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

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

CVEA says goodbye to CEO Robert Wilkinson

Annual meeting introduces John Duhamel as next executive officer


Valdez Star photo

CVEA says a record 290 people – including 181 members - in Valdez attended the cooperative's annual meeting Thursday evening at the civic center.

Copper Valley Electric Association's annual membership meeting set a record.

According to its spokeswoman, Sharon Crisp, 181 Valdez co-op members attending last Thursday's meeting, with a total of 290 people in attendance.

Attendance at CVEA annual meetings jumped considerably in recent year's when the electric cooperative began holding a drawing during the event to give away a vehicle it was planning to mothball.

Attendance at the Glennallen membership meeting was even higher according to Crisp – 360 people, including 181 registered members.

While the drawings for vehicles and other prizes, including cash, do not hurt, attendees are brought up to speed on CVEA projects such as the construction progress of the new run-of-the-river hydroelectric project at Allison Creek.

John Duhamel, who is slated to become CEO of the cooperative this June upon the retirement of outgoing the outgoing CEO, Robert Wilkinson, gave an the update on Allison Creek.

Photo courtesy CVEA

Outgoing CEO Robert Wilkinson, left, with future CEO John Duhamel, right. Duhamel will take over the reins for CVEA this June, when Wilkinson retires.

The project, which broke ground for construction last year, will not come online until 2016 he said. The project, which is expected to displace what has historically been costly diesel fuel, will be slightly more costly at current oil prices.

Last year, CVEA said a kwh from Allison Creek will be 13.75 cents.

Low water levels at the Solomon Gulch hydro facility will likely lead to increased diesel electrical generation this year, Duhamel told the audience.

CVEA board president Will Stark said he was proud of the project, which he said is like most large-scale power projects: geared for the next generation of users.

Stark also gave updates on CVEA progress on moving vulnerable power lines out of avalanche hazard zones, which have caused service disruptions in recent years.


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