Construction starts on Eklutna Generation Station
Mantanuska Electric Association started construction on its Eklutna Generation Station when the first truckload of concrete was poured for the power block building’s foundation April 2.
The building will house engines, generators and support equipment for the $265 million generation facility, according to a press release. The foundation — which will be 480 feet by 130 feet and range in depth from 2 to 4 feet — should be completed by the end of the month, MEA said.
More than 500 truckloads — approximately 6,000 cubic yards — of concrete will be poured to create the foundation. Chugiak’s Klondike Concrete is supplying the concrete.
The power block foundation will also contain about 1.5 million pounds of steel rebar, MEA said.
The utility broke ground on the site of its new natural gas power plant June 26, 2012. The new facility will stand adjacent to the now defunct Eklutna Power Plant, which operated until the 1940s.
The 171-megawatt plant is scheduled to start producing power Jan. 1, 2015, MEA said. The cooperative’s contract with Chugach Election Association ends in 2014.
The new plant will be located on a 70-acre parcel of land, which MEA purchased from Eklutna, Inc. in 2009, on the east side of the Glenn Highway between the railroad tracks and the base of Eklutna Mountain.
The 10, dual-fuel generating sets will operate on natural gas. In case the gas supply is interrupted, the 18-cylinder units can switch to run on diesel, MEA said.
The 10 engines weigh 355 tons each.