Keeping the Peninsula’s lights on

  • Thursday, October 9, 2014 6:46pm
  • Opinion

There might’ve been a time in the not too distant past when most Kenai Peninsula residents would’ve shrugged off the prospect of being without electricity for a few days.

But times have changed and the peninsula’s population has grown. With that progress comes the expectation that when we flip the switch, the lights will come on — or at least there will be an outlet where we can charge our smartphone.

Homer Electric Association, the central and southern Kenai Peninsula’s cooperative electric utility, continues to improve its power generation capabilities, this week sharing with the public its progress on a back-up generation facility in Soldotna. The natural gas-powered turbine will help HEA meet the region’s needs when its primary generation facilities in Nikiski aren’t able to keep up, whether due to peak demand or an outage.

We’re glad to see that HEA continues to plan for the future here on the Kenai Peninsula. The cooperative’s energy production capabilities now include the co-generation plant in Nikiski, a share of the hydroelectric power coming from Bradley Lake, the Bernice Lake facility in Nikiski and the new turbine in Soldotna, and HEA will be able to meet our needs for years to come.

That said, now is a good time to check and make sure you’re prepared for those times when the lights do go out. While those times are few and far between, it is Alaska, after all, and winter weather is setting in. That means snow, wind, and cold. Take a few minutes to make sure you’re prepared for a power outage — or whatever else is thrown our way. Do you know where the flashlight is? Does it have fresh batteries? Do you have food and water to last a couple of days, if necessary? How about important medications? Has your family put together an emergency plan?

You can find more information on being prepared on the borough’s emergency management website, http://www.borough.kenai.ak.us/emergency-mgmt.

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