Juneau, Alaska’s electric utility company has completed another barrier designed to protect power lines from avalanches.
Alaska Electric Light and Power says work is finished on a second avalanche splitter that will divert snow around power line towers.
Large avalanches in 2008 and 2009 damaged towers that hold power lines on a 43-mile route from the Snettisham Lake hydroelectric facility to the capital.
Without hydroelectric power, Juneau’s utility provides electricity by burning expensive diesel fuel and that increases power costs for customers.
The state’s Renewable Energy Fund granted the utility $2 million for the wedge-shape avalanche diverters to protect towers built in the mountainside avalanche zones.
The first avalanche diversion was installed in 2009. It has withstood an avalanche that reached halfway up its 40-foot height..
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