As mentioned last week, some SE communities are suffering from the lack of rain due a spate of uncharacteristically sunny days over the summer this year. With more sunny days reducing the amount of runoff for dams, the less the electricity.
Thus there is replacement with more expensive diesel generators picking up the slack; this is often cheaper than the large capital outlay than putting in a new dam. Also, the length of time required for a small dam system to be completed due environmental concerns is much greater than ever in the past and thus slowing down the time it takes to put in new hydro systems.
Yet for at least the last half decade the village of Kake has been laying plans for a new hydro system that would provide half the power now created with diesel generators; the new hydro system would be built at an existing dam and can possibly save 6.2 million gallons of diesel oil in the following half century. According to the local utility, Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, this should help to decrease residential electric rates. Angoon and another in Hoonah could be built, with the help of grants, to add capacity to the existing projects. —–AN—–