Snettisham to go offline next week for maintenance

The Snettisham Hydro project will be offline next week for repairs, during which time diesel generators will be turned on to power Juneau.


Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. spokeswoman Gayle Wood said this won’t affect customers’ bills because the cost of diesel has already been included within the current Cost of Power Adjustment, or COPA. This component is about one-tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour for June through October billings.

AEL&P states savings could be reflected in an upcoming COPA in the event of less diesel being used than required.

While diesel will continue to serve regular customers, dual fuel customers like Princess Cruises and Greens Creek will be interrupted and must rely on their own diesel systems.

Work begins Monday with a tentative ending date of July 16. Wood said while the utility hopes the work will be completed by then, the timeline is subject to change depending on the weather’s cooperation with flights out there, and work speed.

AEL&P will be replacing a tower in the avalanche area. The different tower design adds two more components to add strength and take tensions from that line better, strengthening that section of the line. Wood said this could minimize damage and help restore the line in the event of an avalanche.

“Its tolerance is OK, but we still felt more comfortable beefing that structure up,” she said.

The utility will also be installing break-away links on adjacent towers to prevent additional avalanche damage. Wood said this would prevent a “domino effect” in such an event by causing the lines to snap without stretching and taking down the towers.

Other maintenance will include relay programming and switch maintenance.

AEL&P will use backup diesel generators to supplement power production during this time.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at


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