Post date: Wed, 06/07/2017
The Alaska Energy Authority is sticking with its belief that one of the state’s most critical pieces of infrastructure needs close to $900 million of improvements to truly be both reliable and efficient.
AEA’s final Railbelt Transmission Plan completed this spring concludes there are $885 million worth of projects to improve the economics and reliability of the electric grid from the southern Kenai Peninsula to Fairbanks.
Another $54 million of work to add substations and transmission lines primarily around Anchorage would improve system reliability but not significantly improve the economics of the Railbelt electric grid, according to AEA.
The Railbelt Transmission Plan was compiled for AEA by the Anchorage-based consulting firm Electric Power Systems Inc.
A draft version of the study released in early 2014 estimated the need to be $903 million, but that included some smaller projects to integrate the now-suspended Susitna-Watana hydropower project into the region’s transmission system, AEA Chief Operating Officer Kirk Warren said during the authority’s May board meeting.
Warren said about $400 million of the total estimate is for projects aimed at improving the flow of power from the 120-megawatt, AEA-owned Bradley Lake hydropower plant near Homer to the demand centers of Anchorage, the Mat-Su and Fairbanks.more....