Warm temperatures and abundant sunshine have provided ample opportunity for fun and recreation for many in Alaska this summer. Dry weather conditions have also caused forest fires in some parts of the state. For Kodiak Electric Association, the lack of rain and warm temperatures are causing a different type of concern. KMXT’s Erik Wander has more.
One person who is admittedly enjoying the unusually warm and sunny weather this summer is Darron Scott. However, in his role as CEO of Kodiak Electric Association, he also admits the weather has him somewhat concerned. He said the lack of snow he noticed on a visit to KEA’s Terror Lake hydroelectric facility last week was troubling. He described Terror Lake’s "bread and butter" as rainfall and snow-melt.
— (Scott 1 26 sec. "May and June, early July … right to the lake itself.")
Scott said current water levels at the lake are acceptable, but that projections for the next few months are not looking nearly as good as they should at this time of year.
— (Scott 2 21 sec. "We actually started the summer … augment the lake level.")
He said that in fact a larger percentage of KEA’s load will be from diesel over the next few months as a consequence of the limited rainfall. Just how large that percentage will be depends on how much it rains in the near future.
— (Scott 3 15 sec. "If we got some of the good … later on down the road.")
By contrast, Scott said Tuesday that testing of the three wind turbines atop Pillar Mountain is going very well. He said however that there was a period of a few days recently when KEA was concerned about that facility as well.
— (Scott 4 19 sec. "We weren’t getting much … and all three making power.")
Scott said he expects testing on the wind project to be complete toward the end of this month, and the turbines to be fully operational and online sometime in August. Meanwhile, he said he looks forward to seeing some summer rain soon, hopefully.
I’m Erik Wander.