environment

Courtesy of Alaska SeaLife Center

Local residents are rallying to save the Alaska SeaLife Center, the state's only marine mammal rescue center and a hub for scientific research. 

The educational facility in Seward — which opened in 1998 — is in danger of closing permanently this fall if it can't raise enough money to make up for the economic loss  caused by a dramatic decline in summer visitors, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Courtesy Malcolm Herstand / Alaska Volcano Observatory

The City of Unalaska isn't rushing into a geothermal energy agreement with OC/Chena Power.

While the private company had asked local officials to sign a 30-year power deal by the end of the month, City Manager Erin Reinders said they won't make a decision until they have more information.

"I think some of these larger concepts — how is this going to work? — need to be discussed before we really dig in to the very specific details of a power purchase agreement," said Reinders. 

Courtesy Malcolm Herstand / Alaska Volcano Observatory

A private company looking to develop geothermal energy at Makushin Volcano wants the City of Unalaska to commit to a 30-year power deal by the end of the month.

At a special meeting last week, the City Council heard an update from consultant Mike Hubbard on the energy project proposed by OC/Chena Power.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

The City of Unalaska has approved increasing the budget for the Wind Power Development Project by $75,000.

The city is currently using meteorological (MET) towers to collect data for an energy study that'll determine if Unalaska can produce electricity from wind energy in the future.

Department of Public Works Director Tom Cohenour said the city is in phase three of the four-phase project to determine the best location for a wind farm.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

Engineers have taken down one of Unalaska's four meteorological (MET) towers after it was damaged in a fall storm. Its loss isn't expected to compromise the city's ongoing energy study testing the feasibility of a local wind farm.

On Hog Island, workers have been preparing a MET tower for winter, anchoring it deeper into the ground. That way, when high winds blow and heavy rain falls, it'll stand up to the elements and avoid damage.

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