Alaskan people are converting to electric heat!

In Alaska, Sitka’s Blue Lake and Ketchikan’s Whitman Lake hydro facilities may be expanded to accommodate rising electrical usage.

The Sitka project would increase the height of an existing dam and add a turbine to increase hydroelectric generation capacity about 30 percent to power the switch to electric heat. “It will allow us to generate more electricity over a year’s time with the same amount of water,” says Dean Orbison, the engineer overseeing the project for Sitka’s electrical utility. “We’ve found that with rising oil prices people have been switching to electric heat because it’s actually cheaper. So our loads are increasing and we’re raising the damn to meet the load,” he says.

Ketchikan would get additional generators powered by water from Whitman Lake for growing electrical demand also from home heating conversions. 

Link to the full story:  KFSK – Public Radio in Petersburg, Alaska – Local News