemony of KPU utilities is an “asinine” way of thinking!  Five ape theory!

My challenge to both City and Borough: Adopt a joint sustainable energy position statement that is cost effective, eliminates the hegemony, and allows residents to grid tie is one of many innovative ideas to reduce our costs on the island.  Through grant and tax credit funding, residents are able to give a hand to reduce the electrical load now and in the future as the production of hydrocarbons for fuel steadily increases.  Break up the “five ape theory’ of thinking.  Maybe I should invoice for research?  Seems that every time you read the news there are more checks being stroked for projects that require more energy... Just because the planning was in haste.  Which kid guards the candy store!


Ed “Mongo” Fry
Ketchikan, AK

Received August 05, 2011 - Published August 06, 2011



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