Planning and preliminary design work has begun for a new electrical transmission line intertie that would extend west across the Tongass National Forest, from the Petersburg area to Kake on Kupreanof Island.
According to Project Manager for the Intertie, Mark Schinman, the Kake – Petersburg Intertie would transmit power to Kake at either 69 or 138 kilovolts and consist primarily of single wood pole structures.
Schinman also explained that two primary alternative routes are being considered. The two routes generally follow previously identified Transportation and Utility System corridors in the Tongass National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan. Both follow existing logging roads for the majority of their lengths. The northern route identified by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities calls for a permanent road between Kake and Petersburg. Two alternative route options, from the SEAPA substation to the proposed Alaska DOTPF road corridor, are also being considered.
SEAPA is a joint action agency whose members are the cities of Ketchikan, Petersburg and the City and Borough of Wrangell. Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, IPEC, provides electric service to Kake.
IPEC supplies all of Kake's current power requirements using diesel generation, resulting in high electric rates.
According to Schinman, the primary goal of the Kake – Petersburg Intertie is to deliver hydropower to IPEC at an electric rate showing a clear benefit to the Kake ratepayers. The Intertie will not be constructed if this benefit is not clearly demonstrated.
The State has provided funding to conduct pre-construction activities, including those needed for the NEPA permitting process, and for final engineering design, geotechnical surveys and alignment surveys.
Commonwealth Associates, Inc. has been retained by SEAPA to provide project management services to coordinate the activities necessary for the project to be construction ready.