POWERHOUSE

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. 

 

KUCB Staff

 

A number of recent unplanned power outages in Unalaska were caused by an electronic governor — located on one of the city's diesel engines — that needs retuning, according to city officials.

Public Utilities Director Dan Winters said at a City Council meeting Tuesday night that what's supposed to happen is that when the engine is shutting down it comes down automatically, at about 1000 kilowatts and then it will open the breaker. But it's currently shutting down at more than twice that amount — at about 2500 kilowatts — and kicking the breaker.

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.

KUCB Staff

An unplanned electrical outage on Monday left Unalaska without power for more than an hour and a half.

The city-wide outage was caused by a failed transfer switch on East Point Road around 1 p.m., according to the city's Public Utilities Director, Dan Winters.

"It took awhile to find out where the ground fault," he said. "Each component from the powerhouse to the ground fault needs to be tested."

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