An aerial photo of Sitka’s newly expanded Blue Lake dam. The city decided to raise the Blue Lake dam by 83 feet, increasing its hydro capacity by 27 percent. Thanks to this $150-million public works project, Sitka will now be running on rainfall for the next 30 years. Blue Lake Expansion photo / Desiree Brandis
Last week, Sitka made history. Hundreds of Sitkans gathered at the Blue Lake dam powerhouse to celebrate the completion of Sitka’s largest public works project in history: a $150 million endeavor that heightened the Blue Lake dam by 83 feet.
With the completion of the dam expansion, Sitka will now be running on rainfall for the next 30 years.
Project manager Dean Orbison and Sitka Mayor Mim McConnell smashed a bottle of champagne against one of the new turbines as over a hundred people cheered inside the powerhouse. Outside, Sitkans young and old munched on barbeque fare while chatting about the importance of investing in clean, local renewable energy projects.
Senator Lisa Murkowski heralded the project as a model for other Alaskan communities. “Blue Lake serves as an important example of why Alaskans should continue to advocate for building environmentally responsible hydroelectric projects,” her representative stated at the ceremony. “Hydropower provides a renewable, reliable, and inexpensive energy source that reduces greenhouse gases. In order to meet Alaska’s goal of obtaining 50 percent of our electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025, we will all need to strive to do more to follow Sitka’s example.”
Let’s all thank Senator Murkowski for supporting Sitka’s Blue Lake Dam and encourage her to support other clean, renewable energy projects throughout the state.
Every project like this moves us one step closer to a renewable energy future and helps our state combat the negative effects of climate change.
Call Murkowski’s Washington D.C. office TODAY and thank her for supporting Sitka’s Blue Lake Dam. Tell her that we need more clean, local renewable energy projects in Alaska to help fight climate change.