City of Unalaska Inks Geothermal Power Agreement
Release Date: August 31, 2020
Contact: Bernie Karl – 907-488-1409
City of Unalaska Inks Power Purchase Agreement for Geothermal Power
The Ounalashka Corporation and Chena Power signed a 30-year power purchase agreement, (PPA), with the City of Unalaska on August 31, 2020 for 30MW of geothermal produced electrical energy. In 2019, Ounalashka Corporation and Chena Power formed a Partnership (OCCP, LLC) specifically to establish a sustainable alternative geothermal energy project using the nearby Makushin Volcano.
Unalaska is located along the sea lanes of the great circle route connecting North America to Asia. As a result, its Bering Sea location is home to the International Port of Dutch Harbor, recognized also as the top US fishing port in the US.
In 1981 exploration drilling confirmed a world class geothermal resource on the eastern slopes of Makushin Volcano approximately 13 miles from the City of Unalaska. After the discovery well, prospects looked good for a geothermal power plant for the City displacing fossil fuels. Nonetheless, since 1981 there have been five (5) attempts to advance this project without success. “What makes this different is that we’ve put together a team of Alaskans with a common vision and proven local, national and international business and technical leadership,” said Chris Salts, CEO of the Ounalashka Corporation. “We know this can be transformational for our community and our future role in the world and we’re all pulling in the same direction to see it realized.”
The agreement satisfies a key step enabling the Makushin Geothermal Project to proceed to financing and continue to a scheduled commercial operation date in the final quarter of 2023. The capacity of the facility will accommodate all of Unalaska’s current and known potential customer base. The benefits of geothermal offer greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, provide the region and its customers energy security, as well as accelerate the diversity of its economic base.
For more information and updates visit: https://www.alaskageothermal.info
About Ounalashka Corporation: The Ounalashka Corporation (OC) is the Alaska Native Village corporation for Unalaska, Alaska. The corporation was formed in 1973 under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. Incorporated with an original 269 Unangan shareholders, OC now is approaching 500 shareholders and many more descendants. OC is a for-profit corporation with businesses in land leasing and development. OC is the major landowner in Unalaska and leases land and properties to commercial and residential customers. Commercial tenants include clients in the fishing and fishing support industries, international shipping and logistics companies, sand and gravel extraction, retail and others. OC is guided by a Board of Directors, who set the mission and vision of the organization. Day-to-day business is overseen by our dedicated team of management and staff, who work in our Unalaska-based corporate headquarters and Anchorage offices.
About Chena Power: Chena Power LLC, (CP) is a privately held Fairbanks based entity that installed the first geothermal power plant in the State of Alaska and serves as a demonstration of the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology for rural Alaska. CP is an electrical utility certified in the State of Alaska and owner/operator of Chena Hot Springs geothermal power plant.
Ounalashka Corporation and Chena OC, and CP have formed a Partnership, Ounalashka Corp. and Chena Power, LLC (OCCP, LLC). The LLC is 51% owned by OC. OC has leased over 7,000 acres of land and its subsurface rights, surrounding well ST-1, to the LLC for 50 years.