Petersburg Power and Light Superintendent and Southeast Alaska Power Agency board member Joe Nelson made a motion to suspend the Petersburg-Kake Intertie Project last week.
Nelson made the motion after SEAPA CEO Trey Acteson reported to the board about future funding challenges associated with the project.
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough, the City of Ketchikan and the City of Saxman all listed the Swan Lake Reservoir at the top of their capital project lists. Governor Sean Parnell’s fiscal year 2015 capital project list doesn’t include the project for funding.
Nelson said motivation for the motion came after the Alaska Energy Authority failed last fall to partially fund a project intended to provide additional storage and power generation at the Swan Lake Dam—terms that were outlined in a memorandum of agreement between AEA, SEAPA and Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, the region’s native village utility.
“The basis of my motion was to simply get their attention and say ‘Hey, we’re doing our part, we expect you to do yours,’” Nelson said.
Nelson said by no means did he want to cancel the project.
“For 40 years we’ve been championing a power line extension to Kake,” Nelson said. “The community still supports that. The purpose was not to nix the project but to get the other parties to live up to their agreement.”
The motion was seconded but didn’t have the support to pass so Nelson withdrew it.
According to a report in the Ketchikan Daily News, SEAPA CEO Trey Acteson said “SEAPA was not obligated to build the line, just to get it ready for construction.” He also said the project is “grant-funded and non-time-consuming.”