Project underway to replace Koliganek power plant

Aug 25, 2017

The village of Koliganek is aiming to have a new power plant up and running by next fall.

Andrew Gallagher was in Koliganek in July to collect soil samples to determine what foundation considerations are needed for the construction of the new power plant.
Credit Avery Lill/KDLG

The village of Koliganek is getting a new power plant. The funds are in place. Now they need a finished design and materials before construction can begin.

The new power plant will have three diesel generators and more efficient waste heat recovery lines. Those will provide heat for the health clinic and the school, displacing about 14,700 gallons of heating fuel annually.

Another upside is the new power plant will be much quieter. The constant hum of the current plant is audible from nearby buildings, including the health clinic across the road.

An engineer with CRW Engineering Group, the primary group designing the project, was there last month to collect soil samples to determine what foundation considerations are needed for the construction of the new power plant.

“The power plant here was built in like 1987. The engines are really inefficient, and only one of them works,” said engineer Andrew Gallagher. “It becomes a maintenance nightmare for the community, and it’s really inefficient and expensive.”

The final design for the plant is nearly complete. Koliganek mayor Herman Nelson anticipates the new plant will be operational by fall of next year.

“The materials and everything are going to come in the springtime, and then they’ll work on it over the summer. It’s probably going to take about six months to get this project completed because they have to start from the ground up. It’s going to be a plus project for the village and the state,” said Nelson.

The estimated cost of design and construction is  just over $2.7 million dollars. United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service is funding the bulk of the project. The project also utilizes state funds awarded through a grant from the Alaska Energy Authority.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.

The health clinic across the street from the Koliganek power plant will benefit from more efficient waste heat recovery lines.
Credit Avery Lill/ KDLG