We have a heck of a battle going on between Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association and its power provider, Homer Electric Association.
It seems the aquaculture association is in jeopardy of having the power shut off to its remote Tutka Bay salmon hatchery.
The problem is that the buried power line that runs under Tutka Bay Lagoon to the hatchery is in poor condition and "constitutes a continuing hazard to the safety of the public," HEA says.
The aquaculture association's position is, OK, so fix it.
HEA is saying fine, but you hatchery guys have to pay to either lay a new submarine line or string an overhead line. The cost: $200,000 to $464,000.
The aquaculture people are saying no way can we afford that, but we desperately need power to keep our baby fish alive.
Naturally, a bunch of lawyers are now involved, and the matter is pending before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.
Gary Fandrei, executive director of the aquaculture association, lays out his organization's position in this testimony filed with the RCA on Dec. 18.
As I understand it, the power utility feels it's not obligated to make such an expensive outlay for a single customer, and that the hatchery should be able to go with a less expensive option such as on-site generators.
To find HEA's position as well as that of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and others, click here and look under "Documents."