Chugach begins O'Malley projects
Chugach has begun a series of power line projects along O'Malley Road. They are the last in a series of projects in recent years to strengthen the regional transmission system and help improve reliability for customers.
Collectively the projects are known as the South Anchorage Loop. When it embarked on the project design in 2002, Chugach's goal was to provide additional cross-town transmission links and enhanced switching capability, as well as take strain off the grid by constructing a new transmission substation from which to feed the distribution substations that serve customers in South Anchorage. Over the past several years, Chugach constructed a new transmission substation near 94th Avenue and the Alaska Railroad (ARR) track, a transmission line to energize it, and a new segment of transmission line along Elmore Road between 104th Avenue and Abbott Road.
This summer Chugach will complete the loop by building a 138-kilovolt transmission line segment along O'Malley Road from the ARR track to Elmore Road. To make room for the transmission line, existing overhead 12.5-kilovolt distribution lines will be replaced with new underground cables. Chugach will also install an underground 34.5-kv circuit in the same trench to link distribution substations.
The work along O'Malley will be underway between now and the end of the year. In general, crews will survey, clear, install underground distribution circuits and then construct the new overhead transmission circuit.
In keeping with community input, Chugach is building its new transmission line in the road right of way. Chugach has coordinated its power line projects with state transportation officials planning a future rebuild of O'Malley Road. A short segment of existing overhead line at the crest of the hill between the New Seward Highway and Lake Otis Parkway will remain overhead until the rebuild of O'Malley Road is completed and a final grade established.
The new transmission line will go on mostly single wooden poles, although metal structures will be needed at the railroad track and where the line crosses the Seward Highway.
For more information, see the project link at www.chugachelectric.com.
Chugach is the largest electric utility in Alaska, providing power for Alaskans throughout the Railbelt through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales.