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With PPA signed, geothermal project in Unalaska, Alaska moving ahead

City view of Unalaska, Alaska (source: flickr/ umnak, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 7 Sep 2020

Chena Power and Alaska Native village corporation have secured a 30-year power purchase agreement for the planned 30 MW Makushin geothermal power plant in Unalaska, a fishing town community in Alaska, U.S.

Reported locally, Ounalashka Corp., an Alaska Native village corporation and Chena Power have signed a 30-year power purchase agreement with the city of Unalaska. The agreement for the delivery of 30 MW of geothermal power was approved in the city council of Unalaska on August 25, 2020, and subsequently signed on August 31, 2020.

With the PPA now in place, the Makushin geothermal power project can proceed to secure the necessary funding for development. The developer hopes to then bring the plant online in the final quarter of 2023, according to officials in the city.

The partner in the project, Ounalashka Corp. is the Native village corporation for Aleuts in Unalaska and the Amaknak Islands in the Aleutians. It is affiliated with Aleut Corp, an Alaska Native regional corporation.

Early exploration drilling near Unalaska were conducted in 1981, and there have been several groups that looked into development of a project on the slopes of Makushin Volcano, around 13 miles from the city of Unalaska. We initially reported first on the project in 2009. Chena Power is the key development partner building on its experience in developing and operating a geothermal power plant in Chena Hot Springs, Alaska.

According to Chris Salts, CEO of the Ounalashka Corp., the joint efforts by Alaskans combining local, national and international business and technical leadership were the key to get so far.

It is expected that the plant will provide sufficient power to all of Unalaska’s needs for the population and businesses. Unalaska is a large hub for Alaska’s and the U.S. fishery sector representing around 7% of the total fishery landings in the United States. There are large shore-based seafood processing companies in Unalaska/ Dutch Harbor.

Details and discussions related to the agreement on the power purchase agreement with the Unalaska city council can be found here.

Source: The Cordova Times