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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

The Mahoney Lake and Whitman Lake Hydroelectric projects, how can we bring them online?
By: Sam Bergeron


September 19, 2011
Monday AM

Those of us who live in Ketchikan and get our power from Ketchikan Public Utilities (KPU) belong in the two dam pool, owned and operated by: Southeast Alaska Power Association (SEAPA). We are required to buy our power from SEAPA before we use any other source of power, including our own.

How can the Mahoney Lake hydro power project, owned by: Cape Fox Corporation and AP&T ever get off the ground if it can only sell us power when we have exhausted the SEAPA power? How can a "marginal" project like the upcoming Whitman Lake (KPU) pencil out?

One alternative is to divest ourselves of our interest in these projects and let SEAPA develop them. There will no conflicting power sales agreements, the consumers will have more inexpensive hydro power to help with the ever increasing demand and the need for the proposed, punitive electrical rates to spur electrical conservation would be lessened. With SEAPA developing, operating and owning these projects, the power sales agreement problems would simply go away.

SEAPA has the ability to bring these projects forward all on their own without encumbering the citizens of the City of Ketchikan with more bond payments.

If we let SEAPA bring these projects forward we get the much needed hydro potential much faster, with no risk to the taxpayers. I think the existing power sales agreement we have with SEAPA will be a hurdle that the Mahoney Lake Hydroelectric project may never be able to overcome.

I think it's about time we started thinking like a region instead of a local utility and give this concept a thorough vetting. Sam Bergeron

Samuel Bergeron
samuelbergeron [at]
Ketchikan, AK

About: "City Council Candidate"

Received September 18, 2011 - Published September 19, 2011



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