December 13, 2012 | Vol. 39, No. 50

Ketchikan goes on diesel power

Ketchikan Public Utilities announced to customers on Monday that it would supplement hydro generation with diesel power, to conserve water in the KPU reservoirs.

The utility reported that October electric usage in the City and Borough of Ketchikan was the highest in history for the month of October. Electric consumption in Wrangell and Petersburg was also very high, according to the utility.

“Ketchikan experienced a very dry fall, and as a result of the reduced rainfall, the water in KPU reservoirs is lower than normal,” the utility said in a notice in the Ketchikan Daily News.

The utility added, “Weather predictions indicate that Ketchikan will continue to experience cooler weather, which when combined with normal precipitation, will result in reduced reservoir levels.”

On Tuesday, the utility announced, it would begin to supplement the hydropower with diesel generation during the peak hours of the day, until such a time that sufficient water is available in the reservoirs. At the current rate of usage, Ketchikan has approximately two months of hydropower left in the reservoirs.

Ketchikan draws part of its power from the Tyee Hydroelectric plant that also serves Wrangell and Petersburg. Contractually, the two smaller communities have preferential rights to power produced at the Tyee project, with surplus power being sold to Ketchikan when available.

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