Chugach Electric personnel recently spent two days and thousands of dollars repairing a transmission line that was shot by vandals. The damage to the line, between the Portage and Hope substations, was discovered during a routine inspection.
To repair the line, a Chugach operations crew had to first clear snow to provide access to the area that was damaged. Chugach personnel were then able to switch the line out of service, allowing a construction crew to make the necessary repairs. The entire effort took the better part of two days.
Vandalism to electric facilities is both dangerous and expensive. In this incident, a bullet compromised the integrity of the line, and if the line had failed before the damage was discovered, the system could have experienced a major outage. During the time of the repair work, the transmission line connecting Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula was out of service, preventing generation from the Bradley Lake Hydroelectric Project from reaching Anchorage, which adds to the overall cost of repairing the line.
Vandalism is costly both in dollars and resources. Chugach urges all Alaskans to respect the power system and not use electric wires for target practice.