No. 826 Wrangell Capacitor Installation
Proposer: City and Borough of Wrangell in conjunction with Trident Seafood
Benefit/Cost Ratio: Applicant: N/A AEA: N/A
The applicant is requesting $74,985 in grant funds to design and construct a capacitor on
Wrangell’s local distribution system to increase voltage stability on the interconnected
Southeast Alaska transmission system. Total grant request is $81,973 with $6,988 matching
Contribution to Lower the Cost of Energy
Indeterminate to none. This project is designed to increase transmission system voltage
stability during the summer months when Trident Seafood fish processing loads cause
significant increases in reactive power demands. Because of the lack of a capacitor, an
increase in system voltage from the Tyee and/or Swan Lake hydro facilities is required,
reducing the reserve capacity available to manage transient events on the system or
serve prospective loads.
Wrangell is the only city on the Southeast transmission system without distribution level
capacitive voltage support equipment. While this project does not serve to reduce the
cost of energy in the area directly, it will allow the transmission system to operate more
It does not appear that this project qualifies for grant funding as a “transmission or
distribution infrastructure that links an eligible renewable energy project to other
transmission or distribution infrastructures”. The Wrangell distribution system is already
linked to Swan and Tyee lake hydro generation through the transmission system. This
project will not provide a link to any new sources of energy nor will it result in additional
renewable energy generation. It will allow the existing grid to operate better.
According to the Preliminary Load Forecast, Wrangell is expected, with the additional
Trident Seafood load, to sell over 40,000 MWH in 2012. This is a very minor, non-
burdensome financial addition to the electrical system serving Wrangell (a capital cost of
less than $0.002 per annual KWH sold) and will more than likely happen regardless of
whether or not REF funding is made available. According to financial statements, the
Wrangell electric utility consistently maintains over $1 Million in reserves on hand.
Once installed the system should be easy to maintain and provide long term transmission
line stability benefits for the foreseeable future.
Potential Public Benefits
Greater voltage stability will be provided to Wrangell customers, magnetizing current on
the transmission system will be reduced, and the transmission system will have a greater
reserve capacity to deal with transient loads and/or serve additional loads in Southeast.
-1- November 2, 2011