The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Electric co-op members jam annual meeting

CVEA recapped old business and introduced new projects in the queue


Photo courtesy of CVEA

CVEA officials displayed a few of photos and graphs showing members future projects during its Valdez membership meeting a week ago Tuesday.

Members of Copper Valley Electric Association turned out in near record numbers a week ago Tuesday to attend the cooperative’s annual membership meeting.

CVEA officials announced 151 registered members had signed in at the meeting at the Valdez Civic Center. The high attendance rate was no doubt enhanced by a drawing where one lucky member in attendance would win a used Ford F350 pickup truck.

“It’s not a new one but it runs,” joked Jim Manning, CVEA board president.

The meeting highlighted CVEA accomplishments, future changes and potential new projects.

Engineer John Duhamel gave updates on the ongoing Allison Creek Hydroelectric project, which has an application license pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC.)

The project could go online as soon as 2015 Duhamel said, which will change the balance of fuel types currently used by CVEA to produce electricity.

Approximately half of the electricity currently produced by CVEA comes from the Solomon Gulch Hydro plant on Dayville Rd.

“That leaves 50 percent with fossil fuels, which we’re trying to get away from,” Duhamel said. The Allison Creek project will increase hydro production to 66 percent.

The cost of diesel generation and electricity from the cogeneration plant at Petro Star during the winter months is often the culprit in high electricity bills for consumers.

CVEA officials said a third hydro project is in the early stages of study in the Tiekel River Valley.

The proposed project will consist of a dam west of the Copper River around Mile 45 of the Richardson Highway. It is estimated it will be built at a 400 foot elevation with a height of 1000 feet.

Its energy generation potential ranges from 10 to 350 megawatts according to the membership report.

Source: CVEA 2011 Annual Report

A map of the proposed new hydroelectric project at Allison Creek.

The cooperative also gave brief updates on other electricity generating studies.

A biomass review has been rejected, while a wind generation study continues at the 10 Mile area of the Richardson Highway with a second wind tower test slated for Tolsona Ridge.

Other highlights included by was not limited to a presentation by Jaime Matthews also of the new CVEA rate structure tentatively slated for June, 2012; tentative plans to move the Thompson Pass transmission line that has been repeatedly damaged by avalanches; the new tariff for members that generate their own electricity and sell excess to CVEA; and the presentation of service awards for board members and employees.

Oh, and as for the Ford pickup truck? It was won by Steve and Theresa Richardson.


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