Switch to diesel will only cost you 'fractions of a cent'

AEL&P still investigating cause of area-wide power outage

Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. customers will only see ‘fractions of a cent’ in added cost to their monthly electric bill as a result of Friday morning’s area-wide power outage, according to a company spokeswoman.

When power went out at about 8:45 a.m. Friday, AEL&P switched from hydroelectric to diesel to supply power to its 16,000 customers in Juneau.

AEL&P spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll told the Empire that all power was restored before 10 a.m., and the backup diesel generators were not on for long.

Anytime the company makes the switch to diesel, it uses a method called COPA (Cost of Power Adjustment) to determine the added cost to customers.

“In this case, it will be fractions of a cent,” Driscoll said.

AEL&P initially thought the outage was caused by a turbine failure at the Snettisham hydroelectric power plant, which is located about 28 miles south of Juneau. Further investigation revealed it was actually a fault on a transmission line at Snettisham.

The company conducted visual inspections of the line, but did not find what tripped it, Driscoll said.

“When they attempted to close the line to re-energize it, it held power,” Driscoll said. “So whatever had caused the outage had cleared.”

Power being restored after area-wide outage

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