OC/CHENA POWER

Givey Kochanowski / U.S. Department of Energy

 

A decades-long effort to bring geothermal power to Unalaska is finally moving forward. On Thursday, the city signed a 30-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Ounalashka Corp./Chena Power, LLC for 30 megawatts of geothermal-produced electrical energy from nearby Makushin Volcano. Officials from the U.S. Department of Energy said that if it's successful, Unalaska would be the first community in the nation completely powered by geothermal energy. 

 

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.