The Ketchikan City Council on Dec. 12 unanimously approved the purchase of state-owned hydroelectric facilities, moving a step closer toward the construction of the Swan Lake-Lake Tyee Intertie.
In order to go through, the purchase must be approved by the council a second time, and also by the other members of the Four Dam Pool: Petersburg and Wrangell and the Copper Valley and the Kodiak Electric associations.
City Manager Karl Amylon said the council had to decide whether it was better to move ahead with the sale, which would give the Four Dam Pool the opportunity to run the hydroelectric facilities more efficiently, or keep things status quo. The state would likely sell the dams to third parties if the utilities didn't buy them, he said.
The four hydroelectric projects - Swan Lake, Lake Tyee, Solomon Gulch and Terror Lake - must be purchased by the Four Dam Pool to ensure affordable power to energy users in Southeast Alaska, said Tom Friesen, one of the city's representatives on a Joint Action Agency.