KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Ketchikan City Council voted to pursue a $73 million deal to allow communities that operate the Four Dam Pool to purchase the state-owned hydroelectric facilities.
The proposal now goes to second reading and also must be approved by other municipal-run utilities and electric cooperatives in the pool.
The Four Dam Pool consists of the Swan Lake project, serving Ketchikan; the Tyee Lake project, serving Petersburg and Wrangell; the Terror Lake project, serving Kodiak; and the Solomon Gulch project, serving Valdez and Glennallen.
It derives its name from the fact that customers pool operating costs at the four projects.
Gov. Tony Knowles signed legislation last year approving the sale as a way to endow a fund to pay for Power Cost Equalization subsidies to Bush communities. The endowment would contain nearly $187 million to contribute to the $15.7 million annual cost of the subsidy.
Sale of the Four Dam Pool would be financed by the Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority, which owns the plants, said agency spokeswoman Lynn Kenney.
Under state law signed by Knowles, the sale ends Dec. 31 and it is unclear what happens to the facilities after that, Kenney said.
The sale would also allow the Panhandle communities to move forward with a Southeast Intertie, which would interconnect isolated Southeast communities via a power grid.
The first phase of the intertie would connect Swan Lake near Ketchikan with Lake Tyee near Wrangell at a cost of $79 million. Other links could connect Petersburg and Kake, Juneau and Hoonah, Sitka and Kake, and Sitka, Angoon and Hoonah.
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