100% paid for by us -
No Financial Endorsements
We spent our own money in this fight to keep the Special Interests from taking over the board – so that you, our members, did not have to spend more of your money paying higher rates in the years ahead. Special interest agendas have no place in the CEA Board Room.
THE TRUTH YOU DESERVE TO KNOW
Chugach’s 5 year strategic plan, which was approved last year, includes a priority goal for decarbonization that supports diversification of its generation portfolio while reducing dependency on limited natural gas supplies. Its action plan includes support of clean energy generation without losing system reliability with a goal of reducing its carbon emissions by at least 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040, without a negative material impact on its members rates. The strategic plan is posted on Chugach’s website at https://www.chugachelectric.com/about-us/board-of-directors
Integration and feasibility studies are ongoing for two commercial scale renewable projects, one wind and one solar, to be located on the west side of Cook Inlet. The studies are planned to be completed by the fall of this year. Results from these studies will inform Chugach, the other Railbelt utilities, and independent power producers of the technical and economic viability of these important projects. And if approved, they will provide renewable power at or less than Chugach’s avoided cost, which is the cost Chugach incurs to produce its power. The result is NO INCREASE in our members rates.
Our team, who contributed significantly to the development of these strategic goals, fully supports Chugach's ambitious but achievable targets. However, as a cooperative who is accountable to its members for producing reliable, sustainable and affordable power, we should not advocate for the proposed Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) currently being considered in the legislature. The penalties for not meeting its unrealistic goals, including 80% renewables by 2040, can be $20,000 GWH. This would be catastrophic for Chugach and its members.
A recent (27 April) op-ed in ADN by Robert Seitz, PE, concludes the RPS would be a bad policy decision at this point in time.
Our team agrees: more planning is needed, and the transition to renewables, here in Alaska where we do not have a suitably interconnected power transmission system, must be measured, logical, technically sound and financially viable. Navigating this transition is complex, and flexibility to adjust targets is required. Transition on a firm timeline, at nearly any cost, is simply not technically or financially sound.
Subscribing to the currently proposed RPSs is premature, and the proposed penalties for non-attainment – $20,000/GWh, which cannot be recovered in rate adjustments – could be extremely detrimental for sustained operation of the Railbelt utilities.