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June 19, 2019 | KRBD
Managers at Ketchikan’s city-owned electric utility expect they will need to continue renting backup diesel generators through fall.
In a memo, Ketchikan Public Utilities Electric Division System Engineer Jeremy Bynum writes that the four rented generators likely will be needed at least until October. The diesel generators are in place because of ongoing drought conditions limiting access to hydroelectric power.
The utility first rented additional backup generators last fall. KPU also owns some backup diesel generators.
Bynum wrote in a separate memo that the utility’s operations plan aims to maximize the use of hydropower while still protecting lake levels, in order to use as little expensive diesel as possible. But, less rain than usual and a thin snow pack mean lake levels remain low.