Utility needs to boost line capacity out of power plant for future needs


January 20, 2022

Sarah Aslam/Wrangell Sentinel

Rod Rhoades, shown here monitoring a generator while Wrangell was on emergency power Dec. 1, has said the community's standby diesel plant needs a wiring upgrade to move more electricity into the grid during peak demand or in case of emergencies.

Wrangell's generating plant has an eight-megawatt line out the door but needs to go up to 12 megawatts if it wants to fully serve the power needs of the community during shortages, according to the head of the utility department.

This need, while known for a couple of years, was starkly illuminated by two back-to-back events, said Superintendent Rod Rhoades at Wrangell Municipal Light & Power. The first was a Nov. 30 windstorm that severed the Southeast Alaska Power Agency's feeder lines in town, followed by a cold snap this month.

"We were seeing, regularly, the (power) demand of the...

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