Kodiak Electric Association and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials pose with a giant check for 38-million dollars. The loan from the federal agency will help KEA purchase the Terror Lake hydroelectric plant. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KMXT)
Kodiak Electric Association has received a big boost in its efforts to purchase the Terror Lake hydro plant from the Four Dam Pool. A 38-million dollar loan from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service, announced Monday, will go along way toward ensuring that KEA will reach its goal of 95 percent renewable energy by the year 2020. KMXT’s Casey Kelly reports.
The USDA rolled out all the stops for the announcement. The head of the agency’s Rural Utility Service in Washington, D.C., Jim Andrew, made the trip to Kodiak to present KEA officials with a giant check for 38-million dollars. Andrew says the agency sees this benefiting not just Kodiak, but the rest of the country as well.
(Andrew 1 :11s “…it’s gonna be good for everybody.”)
Andrew says the nation is starting to realize that it needs renewable energy. Soaring fuel prices have many utilities seeking out projects that will wean consumers from diesel generated power, and he says rural electric agencies have been at the forefront.
(Andrew 2 :16s “…leading the charge on this by far.”)
Cliff Davidson, chairman of the KEA board of directors, says USDA supported the Terror Lake hydro project from the beginning, and the loan represents the next step in securing the board’s goal of 95 percent renewable energy within 12 years.
(Davidson 1 :07s “…do it without your partnership.”)
Terror Lake is currently owned by the Four Dam Pool, a collective that includes four hydro plants that service the communities of Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg in Southeast Alaska, as well as Glennallen, Valdez and Kodiak in Southcentral.
KEA Executive Director Darron Scott says the loan should cover the entire cost of purchasing the hydro plant from the pool. Owning Terror Lake, he says, will make it easier for the co-op to move forward with future renewable energy projects, such as a wind farm slated to go into operation on top of Pillar Mountain next year.
(Scott 1 :15s “…this is a large step in that.”)
KEA was already working on the agreement to purchase Terror Lake before the loan announcement. Scott says the co-op has settled on the financial terms of the deal and will be seeking approval from the other pool members by the end of the year.
(Scott 2 :19s “…does help the process for sure.”)
He says the loan will be paid back over 30 years with a fixed low-interest rate. In addition to presenting KEA with the loan check, USDA officials had a chance to tour the Terror Lake facility, located 25 air-miles southwest of Kodiak city, during their trip to the island.
I’m Casey Kelly.