Current News

CVEA In the News......

Check out all the most up to date CVEA information in your monthly copy of Ruralite Magazine.  As a CVEA member, you will receive a new issue in your mailbox each month.  If you would rather not receive Ruralite or if there are topics you would like to see covered in the magazine, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-3211 or 835-4301 or crisp@cvea.org

May 5, 2017

2017 CVEA Annual Meetings a Success

Local community members came out in large numbers to support your electric co-op, with approximately 250 people attending the 2017 Annual Meeting in Valdez and 308 attending in Glennallen.

CEO Duhamel talked to the crowd about the effects of high customer usage on their power bill, explained how various items cause significant increases, and directed them towards a web tool that helps calculate the cost of various household items.  He discussed the completion of the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project and outlined several other accomplishments in 2016. Duhamel also announced a new tour program that will allow members to participate in scheduled tours of all CVEA power plants.

Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Directors election results, the introduction of the 2017 Community Foundation scholarship award recipients, and recognition of employee service awards.

In Board of Director elections Mary Odden (Copper Basin) and Jeff Saxe (Valdez) were re-elected to three year terms.

Amanda Friendshuh and Jonah Coats were each awarded a $2,000 educational scholarship and Kathleen Hale was selected to represent CVEA at the Idaho Youth Rally Leadership Camp this summer.
 
In addition, Foundation volunteers Genia Duhamel, Cindy Unger, Sandy Johns, and Miguel Saavedra, were on hand selling Split-the-Pot tickets to raise funds for the Community Foundation.  Toa Finau took home $274 in Glennallen and Jim Ehret won $295.50 in Valdez. In total $570 was raised to benefit Community Foundation programs.

Several CVEA employees were recognized for their years of service to the Cooperative.  Tom Johnson, Jim Ehret, and Darin Sauls celebrated 5 years; Toni Daniels and Sharon Crisp celebrated 10 years; Erik Brenden celebrated 20 years, and Terry Delay celebrated 25 years of service.

Over 90 door prizes were given out in each district.  Nell Ulrich, of Glennallen, and Randy Holbrook, of Valdez each won a Ford F350 beater! Winners of the first ballot drawing were Logan and Suzanne Lappi and Steve and Sara Goudreau; each will receive a $100 credit on their May electric bill.

CVEA thanks everyone who attended and those that helped make this year’s events successful.
If you have questions on this or any CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 21, 2016

CVEA Ruralite Cover Photo Contest Winners Announced!

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 10th Annual Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest.  Congratulations to Ed Pinsky,  Nicole Wattengel, Russell Posey, and Wayne McKinzey.  Three of Ed Pinky’s photos were chosen by CVEA employees this year; Abandon Lodge, Pals, and Reflections. Nicole Wattengel also won for her three photos Lights Dancing, Wrangell Lights, and Sunrise Over Drum. Russell Posey won for his photo Fiery Sunrise, and Wayne McKinzey for his photo Allison Lake in June.

40 photos were submitted by nine member photographers.  After being narrowed to 18 finalists, a team of CVEA employees voted on their top 8 photos.  These votes were tallied to determine the winners.  Winners will all receive $100 per photo and will be featured on the cover of Ruralite in 2017, and on CVEA's Facebook page and cvea.org.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the photo contest or any other CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp, CVEA Director of Communications, at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 8, 2016

CVEA Packed October with Co-op Month Fun!

CVEA celebrated this year's Cooperative Month with events throughout October that brought the Cooperative and Community together.
Co-op Month kicked off with CVEA's annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest. Members compete to have their photo on the cover and win $100 per winning photo. Roughly 35 photos were submitted from 10 local photographers. CVEA employees are judging photos now and winners will be announced soon.

CVEA and CV Telecom partnered on another successful food drive, October 17-28. Thanks to members' donations, your local Cooperatives were able to bring a large amount of non-perishable food items to the Copper River Native Association Food Bank and the Copper River Crisis Pregnancy Center in Glennallen and delivered over 575 pounds of food to the Food Bank in Valdez ; giving all organizations the ability to provide extra assistance to their clients as they head into winter. People who brought food were rewarded with an entry into a drawing for a $100 CVEA energy credit. Congratulations to Copper Basin winner Jessica Smith and Valdez winner Gloria McAlister!

The 2016 Halloween Downtown Spooktacular events were a HUGE success in both districts. Approximately 450 kids in Valdez and over 150 kids in Glennallen, joined by their adult friends and family, hit the streets in search of candy and fun and they found it, at a record number of local businesses who participated in CVEA's event this year. CVEA turned the office into a super hero city, offered five treat stops, a free string backpack perfect for the kids Halloween candy haul, and a cool super hero photo booth, complete with a printed photo to take home. According to CVEA COO Travis Million, "fun was had by all and CVEA was pleased to work with community businesses to create a fun, safe, and easy to access trick or treating experience for kids young and old.

When CVEA employees weren't decorating or dressing up as super heroes, they actually were heroes volunteering their lunch hours each week throughout the month of October processing recyclables at the Recycling Our Areas Resources Recycling Center in downtown Glennallen. CVEA employees generously donate their time to this cause each October during Co-op Month.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding Co-op Month or any other CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp, CVEA Director of Communications, at 822-5506, or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 1, 2016

Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project radio interview on KVAK

CVEA COO Travis Million sat down with Laurie Prax, of KVAK, to talk about the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project. Click the link below to hear the interview. Thanks KVAK!

http://www.kvakradio.com/episode/cvea-allison-creek-hydro-electric-project-interview/

October 7, 2016

Copper Valley Electric Celebrates the Completion of the
Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project!

On Wednesday, October 5, 2016, Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) was joined by a group of roughly 60 people, including Governor Bill Walker, Senator John Coghill, Mayor Ruthie Knight, current and past CVEA Board members, and several key project contributors, to celebrate the completion of the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project.
The group enjoyed tours of the powerhouse, through the tunnel, and up the mountain to the diversion structure, as well as a commissioning ceremony and powerhouse dedication. CVEA COO, Travis Million, delivered an informative presentation that outlined the major components and specialized nature of the project as well as challenges the project encountered along the way. His presentation was followed by an upbeat video capturing moments from the start of the project to the finish, and congratulatory remarks from Walker, Coghill, and Knight.
Following the ceremony was a powerhouse dedication unveiling a stainless steel plaque containing names of key contributors, and each of them were presented with a commemorative 'key to the project'.
The celebration wrapped up as CVEA Board President Paul Kildal flipped the switch, officially moving the project from construction to commercial power generation.
The 6.5mega-watt hydroelectric project will move the cooperative one step closer to its vision of reducing or eliminating the cooperative's dependence on liquid fossil fuel for power generation and stabilizing the cost of generation with regional, sustainable resources.
The project promises to displace 725,000 gallons of fuel annually, eliminate 12,000 tons of emissions each year, allow Solomon gulch Lake to store more water going into the winter, generate 15 million kWhs to increase CVEA's renewable energy portfolio from 55-69% of total generation requirements, and provide benefits for generations to come.

For questions, project details, and construction images, please visit allisoncreekhydro.cveahydro.org.

April 10, 2016

CVEA Annual Meetings a Success!

Local community members came out in large numbers last week to support your electric co-op, with approximately 250 people attending the 2016 Annual Meeting in Valdez and 310 attending in Glennallen.

CEO Duhamel told the crowd that the co-op is in the home stretch on the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project, showed a video of project construction to date, and outlined what work is left to do before commercial power production begins this fall.  He also discussed ways CVEA is saving the members money by doing more work in-house, increasing hydro output from Solomon Gulch, and increasing efficiency.  Finally, members were reminded that winter rates were lower in 2015 due to fuel cost savings, and made aware that changes will be made to the Tariff that governs the co-ops Net Metering Program once the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project comes online.

Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Directors election results, the introduction of the 2016 Community Foundation scholarship award recipients, and recognition of employee service awards.

In Board of Director elections Brad Honerlaw was elected, and Fred Williams was re-elected in the Copper Basin District, and Dan Stowe was re-elected in the Valdez District.

Taylor Vollman and Zoe Langseth were each awarded a $2,000 educational scholarship and Gerek Chmielowski and Timothy Kimble were both selected to represent CVEA at the Idaho Youth Rally Leadership Camp this summer.
 
In addition, Foundation volunteers Genia Duhamel, Cindy Orvedahl, Zoe Langseth, Cassidy Matthews and Christian Spring were on hand selling Split-the-Pot tickets to raise funds for the Community Foundation.  Marc Grugier took home $360 in Valdez, and Sarah Valentine won $285 in Glennallen.  In total $645 was raised to benefit Community Foundation programs.

Several CVEA employees were recognized for their years of service to the Cooperative.  Travis Million celebrated 5 years; Zena Disney and Barbara Eaton celebrated 10 years; Cindy Butherus celebrated 15 years, and Mary Ellen Bedrick celebrated 25 years of service.

100 door prizes were given out in each district.  Craig Grams won the Chevy Tahoe in Glennallen and Chuck and Delores Gard went home with the Ford Beater in Valdez!

CVEA thanks everyone who attended and those that helped make this year’s events successful.

If you have questions on this or any CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

January 28, 2016

Emergency Transmission Line Structure Repairs on Thompson Pass
Construction Area - CVEA Notice to the Public
January 28-February 10, 2016

The public should be aware that Copper Valley Electric Association personnel will be performing emergency repairs to a transmission line structure east of Thompson Pass where the transmission line crosses the Tsaina River in the vicinity of Richardson Highway mile 31.5 at the intersection of Alyeska access road 7 APL/AMS 1A from Thursday January 28th until Wednesday February 10th. 
The immediate hazard is de-energized power lines that would normally be suspended many feet above ground level are now laying on or near the ground across the Tsaina River.  Snowmachiners should stay clear of this area as the downed power lines can be extremely difficult to see.
CVEA will be utilizing the Alyeska Pipeline right-of-way to bring materials and equipment into the work zone.  Crews will be using the 7 APL 2 access road to the pipeline right-of-way approximately 1.4 miles west of the Tsaina Lodge.  The Cooperative is asking the public to avoid this access road in order to provide sufficient room for CVEA equipment and materials to be staged, loaded, and unloaded. 
CVEA also requests the public to stay clear of the Alyeska Pipeline right-of-way between access road 7 APL 2 mentioned above and the area 1.5 miles to the west as this area will be frequented by heavy equipment during the construction period.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.  If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue or any other CVEA topic, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

Map-Construction Zone

December 16, 2015

Helicopter Flight to Patrol the CVEA Transmission Line Crashes,
Leaving Two CVEA Employees Shaken, But Uninjured

Earlier this morning, Wednesday, December 16, two CVEA employees were involved in a helicopter crash at the Valdez Airport as they were taking off to perform an aerial patrol of the transmission line. At roughly 9:30 am, as the helicopter that was contracted to take them on patrol reached approximately 75 feet in altitude, the helicopter lost power resulting in the aircraft free-falling to the ground.  The crash resulted in the tail section separating from the aircraft.
The two CVEA employees suffered no serious injuries, but will be examined by a local physician to ensure they are okay. As we understand it, the pilot of the aircraft is also uninjured. The Cooperative is very concerned about this incident as it relates to the safety of everyone involved, and we are extremely thankful our employees appear to be without injury.
If you have questions or comments regarding this news release or any other CVEA topic, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 24, 2015

CVEA Announces Winners of Ninth Annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest
Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 9th Annual Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest.  Congratulations to Ed Pinsky, Laticia Chase, Jacob Perez, Carol Crisp, and Laura Stahley. Three of Ed Pinky’s photos were chosen by CVEA employees this year; Robe Lake Lights, Columbia Ice, and Winter Quiet. Laticia Chase won for her two photos Red Skies at Night and The Perfect Saturday, Jacob Perez won for his photo Essence of the Port, Carol Crisp for her photo Sugarloaf in the Distance, and Laura Stahley won for her photo entitled Fall.

Sixty-seven photos were submitted by fifteen member photographers.  After being narrowed to 17 finalists, CVEA employees voted on their top eight photos.  These votes were tallied to determine our winners. 

Each winning photo will be featured on the cover of Ruralite Magazine for one issue in 2016.  Over 2500 copies are distributed monthly, so this means great exposure for the photographers.    Photos are also posted on cvea.org and the CVEA Facebook page. In addition, winners will receive $100 per winning photo.
CVEA would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who submitted photos. 
If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue or any other CVEA topic, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

 

November 2, 2015

CVEA Packed October with Co-op Month Fun!

CVEA celebrated this year's Cooperative Month with events throughout October that brought the Cooperative and Community together.
Co-op Month kicked off with an Open House and Community Foundation Fundraiser on Thursday and Friday, October 1 and 2, in Glennallen and Valdez, respectively. Those who stopped by enjoyed a free hotdog lunch, free gifts, door prizes, and a chance to win a $50 and $350 CVEA energy credit. They also got the inside scoop on Allison Creek and were able to join the team in support of the Community Foundation. Dave Winney won the $350 credit in Valdez and Shannon Saavedra won in the Copper Basin. Renee Ernster, of Valdez, and Coreen Palacios, of Glennallen, both won a $50 credit. The Coop raised $390 in direct donations and another $552 each year. Additionally, 31 people began rounding up their bill.
CVEA and CV Telecom partnered on a successful week-long food drive, October 12-16. Thanks to members' donations, your local Cooperatives were able to bring a large amount of non-perishable food items to the Food Bank in Valdez and the Pregnancy Center in Glennallen; giving both organizations the ability to provide extra assistance to their clients as we head into winter. People who brought food were rewarded with an entry into a drawing for a $100 CVEA or CVT credit. Valdez winners were Sheila Jordan and Linda Tousignant, and Copper Basin winners were Ethel Johnson and Roy Becker!
The 2015 Downtown Glennallen Halloween Spooktacular was a HUGE success the past Friday, October 30. Approximately 130 kids, joined by their adult friends and family, hit the highway in search of candy and fun, and they found it, at close to 30 businesses who participated in CVEA's event. This year CVEA stepped it up; decking the halls and dressing up as MINIONS. Both offices offered up 5 candy stops, gave away a free gift, and had a minion photo booth; complete with a printed photo to take home. CVEA wasn't alone; several businesses went beyond candy and had fun decorations and activities. In Glennallen, Crossroads Medical Center, along with local church groups, held a 'trunk or treat' and even had hotdogs. The Valdez office saw approximately 500 kids on Thursday, October 29, as part of the downtown trick-or-treat event. Fun was had by all and CVEA was pleased to be a part of community businesses in creating  a fun, safe, and easy to access trick or treating experience for kids young and old.
Finally, CVEA held its annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest. Winners will be announced soon!!
Congratulations to all CVEA winners and a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the CVEA Co-op Month events this year. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions regarding Co-op Month or any other CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp, Manager of Member Services, at 822-5506, or email crisp@cvea.org.

 

May 20, 2015

Join Us In Recognizing Dam Safety Awareness Day and Promote Dam Safety within Our Community

National Dam Safety Awareness Day occurs on May 31st of each year to commemorate the failure of theSouth Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889. The dam failure resulted in the loss of more than 2,200 lives and was the worst dam failure in the history of the United States.

For 30 years, the federal government has been working to protect Americans from dam failure through the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP). The NDSP, which is led by FEMA, is a partnership of the states, Federal agencies, and other stakeholders to encourage individual and community responsibility for dam safety. National Dam Safety Awareness Day was created to support this effort, provide information on what steps are taken to prevent future catastrophic dam failures, and to promote the benefits dams offer to communities.

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA)  has an extensive Dam Safety Program that includes several measuring sensors and an automated warning system that lets Operators know at the first indication that something is wrong with the project.  In addition, CVEA has an Emergency Action Plan that outlines Dam Safety requirements and includes an emergency call-out to local agencies and responders for various emergency conditions.  All employees of CVEA are trained on Dam Safety every year and system Operators get extensive emergency training to handle any emergency situation.  Your Cooperative, joined by participating agencies, conducts at least two exercises each year to practice these dam safety procedures.

While dams provide many benefits to communities, such as water storage for hydropower, storage of drinking water and improvement of wildlife habitats, they can also pose a significant flood risk if they fail. Dam safety is a shared responsibility and everyone is encouraged to know their risk (and benefits), know their role, and take action.


Visit http://engineeringstrongersafer.net/ today to find out how you can support National Dam Safety Awareness Day in your community.  Additional information on national dam safety is available at: www.fema.gov/protecting-our-communities/dam-safety.

Approximately 360 people attended the CVEA Annual Meeting in Glennallen and 290 in Valdez; beating last year's record attendance numbers. The registered member count was 178 in Glennallen and 181 in Valdez.

April 17, 2015

Huge Crowds Attend Wilkinson's Final CVEA Annual Meetings

Approximately 360 people attended the CVEA Annual Meeting in Glennallen and 290 in Valdez; beating last year's record attendance numbers. The registered member count was 178 in Glennallen and 181 in Valdez.
This year's meetings were the last for CEO Robert Wilkinson as he leaves the helm on June 1 after having served as the CEO for 18 of his almost 29 years with the Cooperative.
A major focus of the meeting was to honor Wilkinson, say goodbye, and thank him for everything he has done for the members of CVEA.  In turn Wilkinson thanked the Members for the opportunity to serve as their CEO, as well as the Board of Directors and the Employee Team for their roles in the success of the Cooperative.  John Duhamel, CVEA Executive Engineer/Project Manager, and incoming CEO, surprised Wilkinson with remarks reflecting on a few items from Wilkinson’s long list of accomplishments during his time as leader of the Cooperative.
Duhamel estimates that Wilkinson secured appropriations of grants and facilities totaling more than $150 million during his time as CEO.  "Robert negotiated ownership of the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Project from the Four Dam Pool Power Agency along with $16.6 million  for necessary repairs and maintenance, he secured grants of $23.3 million for the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project, secured grant monies for the Cogen Plant, a wind feasibility study, the Tiekel River hydroelectric study, construction money to build the Valdez Tank Farm, the Glennallen Diesel Plant Upgrade Project, Potential Failure Mode upgrades at Solomon Gulch, and much more." According to Duhamel, "averaged out, Robert has delivered $8 million per year for every year he led as the CEO; an incredible accomplishment."
Probably his most important contribution to the Cooperative, Robert built the organization into a highly regarded leader in the industry with a flawless reputation.  CVEA leads in many areas of the Alaska Electric Utility Industry.  With Wilkinson’s leadership the definition of “Rural Alaska” was changed in EPA regulations benefiting the members of CVEA by saving millions of dollars.  This action also benefited many other rural co-ops around the state.
In September of 2014 Robert was recognized for his service to the industry when he received the highest industry award given by the Alaska Power Association, the Mason LaZelle Achievement Award.  Robert’s nomination for this award was supported by past and current members of the Alaska Legislature as well as members of Alaska’s Congressional Delegation.
The presentation was followed by a surprise video that featured highlights of Wilkinson's career and accomplishments.
The other primary topic of discussion centered on the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project; outlining the accomplishments of the first construction season and what can be expected this summer and in 2016. Duhamel also outlined how the low cost of fuel can affect the economics of the project and how the Project will provide additional benefits during a low water year when there is less water at Solomon Gulch for hydropower generation.

Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Directors election results and the introduction of the 2015 Community Foundation scholarship award recipients.  In Board of Director Elections Incumbents Paul Kildal, Lon Rake and Will Stark were re-elected to three year seats.  Hannah Cox, Lacayah Engebretson, Gayle Kildal, and John Scott were all awarded scholarships in the Copper Basin. Valdez award recipients included Shelby Gudgell, Samantha Farmer, and Emily Doyel.  

CVEA employees John Duhamel, Diana Absher, Jessi Gallatin, and  Garrette Francis were recognized for 5 years of service; Jaime Matthews and Brett Stewart for 10 years, Mark Czarnecki for 15 years, and Jeanie Willford for 25 years with the Cooperative.

Community Foundation volunteers raised $601 through a split the pot raffle to benefit Foundation programs and roughly 90 door prizes were given out in each district. Fred Ewan and the St. Francis Xavier Church both went home with CVEA Beaters!

CVEA thanks everyone who attended and helped make this year’s events successful.
For additional information on this press release, please contact Sharon Crisp at
(907) 822-5506, (907) 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

January 15, 2015

Copper Valley Electric Association Names John Duhamel as Next CEO

Glennallen, Alaska - After a focused internal application and interview process, Copper Valley Electric Association Inc.'s Board of Directors has named John Duhamel as the organization's next Chief Executive Officer. John will succeed Robert Wilkinson, who retires effective June 1, 2015, after having served as the Cooperative’s CEO for 18 of his 28 years with the Cooperative.

Duhamel joined Copper Valley in 2010 and currently holds the position of Executive Engineer. He brings more than 35 years of diverse professional experience in various leadership roles to CVEA. John is a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, veteran of the Gulf War and holds an Engineering degree from the Air Force Academy and masters degrees in Public and Business Administration.

According to Will Stark, President of CVEA's Board of Directors, "The Board is confident that John's strong executive leadership skills, strategic planning abilities and overall experience in industry and at CVEA will provide continued strong leadership as our Cooperative meets the challenges ahead."

For additional information on this press release, please contact Robert Wilkinson at
(907) 822-3171 or email wilkinson@cvea.org.

December 17 , 2014

CVEA's Community Foundation Spreads Good Tidings

Representatives from the CVEA Community Foundation spread good tidings this week as they delivered checks to worthwhile non-profit organizations in Valdez and the Copper Basin.

This year six non-profit organizations in CVEA’s Valdez and Copper Basin service districts recently received funding from the CVEACF as part of the Contribution Season.
KCHU was given funds for educational and interactive materials and booth equipment to use with children at community events in Valdez and the Copper Basin as well as youth field trips to KCHU. Valdez Junior Achievement received funding to purchase program materials for students at Hermon Hutchins Elementary School. The Valdez Torpedos Swim Club was given money to purchase much needed swim caps and swimming equipment for their younger participants, and the Valdez Imagination Library was given funding to provide one new book each month throughout the year to ten local children to help foster a love of reading.

In the Copper Basin, the Foundation awarded funding to Francis Kibble Kenny Lake Library to help fund their Summer Literacy Camp, and to WISE to help continue the successful Science in Schools program that was launched three years ago as a partnership between WISE, the CVEACF, and Copper Valley Telecom.

According to Jessi Gallatin, CVEACF Past President, “the Foundation is pleased to have the opportunity to assist so many organizations with the great work they do in our communities. We look forward to the success of these programs and are happy to be a part of them.”

The next round of funding will be available in the fall of 2015; applications will be available in July.
If you have questions regarding the CVEACF, please contact Sharon Crisp at (907) 822-5506, (907) 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.     

CVEA Announces Winners of Eighth Annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest

Copper Valley Electric Associati

November 17, 2014

CVEA Announces Winners of Eighth Annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 8th Annual Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest.  Congratulations to Bob Benda, Nicole Wattengel, Rebecca Smith, Eric Scheidt, and Joann Benda.  Two of Nicole Wattengel’s photos were chosen by CVEA employees this year; Fire in the Sky and The Bright Porcupine. Bob Benda won for his photo Bear With Salmon, Eric Scheidt for his photo Spring Thaw, Rebecca Smith for her photo Reflections, and Joanne Benda won for her photo entitled Waxwings with Berries.

Forty-five photos were submitted by nine member photographers.  After being narrowed to 14 finalists, CVEA employees voted on their top six photos.  These votes were tallied to determine our winners. 

Each winning photo will be featured on the cover of Ruralite Magazine for one issue in 2015.  Over 2500 copies are distributed monthly, so this means great exposure for the photographers.    Photos are also posted on cvea.org and the CVEA Facebook page. In addition, winners will receive $100 per winning photo.
CVEA would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who submitted photos. 
If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue or any other CVEA topic, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 3, 2014

CVEA's Co-op Month Celebration a Success

CVEA celebrated this year's Cooperative Month with several activities that brought the Cooperative and Community together.
The CVEA team spent their lunch hours each week throughout the month of October processing recyclables at the Recycling Our Areas Resources Recycling Center in downtown Glennallen. CVEA employees generously donate their time to this cause each October during Co-op Month.
A successful food drive brought in non-perishable food items that were donated to the Copper Basin Crisis Pregnancy Center and Connecting Ties; giving these organizations the ability to provide extra assistance to their clients this winter. People who brought food were rewarded with an entry into a drawing for CVEA energy credits. Diana Absher won $200, Shannon Saavedra $100, and Annie Tyone $50.
This year CVEA stepped their Halloween event up a notch by creating the Downtown Glennallen Spooktacular . 25 businesses opened their doors between 3-5 pm in order to create a fun, safe, and easy to access trick or treating experience for kids young and old. Kids enjoyed lots of candy, balloons, activities, and a free gift. Approximately 75 kids stopped in at CVEA. The event was a success and CVEA looks forward to growing it in the future; more businesses and more fun.
Halloween also brought CVEA's first ever 'selfie' contest. Gianna and Jon Carlo McCune of Valdez won a $50 Visa card and their  'selfie' will be shared on CVEA's Facebook page.
Congratulations to all of our winners and a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the CVEA Co-op Month events.

 

September 15, 2014

CVEA Hosted the 63rd Alaska Power Association Annual Meeting in Valdez

Copper Valley Electric Association was the local host utility for roughly 140 delegates attending the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Alaska Power Association (APA) Tuesday, September 9 through Friday, September 12.
CVEA staff kicked off events by providing attendees tours of Solomon Lake and the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project site and hosting a Night At the Museum reception held at the Valdez Museum and Historical Archive in downtown Valdez. Over 100 people attended and enjoyed a Gold Rush themed event, wonderful exhibits, and live actors providing short historical monologues.
The Alaska Power Association brought a strong program that included a Manager’s Forum, utility Director training sessions, and a meeting of the APA Board of Directors. General sessions included presentations from lawmakers and state officials on regulatory issues and legislation that affects the power industry in Alaska. Attendees also heard from the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) on current projects, and received updates on the Susitna/Watana Hydroelectric Project from AEA’s Sara Fisher-Goad and the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project from John Duhamel, CVEA’s Project Manager and Executive Engineer.
During the evening banquet, awards were given to standout representatives from Alaska’s widely dispersed electric utilities. CVEA’s CEO Robert Wilkinson was awarded the Mason Lazelle Achievement Award, the highest award conferred by the Alaska Power Association membership.  The LaZelle award honors the memory of a leader who understood the symbiotic relationship between rural and urban Alaska, and who was a key player in helping to keep electric power affordable for Alaskans. Wilkinson’s award was supported by Alaska’s Federal Delegation, state legislators from the House and the Senate, and the people he works with every day. Wilkinson was noted for recognizing and working to combat the high cost of energy in rural Alaska for nearly three decades, for acting as a mentor to many in the industry, for his commitment to the communities he serves, and for being someone who epitomizes what it means to be a positive contributor to the electric cooperative industry and to Alaskans as a whole.
APA is the trade association for electric utilities in Alaska. It provides advocacy and program services to help member utilities in their efforts to serve consumers with affordable and reliable electricity. Collectively, Alaska Power Association member utilities provide electric power to more than a half-million Alaskans.
If you have additional questions on this or any CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

September 15, 2014

Weekend Outage Caused by High Water From Flooding

Just before 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 14, a power outage ensued affecting all CVEA members from Heiden View to the Copper Basin.  Power was restored to the majority of members by 1:50 a.m. and Heiden View by approximately 2:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
CVEA crews immediately responded and began patrolling the line to investigate the cause.  It was determined the transmission line had been knocked out of service when Structure 38-7, near Heiden View, was washed out.  High water, caused by flooding from the recent rainfall, eroded approximately 60 feet of the river bank surrounding the structure, causing it to collapse.
Power was restored, utilizing the Glennallen Diesel Plant for power generation in the Copper Basin, and generator power at Heiden View. CVEA will continue using diesel fuel for power generation in the Copper Basin until the transmission line has been repaired. CVEA is diligently working to develop and implement a solution to the problem.
If you have comments or questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

August 4, 2014

CVEA Celebrates the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project
Construction Kickoff

On Tuesday, July 29, the CVEA Board of Directors and Staff celebrated the kickoff of the construction phase of the long awaited Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project. The team was joined by roughly 30 stakeholders including Alaska State House Representative Eric Feige. Others in attendance were representatives from U.S. Senator Mark Begich’s office, the Alaska Energy Authority, the Alaska Power Association, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC), Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, McMillen Incorporated, Ahtna, and the City of Valdez.

The Kickoff Celebration was intended to gather and thank the people who have worked with CVEA over the last seven years to make this project a reality. The ceremony was held at the project construction site next to the foundation of the new powerhouse, with views of the lower access road and tunnel portal on the side of the mountain above. A reception followed at the Solomon Gulch hydroelectric facility.

A short list of speakers commemorated the project with words of congratulations, praise, and thanks. Representative Feige said that he was happy to have, in addition to Senators Coghill and Bishop, helped put funding towards this project, stating that “every dollar the State contributed was a dollar CVEA didn’t have to finance; this lowered the cost of the project and ultimately the cost of energy to the consumer.” Roughly 47 percent of this project has been funded with grants. Feige also said he was impressed with the talent at CVEA, stating that, “this project went along in textbook fashion. There were many opportunities to have gone sideways, but CVEA’s Robert Wilkinson and John Duhamel, along with their team, kept the project on the rails, on time, and on budget.”

Sheldon Petersen, Chief Executive Officer and Governor of CFC, the lending organization financing the balance of the project, told the crowd that CFC was proud to be a part of the project. He went on to say that the “absolute genius of Allison Creek is the fact that it adds additional capacity in a reliable fashion, and in a manner in which costs can be controlled.” He said that it is the perfect optimum mix and exactly the kind of solution he would expect from the Management and Board at CVEA. Petersen praised CVEA’s ability to meet the difficult challenges of a large Alaskan utility with small scale resources, saying he is “impressed with the way the Cooperative meets challenges through creative means and a lot of determination.”

Finally Petersen tipped his hat to the State of Alaska and the Renewable Energy Fund for making this investment. He believes this is the classic type of public/private partnership that can really build for future generations, seeing benefits for years to come.

CVEA’s John Duhamel was thanked for his capable leadership on the project and was praised as the reason the project has advanced as rapidly and smoothly as it has.

CEO Robert Wilkinson was congratulated on this tremendous career milestone and the legacy he is leaving with the Cooperative.
Allison Creek promises several renewable energy benefits:
• It will displace 725,000 gallons of fuel annually when it is commissioned in 2016
• It will eliminate 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually
• It will reduce annual fuel costs by $2.415 million every year
• It will generate 15 million kWhs to increase CVEA’s renewable energy portfolio from 50 to 64 percent of total generation requirements

CVEA recently launched a new website intended to provide detailed information and keep the public informed as the Cooperative moves through the construction phase of the project. The website includes information regarding project costs, financing, benefits, and a construction timeline. The site also has historical reports and articles as well as updated project images and construction videos. Visit cvea.org and click the Allison Creek logo on the homepage.

For additional information regarding Allison Creek or any CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

 

April 19, 2014

Record Attendance at the CVEA Annual Meetings Last Week

Last Attendance records were broken at the 2014 CVEA Annual Meeting held in Valdez on April 15 and Glennallen April 17. Registered members were recorded at 216 in Glennallen and 180 in Valdez, and over 600 people showed up in both districts combined.

A major topic of discussion centered on the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project; outlining the construction schedule over the next couple of years and promising power generation from the project in 2016. The cost and funding of the project as well as the benefits to the members were also discussed.  Members of the CVEA Management Team also presented the outcome of the wind generation studies the Cooperative has been working on; letting members know that wind is not a viable alternative for a commercial wind generation project in the CVEA service territory, power outage statistics, and the damaging effects of the Lowe River flooding on CVEA’s transmission line.

CEO Robert Wilkinson let members know that the Cooperative is moving forward on the Thompson Pass T-Line Relocation Project; with plans to begin construction this summer, and discussed a variety of other regional and statewide issues. In addition to reports, Wilkinson answered several questions from the Membership. 

Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Directors election results and the introduction of the 2014 Community Foundation scholarship award recipients.

In Board of Director Elections Mary Odden was elected in the Copper Basin District, and Jeff Saxe was re-elected in the Valdez District. Congratulations were given to the new and returning Directors, and a special thank you was given to outgoing Director Jim Manning who served on the Board for 12 years representing the Copper Basin.

Trevor Grams, Kendall Maslen, Ashley Hicks, and Taylor Vollman were all awarded scholarships in the Copper Basin. Valdez award recipients included Kacey Ezell, Isaac Deaton, Michelle Duarte, and Shelby Gudgell.  

The Community Foundation Board of Directors was introduced and the member volunteers who served on this year’s Credentials and Election and Scholarship Committees were applauded.

In addition, Foundation volunteers Genia Duhamel, Cindy Orvedahl, and Jessi Gallatin were on hand selling Split-the-Pot tickets to raise funds for the Community Foundation. The Valdez winner took home $317, the winner in Glennallen went home with $302, and $619 will benefit Community Foundation programs.

A record number of CVEA employees were recognized for their years of service to the Cooperative. Alex Gearhart, Mike Rego, Mike Haley, and Anthony Martin celebrated 5 years; Ryan Cook and Todd Stahley celebrated 10 years; Andy Hess, Mike Rodgers, and Darrell Banner celebrated 15 years, Pinky Becker celebrated 20 years, and Mike Leeper celebrated 25 years of service.

Roughly 90 door prizes were given out in each district. Tazlina Trading Post of Glennallen and Kristin Beck of Valdez both went home with CVEA Beaters!

CVEA thanks everyone who attended and those that helped make this year’s events successful. CVEA would like to recognize Genia Duhamel, Cindy Orvedahl, and Brenda K Scott for all of their support.
If you have questions on this or any CVEA topic, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

January 30, 2014

What Went On After the Outage

Last Friday the CVEA transmission line was knocked out of service causing an outage that affected all CVEA members. While the majority of members were restored within 15 minutes, Heiden View Subdivision remained out of power due to multiple avalanches causing road closures on the Richardson Highway and cutting off access to the subdivision. The highway closures also meant CVEA crews were unable to investigate the cause of the outage or determine if repairs were necessary.

CVEA wasted no time and Saturday afternoon crews traveled by helicopter to Thompson Pass to assess the situation and restore power to Heiden View. After landing in Heiden View, Todd Stahley, CVEA Valdez Line Foreman, and Steve Bushong, CVEA System Engineer, hiked a couple hundred feet through waist deep snow and water to access the Substation and perform the necessary switching. As of 1:28 p.m. Saturday, power was restored to the Subdivision.

During the aerial assessment it was discovered that a phase conductor had broken loose from a transmission line tower in Thompson Pass and was determined to be the cause of the outage. With continued avalanche activity and road closures in the area, access was restricted. CVEA Glennallen Line Crews eventually made multiple trips to the area on Monday and Tuesday, escorted by the Alaska Department of Transportation, to assess the situation and make repairs. As of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, CVEA’s transmission line was back in service and operating under normal conditions.
If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

 

December 27, 2013

Increased Hydro Generation Helps Keep Electric Rates Flat for Ratepayers in December and January

Electric rates for the month of December remained relatively flat in comparison to November and it is expected they will remain flat in January as well. “CVEA was able to generate more power with hydro this year, running the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Plant later into the season, eliminating the need for additional fuel, and saving the member’s money,” according to Jaime Matthews, CVEA Manager of Finance and Administration. Cooperative members typically see their bill steadily increase throughout the winter months as more fuel is used to generate electricity. Having additional hydro and using the savings to keep the fuel component on member bills flat during high usage months is good for the membership.
Members can however expect the fuel component on their bills to increase in February due to unavoidable scheduled maintenance at the CVEA Cogeneration Plant. The plant will be shut down for one week to perform required maintenance thus eliminating heat sales for the week and reducing the heat credit that helps offset the fuel cost on the bill. This maintenance must be completed during the winter when the Cogen is running, but the maintenance was moved to February, to avoid an increase in January, when member’s usage is at its highest.
For energy saving tips that will help reduce your usage and save money, please visit cvea.org or togetherwesave.com. If you have questions or concerns regarding this or any other CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

December 7, 2013

CVEA Community Foundation Awards Grants to Seven Local Non-Profits

Seven non-profit organizations in CVEA’s Valdez and Copper Basin service districts recently received funding from the CVEA Community Foundation, a non-profit Foundation set up by CVEA with a mission to provide educational scholarships to students and make contributions to non-profit organizations in our communities that are organized for educational, scientific, and charitable purposes.
KCHU was given funds to support a series of Coffee Break episodes highlighting educational and scientific programs as well as charitable organizations. The Valdez Food Bank received funding to help with a new outreach program intended to educate school-age children on hunger awareness. The Valdez Torpedos Swim Club were given money to purchase much needed new flippers and flippers for their younger participants, and the Valdez Imagination Library was given funding to provide one new book each month throughout the year to eight local children to help foster a love of reading.
In the Copper Basin, the Foundation awarded funding to the Copper Basin Child Advocacy Center for an outreach event for female caregivers in the area, to the Copper Valley Community Library to help fund a new LEGO Robotics Club, and to the Wrangell Institute for Science and the Environment to help continue the successful Science in Schools program that was launched two years ago as a partnership between WISE, the CVEA Community Foundation, and Copper Valley Telecom.
According to Jessi Gallatin, CVEA Community Foundation President, “the Foundation is pleased to have the opportunity to assist so many organizations with the great work they do in our communities. We look forward to the success of these programs and are happy to be a part of them.”
Foundation funding will now be available on an annual basis. The next round of funding will be available in the fall of 2014; applications will be available throughout the month of August.
If you would like to make a donation to the CVEA Community Foundation, please visit cvea.org or call your local office to find out how. Working together we can do more for the communities we live in.
If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 12, 2013

CVEA Announces Winners of Seventh Annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) is pleased to announce the winners of the seventh annual Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest.  Congratulations to Kathryn Hawkins, Bob Benda, Kaitlin Parker, Carol Taylor, Deb Yamakami, and Eric Scheidt. Kathryn Hawkins won for her photo Summer’s Not Over Yet, Bob Benda for Brown Bear and Four Cubs, Kaitlin Parker for Afternoon Steam from Copper River, Carol Taylor for Ending of the Day, Deb Yamakami for Dock Point in Winter, and Eric Scheidt for his photo entitled Canyon Slough.

Forty photos were submitted by member photographers.  After being narrowed to 12 finalists, CVEA employees voted on their top six photos. 

Each winning photo will be featured on the cover of Ruralite Magazine for one issue in 2014.  Over 2500 copies are distributed monthly, so this means great exposure for the photographers.  They will also be posted on cvea.org and the CVEA Facebook page. In addition, winners will receive $100 per winning photo. 

CVEA would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who submitted photos.  *Click on the Quick Link on the right to view photos.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue or any other CVEA topic, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

October 28, 2013

Severe Weather Conditions Cause Multiple Power Outages

Trees in the line, due to extremely high winds, are causing multiple power outages in the Copper Basin District.
An extended outage is still in effect for members in Copper Center. Crews cleared the line, and are currently repairing damage and working to restore power to the area. An exact duration is not known at this time, but is likely to last more than two hours.
We are also experiencing multiple outages in Kenny Lake from roughly Mile 4 to the end of the Edgerton Highway. Crews are on scene. The length of outage is unknown at this time but is expected to be an extended period of time.
Members can log onto CVEA’s Facebook page for updates as information becomes available.
CVEA thanks members for their patience.
If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005.

September 13, 2013

CVEA’s Transmission Line Back In Service

As of 4:30 am, Friday, September 13, CVEA’s transmission line was back in service and the Cooperative once again generating roughly 100% of its power requirements with hydropower. The CVEA team wasted no time installing a temporary structure out of harm’s way in order to get the system back on line as quickly as possible. A permanent solution is currently being investigated. If you have comments or questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

September 9, 2013

Weekend’s Power Outage Due to High Water in Valdez

At approximately 11:45 p.m. on Friday, September 6, a power outage ensued affecting all CVEA members from Heiden View to the Copper Basin.  Power was restored to the majority of members by 1:05 a.m. and Heiden View at approximately 5:10 a.m. Saturday morning.
CVEA crews immediately responded and began patrolling the line to investigate the cause.  It was determined the transmission line had been knocked out of service when Structure 38-7, near Heiden View, was destroyed.  High water, caused by flooding, changed the path of the Lowe River, eroded the land surrounding the structure, caused the structure to collapse, and left the cross-arm remaining in the river.
Power has been restored, utilizing the Glennallen Diesel Plant for power generation in the Copper Basin and generator power at Heiden View.  As of Monday morning, the transmission line remains out of service as CVEA crews work to implement a temporary solution to the problem.  Once the transmission line is back in service, efforts will begin to permanently repair the transmission line.
If you have comments or questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

July 25, 2013

Crow in Substation Causes Power Outage

At 5:12 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, a crow coming into contact with the Solomon Gulch Hydropower Substation caused a system wide power outage.

Crews responded immediately and power was restored to the majority of CVEA members within 27 minutes. The total length of the outage was 1 hour and 27 minutes.

An investigation concluded that the crow's contact damaged a critical piece of equipment and repairs will be completed.

If you have questions concerning this news release or other CVEA business, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

January 28, 2013

Scheduled Electrical Outage for CVEA members in Valdez located from
Airport Road on the Richardson Highway towards the Airport,
and on Salcha Way and Atigun Road.

Copper Valley Electric has scheduled an outage for Wednesday, January 30, 2013.  The interruption of power will impact all members located from the Airport Road on the Richardson Highway towards the Airport, and on Salcha Way and Atigun Road. This will include all of Aleutian Village, Valdez Mobile Home Park, Glacier View Mobile Home Park, and the entire airport area; it will not include the neighborhood of 9th Street and Sawmill.
 
It is estimated members will be without power between 1 pm and 3 pm. The outage is required to perform maintenance on a transformer in the area. 

We thank you for your patience. If you have questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-4301.

January 28, 2013

CVEA Asks Members to Go Beyond the Bottom Line on Their January Power Bill

For CVEA members with concerns regarding their January electric bill, CVEA suggests you look beyond the bottom line. For many, the bottom line figure, or what they owe CVEA on their January bill was higher than they expected, in some cases significantly higher than their December bill, and some are questioning why. CVEA encourages members to take a closer look at their electric bill as many of the answers to that question can be easily found.

CVEA member bills are directly tied to their usage; members pay per kilowatt hour used. So, the first place a member should look is at their usage. Usage on the January bill is sometimes higher than the previous month because it is billing for power used throughout the holiday season. There are many reasons for this including holiday lights, extra time off at home with lights on, watching television, or on the computer, extra cooking/baking, holiday visitors in your home, and holiday parties. Cold snaps can also affect your usage if you are using additional electricity to stay warm. You can see what dates you are being billed for right on your bill so you can determine whether or not this might be affecting what you owe.

Something else to look for is the number of days in your billing cycle. This is usually fairly consistent, but can vary by a couple of days thus raising or lowering your bill from one month to the next. For example, at $7.50/day, a bill with 32 days would be $15.00 higher than a bill with 30 days in the billing cycle.

When some people see a higher bill, we often get comments saying that CVEA ‘raised their rates’. This is not the case. While CVEA is not regulated by the RCA, like some assume, they are governed by their Tariff. Rate changes must go through a very detailed process that includes member education, public meetings, and member comment periods prior to a vote by the Board of Directors.

What does fluctuate on the power bill from month to month are fuel costs and the heat credit. Fuel costs are based on the actual cost of fuel used to generate power for the month and are a pass-through to the member. As communicated to the members during the rate study in 2012, the heat credit is given to members when CVEA is generating power using the Cogeneration Plant and selling the excess heat. The amount of the credit is based on actual heat sales. When looking at the January bill, members will notice that the heat credit is less per kWh than the previous month. Sometimes the heat credit is reduced when the Cogeneration Plant is down for maintenance or other reasons.

In 2012, CVEA ‘unbundled’ our power bill so members can see exactly where costs are coming from. You’ll notice, as mentioned above, there is no change from month to month in our rates, which are shown as the Customer Charge, the Energy Charge, and the G&T Charge. We also include a graph at the top of the bill to help members understand their usage and costs and can compare their usage and costs to the previous month and the same month in the previous year.

CVEA generates electricity using hydropower and oil. While we are mostly on hydropower in the summer months, at this time of year we generate 70% of our energy with fuel. You will see on your bill that the fuel charge is a large portion of your overall bill. Unfortunately, CVEA has no control over the cost of fuel, but the State of Alaska does. You might be able to help your Cooperative by calling your Legislators and complaining about the high price of fuel it takes to run your car, warm your home, and keep your lights on.

We hope this helps you understand what to look for on your power bill to help determine what might have caused your January power bill to be higher than you expected. Once you have reviewed your bill, if you think something looks incorrect, please give our office a call. We are happy to review your account for discrepancies.

For questions regarding this or any other CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

January 16, 2013

Scheduled Electrical Outage for CVEA members located from the
Valdez Ski Hill to Keystone Canyon.

Copper Valley Electric has scheduled an outage for Thursday, January 17, 2013.  The interruption of power will impact all members located between the Valdez Ski Hill and Keystone Canyon.  It is estimated members will be without power between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The outage is required to repair damage to one of the power poles in the area. 

We thank you for your patience. If you have questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-4301.

December 19, 2012

Outage Due to Damaged Insulator

At 10:21 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19, damage to an insulator located behind the Valdez Senior Center caused a total system power outage affecting all CVEA members.

Power was restored to the majority of affected members by 10:56 p.m., while some of downtown Valdez, and the Black Gold and Mineral Creek Subdivisions, remained out. After crews located the damage and began repairs, these areas came back on-line at varying times. The entire system was fully restored by 3:32 a.m. on Thursday, December 20.

CVEA appreciated your patience as the team worked to resolve this issue in inclement weather conditions. If you have questions or comments on this or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 16, 2012

Hydro Unit the Cause of Recent Outages

Recent outages left members of Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) without power for short periods of time on Sunday, November 11 and Thursday, November 15.  Both outages were system wide and affected all CVEA members, although the length of disruption varied depending on location. An issue with one of the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric generators was the cause for both outages. 

After the completion of the Unit 2 overhaul on November 10, Unit 1 was taken off line to perform needed preventative maintenance. During this short duration, Unit 2 tripped off line and a total system outage, lasting one hour, ensued. The cause of the unit shutdown could not be immediately determined and both units were put back on line; the two hydro units ran together for multiple days without issue.

On November 15 Unit 1 was again taken off line to address needed maintenance. At this time, Unit 2 tripped off line again resulting in another system wide outage. The total length of this outage was thirty-nine minutes.

At this time, both hydro units are running together to prevent a system wide outage if one of them were to trip off line again. The root cause of the issue is currently being investigated and once determined will be mitigated.

CVEA appreciates your patience as the team works to resolve this issue. If you have questions or comments on this or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

June 4, 2012

Gunshot to CVEA Insulator Causes Extended Outage For Some Members in the Copper Basin

During the early morning hours of Sunday, June 3, CVEA members in the area between mile 109 and mile 165 of the Glen Highway experienced a power outage. The outage began at roughly 7 a.m. and power was restored to all members by approximately 4 p.m.
 
CVEA crews immediately responded and began patrolling the line to determine the cause. As of 2 p.m., cause had not yet been determined, but the line was still unable to be energized. After further investigation it was determined the cause of the outage was a gunshot to an electrical insulator located at mile 152. Once this was determined, repairs were made, and the line was re-energized.

CVEA would like to make sure members understand that this is a serious offense and when found, responsible parties will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. CVEA would like to encourage anyone with information regarding this incident to contact Sharon Crisp at (907) 822-5506. Information leading to an arrest will be rewarded.

If you have comments or questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

January 20, 2012

CVEA Board Approves Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit
 to Help Offset the High Cost of Fuel

At the regular CVEA Board meeting on Thursday, January 19, the Board of Directors approved using $500,000 in 2011 margins to fund the Residential Fuel Credit (RFC). The credit will appear on residential power bills beginning January 2012 and will remain through May. The credit will be 5.97 cents/kWh. This will reduce the effective January Cost of Power from 25.37 to 19.40 cents/kWh.

According to CEO Robert Wilkinson, “The RFC was created in 2008 to help residential members deal with the high cost of winter power bills. CVEA is pleased we are able to offer some relief to the stress caused by high oil prices.”

Wilkinson went on to say that 2012 will be the last time the RFC will be provided. “Heat revenues are the primary source of margins used to fund the RFC each year. Under the new rate structure proposed under the rate study, heat revenues will be used as a credit on the power bill during months when heat revenues are generated.” Check out the January issue of Ruralite Magazine for details on the rate study.
 

January 11, 2012

For Many, Electric Usage Will be Estimated Due to Extreme Weather Conditions

Electric meters in Valdez typically kept clear and accessible for Darrell Banner, CVEA’s Valdez Meter Reader, are no longer accessible due to the extreme weather conditions and an overabundance of snow. According to CEO Robert Wilkinson, “We are in the process of reading Valdez meters this week. So far approximately 50% have been inaccessible and are being estimated for the month of January.”

CVEA reads electric meters each month to determine monthly usage at each service location.  In order to provide CVEA members with an accurate bill, the CVEA meter reader must be able to take a precise read of the electric meter. 

If conditions exist that impede CVEA’s meter reader from seeing the meter, such as the meter being completely buried by snow or excessive snow depth along the access route to the meter, CVEA may send a bill based on estimated usage. 

The estimate is determined by taking the average of the previous three months and the same month of the previous year (if applicable).  Once conditions improve, an actual meter read will be used to true up the usage. 

“If you live in Valdez, there’s a high likelihood that your usage will be estimated this month,” stated Wilkinson. If you have serious concerns with your usage being estimated, contact your CVEA office at 835-4301.

If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005 or crisp@cvea.

January 11, 2012

Keep Your Electric Meter Clear to Ensure a Proper Read-Copper Basin

CVEA asks that you do your best to keep your electric meter and a path to your meter clear in these extreme weather conditions.

CVEA reads electric meters each month to determine monthly usage at each service location.  In order to provide CVEA members with an accurate bill, the CVEA meter reader must be able to take a precise read of your electric meter. 

If conditions exist that impede CVEA’s meter reader from seeing the meter, such as the meter being completely buried by snow or excessive snow depth along the access route to the meter, CVEA may send a bill based on estimated usage. 

The estimate is determined by taking the average of the previous three months and the same month of the previous year (if applicable).  Once conditions improve, an actual meter read will be used to true up the usage. 

If you have concerns with your usage being estimated, contact your CVEA office at 822-3211.

If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506 or 835-7005 or crisp@cvea.org.

January 11, 2012

The CVEA Cost of Power Charge Caught Many Off Guard This December

The Cost of Power Charge on CVEA member’s December bills was higher than expected, catching many members off guard.

The Cost of Power collects the actual cost of fuel and hydro to generate a kilowatt-hour of electrical energy and reflects price changes in fuel for our Diesel and Cogeneration Plants and hydro from the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Project.

Due to increases in fuel costs, the Cost of Power went up by roughly three cents, to 21.75 cents, from the November charge of 18.66 cents per kWh. Of greater significance, however, was the fact that the December bill did not reflect a Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit (RFCAC). Last year, CVEA offered a residential fuel credit of 5.4 cents/kWh. This credit reduced the effective Cost of Power rate in December 2010 to 14.53 cents/kWh.

For the past three years, in November, the CVEA Board of Directors evaluates the Cooperatives financial position to determine whether or not the RFCAC can be implemented to offset the Cost of Power. In 2011, CVEA was unable to implement the RFCAC as margins were projected to come in significantly under budget. Several factors affected this outcome including the planned transition to new rate schedules, the need for a strong financial position as CVEA prepares to finance the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project and lower than expected heat sales to the Petro Star Refinery.

According to Sharon Crisp, CVEA Manager of Member Services, “CVEA recognizes that the Cost of Power variance has caused concern for many of our members and we regret that we did not inform the members, in advance, to let them know that they would not see the fuel credit on their bill.”

CVEA is estimating the Cost of Power for the January bill to be 25.37 cents/kWh. This will compare to 21.94 cents/kWh in January 2011.  These numbers do not reflect a residential fuel credit.

With heat sales back in line and a stronger financial position heading into 2012, the CVEA Board of Directors will reconsider the RFCAC at their next regular meeting scheduled on Thursday, January 19, in Valdez.

If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506 or 835-7005 or crisp@cvea.org.

January 11, 2012

Safety A Concern With Record Snow Removal

Copper Valley Electric Association would like to remind everyone involved in snow removal, whether commercial or residential, to be aware of the dangers associated with piling snow on, under, or near CVEA equipment, lines, and facilities. 

State of Alaska statutes prohibit any equipment from operating within 10 feet of an overhead electrical line.  The 10 foot rule includes the highest point of the equipment being used and includes people on the ground, on a snow bank, or on the equipment.  When snow is pushed under or near CVEA electrical lines, it creates a potential hazard for the equipment operator and general public.  CVEA is asking all snow removal equipment operators to keep in mind the 10 foot rule when pushing and piling snow.

The record snowfall received in Valdez so far this winter may be obscuring electrical equipment located directly on the ground and identified with snow markers.  Make sure you are aware of the location of this equipment when moving snow.  If you are unsure, please contact CVEA at the numbers below.  

If you come into contact with the equipment and your vehicle or equipment becomes entangled, a hazardous condition may exist.  Please do not attempt to free your vehicle or equipment and do not exit your vehicle unless a more hazardous condition exists inside the vehicle or equipment.  If it is necessary to exit your vehicle, jump away from your vehicle ensuring you do not come into contact with your vehicle and the ground at the same time. Call CVEA immediately.

CVEA is asking everyone to keep an eye out for potential electrical hazards.  Never approach or make contact with an electrical line or damaged equipment.  If you see a hazardous situation, please contact CVEA immediately at 822-3211 or 835-4301.  To report something afterhours, please call 866-835-2832.

If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506 or 835-7005.

December 2011

Outages in Valdez

Since roughly 3:30 am, CVEA experienced outages in various locations in the Valdez District, as line crews worked to isolate a fault on the system.

As of 6:25, the fault had been located and power was restored to the majority of members, excluding members located from the Dump Road to and including Robe River.

Crews repaired the fault shortly after 8:30 am and restored power to all members, with the exception of Corbin Creek.

We currently have another fault affecting members in the Corbin Creek area. Crews are enroute to the scene. At this time cause and duration are unknown.

We will update you as information becomes available. Thank you for your patience.

If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005.

November 2011

Severe Weather Conditions Cause Multiple Power Outages

CVEA experienced multiple power outages in both districts during a severe weather storm that raged through CVEA’s service territory on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Trees in the line, due to wet, heavy snow and extreme winds, caused power outages in the Valdez District on Tuesday. Approximately 58 members, from the Ski Hill area to Alpine Woods were without power from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Crews worked to clear another tree from the line and restore power Tuesday evening. This outage affected members in the Black Gold Subdivision, those North of the Park strip, and from the Salmon Turn around  to Alpine Woods. Power was restored to the members in these areas by 10:28 p.m.

During the restoration of the previous outage, an underground fault was located near Eagle’s Rest RV Park, causing buildings on Meals Avenue, from the Halibut House to the hospital, to lose power. The fault was isolated and power was restored to all of these buildings prior to 1 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2.

All of the outages in the Copper Basin were caused by trees coming into contact with power lines. Affected areas included members just South of Gulkana Village, from Mile 125 of the Richardson Highway, North to Mile 131; all areas of the Tok Highway from Mile 1 to Mile 13; and Mile 83 to 100 on the Richardson Highway.

The Glennallen Line Crews worked around the clock to restore power to all areas. Restoration began at approximately 4 p.m., Tuesday, and was completed, in all areas, at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

CVEA would like to thank our members for their patience.

If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506 or 835-7005.

October 2011

October 25, CVEA System Wide Outages

During the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 25, 2011, CVEA experienced various, unrelated outages throughout the CVEA system.
A system-wide outage, affecting all CVEA members, began at 12:58 a.m. and ended at 5:22 a.m., with the majority of CVEA members back on line by 3:05 a.m.

Early indication of the cause of the outage is the Co-Generation Plant shutting down. The exact cause is still being investigated by CVEA personnel.

As of 8:00 am, the community of Kenny Lake was without power. The cause of this unrelated outage was due to a tree having fallen in the line as a result of extremely high winds in the area. CVEA crews immediately responded and power was restored to all members shortly after that time.

If you have additional questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506 or 835-7005.

October 2011

Cooperative Month With CVEA

CVEA employees, family members, and members were busy this October as they celebrated the electric industry’s Cooperative Month with several activities.
Each October, CVEA employees volunteer their time every week to process recycled goods at the Recycling Our Areas Resources (ROAR) center in downtown Glennallen.  The effort, organized by CVEA Receptionist Toni Daniels, consists of a group of employees dedicating one lunch hour each week to making sure the center is in tip top shape; processing huge amounts of paper and cans for the community.
This year, CVEA chose to plan their Community Foundation fundraisers during Cooperative Month. Employees and volunteers donated items, time and baked goods to a garage sale and bake sale, in Valdez, on Saturday, October 15 and again on Friday, October 21, for a Round Up event and bake sale in Glennallen. These two events combined raised over $1,800 for the Foundation and signed over 30 people up to begin rounding up their bill for the Foundation each month. In addition, the events were a great way to get together with CVEA members. Members who stopped by enjoyed warm coffee and apple cider and a chance to win a $50 energy credit. In Glennallen, everyone enjoyed grilled hotdogs and cookies and fun was had by all.
CVEA also held their Connections Program luncheons during Cooperative Month. This effort began in 2010 as a way to keep interested and involved members better informed on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Participants in the program were invited to attend a luncheon, providing not only food for their stomachs, but current updates on projects and issues that CVEA is working on. Approximately 20 people attended in Valdez and over 30 attended in Glennallen. Attendees were updated on many topics. Among them was the Allison Creek Hydro Project, Thompson Pass avalanche mitigation, the wind study, recently completed Solomon Gulch projects, the Cost of Power, and the Rate Study.
Finally, CVEA holds the annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest during Cooperative Month. The deadline, Friday, November 4, 2011, is fast approaching.  If you plan to submit photos, please don’t miss this opportunity. Official rules and details can be found at www.cvea.org.
If you have questions or comments on Cooperative Month or any other topics, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005 or crisp@cvea.org.

July 2011

Copper Valley Electric Takes a Look at Wind

On Wednesday, July 20, 2011, Copper Valley Electric Association erected a 50 meter (167 ft.) Meteorological (MET) Tower near 10 mile on the Richardson Hwy. The MET tower is a temporary structure comprised of instrumentation that will gather data on the speed and direction of the wind as well as the sheer wind forces that are present at that location.
Data will be collected for a minimum of one year and will be studied to determine if the area has the right kind of wind for a possible wind energy project.

June 2011

Copper Valley Electric Receives $10 Million in Appropriations for Allison Creek

Copper Valley Electric Association is very pleased the $10.0 million for the Allison Creek Run of the River Hydroelectric Project was included in the final 2011 capital budget signed by the Governor. 

CVEA requested $10 million in appropriations to help fund the project because it will lower the Allison Creek cost of power for members. Assuming Allison Creek is financed 100% with 7%, 30 year debt, the first year cost of power is projected to be 21.3¢ per kilowatt hour. According to Robert Wilkinson, CVEA CEO, “Every $1 million of grant funding reduces the project’s cost of power by .5¢.  This $10 million grant applied to Allison Creek will save the members 5¢ per kilowatt hour and that adds up to real money.”

CVEA is confident that these appropriations remained in the budget, in part, due to the efforts of the membership.  CVEA encouraged members to show their support for this project by signing petitions and writing letters to the Governor.  Members from all communities within the CVEA service territory signed petitions, signed letters, and wrote personal letters to the Governor’s office.  In total, the Governor’s office received over 1,000 communications and/or signatures.  Sharon Crisp, Manager of Member Services, stated, “CVEA sincerely thanks everyone who participated.  This effort exemplified the Cooperative spirit and made a difference.”

CVEA’s work has been conducted under a three year preliminary permit issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2008.  The permit expires on August 31, 2011 at which time CVEA will file an application for license to construct the Project.  The Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project will produce a maximum of 23.3 million kilowatt hours of energy during the high flow months of May through October and will displace 1.6 million gallons of diesel fuel annually.

If you have any questions regarding this or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org

June 2011

Cost of Power Summer 2011

Due to low water conditions at the Solomon Lake reservoir, the summer 2011 Cost of Power charge has been set at 14.69 cents per kWh. Click here for details. For additional information on how the water in Solomon Lake is managed for power generation, check out the July issue of Ruralite Magazine or click here to view the article.

April 2011

Great Turnout and Information at the 2011 Annual Meeting

Over 450 people attended the 2011 CVEA Annual Meeting of Members held in Glennallen on April 12 and Valdez on April 14. 

Members were given up-to-date information on issues that are affecting their Cooperative. CEO Robert Wilkinson gave a very informative presentation on the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project that included what has been accomplished to date, details of the Run of River alternative, potential costs and savings to the member, and how CVEA will move the project forward. Members were also updated on other topics including Silver Lake, the wind assessment, environmental and regulatory issues, the rate study, and outages and reliability.

In addition to reports, CVEA members were encouraged to ask questions about issues that were important to them and CEO Wilkinson was on hand to respond. 

Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Director election results, the introduction of the 2011 scholarship award recipients, and a presentation outlining CVEA’s newest member programs; Together We Save, and the Co-op Connections Card.

Congratulations to Jim Manning who was re-elected to serve on the Board in the Copper Basin district and to Tom Kuckertz and Jeff Saxe who were re-elected to serve in the Valdez district.

Ellie Bowman, Samisoni Finau, Samantha Knutson, Elijah Morse, Sabryna Shorten, Tabitha Yahr, and Emmie Van Wyhe were all awarded scholarships in the Copper Basin district. Valdez award recipients included Billie Comer, Keriann Gilson, Blake Kueber, Chris Lowe, Sarah Rountree, Cera Tetz, Dustin Coppedge, and Anna-Grace Jeffries. 

CVEA thanked the member volunteers who served on this year’s Credentials and Election Committees and Scholarship Committees. 

Several CVEA employees were recognized for their years of service to the Cooperative. In the Copper Basin, Mary Ellen Bedrick was recognized for an amazing 20 years of service and Barb Eaton was recognized for 5 years.  In Valdez, Cindy Butherus and Terry Patrick were recognized for 10 years and Zena Disney for 5 years.

Every person in attendance was given a goody bag with a free gift and every member received a ticket making them eligible for door prizes, one of the favorite parts of the annual meeting each year. This year 75 prizes were given away to members including electronics, items for the home and outdoors, and several cash prizes, including $500.

The grand prize was a CVEA Beater! Anna Jean Bell-Hand was the lucky winner of a Ford F150 in the Copper Basin and Walt and Dorothy Wamsley won an F250 in Valdez!
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who attended the 2011 Annual Meeting.

For questions on the CVEA Annual Meeting, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5006, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

April 2011

Solomon Gulch Hydro Alarm

At approximately 15:09 on April 5, 2011, Operators at Solomon Gulch received a warning alarm that Sensor #2 (located at the Seepage Weir) beneath the Dam was measuring water levels above allowable limits.  An Operator was dispatched to the Dam and discovered water originating from the Valve House was flowing into Solomon Gulch Creek upstream of the Seepage Weir.  Because the lower level of the valve house was flooded and the source of the water could not immediately be determined, the decision was made to activate the Emergency Action Plan (EAP). 

This action included closure of Dayville Road and the evacuation of the Valdez Fisheries Development Association Hatchery.  While the EAP was being implemented, the operator on scene determined that the source of water was the submerged 8 inch vacuum relief valve on Penstock #2.  Penstock #2 main shutoff valve was closed by the Operator at the Solomon Gulch Powerhouse and the water flow from the valve house immediately began dropping.  After the water in the valve house was vacated, the Operator on scene confirmed that the leak was fully contained and recommended termination of the EAP Activation.  Cancellation of the EAP activation occurred at 17:04 on April 5, 2011.

As a routine matter, CVEA debriefs and provides after-action-reports on all activations of the EAP.  For the April 5 activation this process is ongoing.

The Emergency Action Plan for Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Project has been in place for many years.  Annually, Copper Valley Electric Association conducts a seminar to review the EAP, update the call-out list and request changes by Valdez emergency responders for improvements to the plan.  In 2010, CVEA conducted 2 seminars (rather than only one required by regulation) to ensure that the responding agencies in Valdez were educated on the plan. 

In addition, CVEA conducted 2 exercise tests in 2010.  Both test exercises went well in 2010 and no difficulties were noted from any responding agency.  The Valdez Fire Department, Valdez Police Department, US Coast Guard, National Weather Service, Alyeska Pipeline, Valdez Fisheries Development Association Hatchery, Providence Medical Center, Alaska Department of Transportation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Alaska Dam Safety Engineer all took part in the exercises during 2010.

The Solomon Gulch EAP is a 93 page document that describes the three types of emergency conditions and the role of each Valdez agency during the three types of emergencies.  It describes what areas of Port Valdez are affected and how they are affected.  The plan includes maps of danger areas, a description of evacuation procedures, safe locations, and each agency’s responsibility in the emergency and much more.  The plan is updated every year and all agencies are given updates.  In December 2010, CVEA hand delivered copies of the updated plan to each Valdez Emergency Response Agency.  The plan is also submitted and reviewed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for thoroughness and adequacy. Copies of the Emergency Action Plan are open to the public and available upon request to CVEA.

For more information regarding this news release contact John Duhamel, Executive Engineer at 822-3211.

April 2011

CVEA Launches the Co-op Connections Card Program

Membership at CVEA has always provided benefits, but now CVEA members will get more with the Co-op Connections Card.  The C-op Connections Card will give members access to discounts on merchandise and services with local retailers and merchants as well as discounts and other incentives with over 100 national retailers like Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Sears Select, Hertz Rental Cars, Best Western hotels, and Proflowers.com..

This program was launched at the CVEA Annual Meeting of Members in Glennallen on Tuesday, April 12, and in Valdez on Thursday, April 14.  Every member in attendance was given their card along with information on the program and a list of participating local businesses. The rest of CVEA members will soon receive their card in the mail.

The easiest way to learn about the advantages of the program is to visit www.cvea.org, click the Co-op Connections Card on the homepage and begin browsing the offers, incentives, and discounts. A search feature lets you enter your zip code and the product or service you are looking for and gives you a list of participating retailers. Discounts offered by participating businesses from around the country are available to CVEA members.

To receive discounts, members must simply show their Co-op Connections Card at any business listed on the CVEA website or at businesses displaying a Co-op Connections window sticker.  It’s that easy!

Another valuable feature is the coupon feature that focuses on everyday household items you’d purchase at the grocery store.  Find the coupons you want, print, and they’re ready to be redeemed. You can also find coupon codes to find special buys at specific retailers on items that you may be looking to purchase.

Finally, the Co-op Connections Card will allow CVEA members to save on prescription medications.  While it is not insurance and cannot be used in combination with insurance, the discount can mean big savings.  The card is recognized at more than 60,000 national, regional, and local pharmacies.

According to Sharon Crisp, CVEA Manager of Member Services, “CVEA is very excited to launch this exciting new program that will bring co-op members immediate benefit. Residential members will keep money in their wallet and business members will benefit from increased exposure and hopefully increased business.”

For questions on the Co-op Connections Card program, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5006, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

April 2011

High Winds Cause Multiple Outages

As of 12:30 pm, CVEA is experiencing multiple outages due to the high winds in the Copper Basin.  In addition to the outage affecting consumers from Mile 185-108 on the Glenn Hwy, there are outages affecting consumers South of the Hub to Copper Center and the Old Dump Road.

Consumers in these areas should prepare for an outage lasting more than 4 hours.

CVEA crews are currently on the scene and working diligently to repair the system.  Additional help has been dispatched from Valdez.  We will restore power as soon as possible.

Please stay tuned for updates.  We appreciate your patience.

January 2011

CVEA Issues Over $600K in Capital Credits

Copper Valley Electric Association just issued capital credit refunds in the amount of $629,120. 

CVEA is an electric cooperative owned by the members it serves. As a nonprofit cooperative, CVEA does not issue stock nor declare dividends.  Revenues over and  above expenses are called margins and belong to the members. These margins are allocated annually back to the members in the form of capital credits, based on the total dollar amount purchased for electric service.

The capital is retained by the Association as working capital in order to maintain and improve our system until the Board of Directors declares a refund. In October 2010 the Board of Directors approved a refund of 5% of member’s patronage capital.

If your refund is under $50, it will show up as a credit on your January bill. If it's over $50, look for your check in the mail! Checks were mailed on January 18!

For more information on this or any CVEA issue contact Sharon Crisp, CVEA Manager of Member Services, at 822-5006, 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 2010

CVEA Board Approves Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit

At the CVEA Board meeting on Thursday, October 21, the CVEA Board of Directors approved  $600,000 to fund the Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit (RFCAC).  The RFCAC was created in 2008 to help residential members deal with the high cost of winter power bills.  The RFCAC will appear on residential power bills beginning in November, 2010. The credit will be 5.4 cents/kWh.

If you have any questions regarding this news release or other CVEA business, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

August 2010

Outage in the Copper Basin

At approximately 10:10 AM CVEA experienced disturbances on the Copper Basin distribution system including reports from customers of fluctuating voltage.
Shortly thereafter CVEA was notified that a vehicle struck and broke a distribution pole along the Richardson Highway north of the Gulkana airport. 
CVEA crews immediately responded to the scene and have undertaken repairs.  Customers on the Richardson Highway and the Tok Road north of the Hub are expected to be without power until mid-afternoon.
For more information about this news release contact Mary Ellen Bedrick at 822-3211.

August 2010

Scheduled CVEA Power Outages

Copper Valley Electric has scheduled outages for Sunday, August 8, 2010.  The interruption of power will impact all CVEA members located West of the Duck Flats.  It will NOT affect members on Loop Road and out the Richardson Highway.

Members will be without power between 2-4 a.m..

The outages are required for replacing the transformer at the Don Smith Substation and are necessary to ensure reliability of service to Valdez from the Solomon Gulch Hydro Plant.

If you have questions regarding this press release or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

July 2010

Scheduled CVEA Power Outages

Copper Valley Electric has scheduled outages for Sunday, July 25 and Sunday, August 1, 2010.  The interruption of power will impact all CVEA members located West of the Duck Flats.  It will NOT affect members on Loop Road and out the Richardson Highway.

Members will be without power between 2-4 a.m..

The outages are required for replacing the transformer at the Don Smith Substation and are necessary to ensure reliability of service to Valdez from the Solomon Gulch Hydro Plant.

If you have questions regarding this press release or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005 or email crisp@cvea.org.

April 2010

2010 Annual Meeting Highlights

Approximately 450 people attended the 2010 CVEA Annual Meeting of members held in Valdez on April 20 and Glennallen on April 22. 
Members were given up-to-date information on issues that are affecting their Cooperative.  CEO Robert Wilkinson gave a very informative overview of the Allison Lake Hydroelectric Project that included what has been accomplished to date, findings, potential costs to the member, and how CVEA plans to move forward.  Members were also updated on recent developments including a potential wind study and Legislative issues. 
In addition, Lyle VonBargen, CVEA President, was very pleased to announce that CVEA will begin accepting credit cards for payment beginning this summer!
In addition to reports, CVEA members were encouraged to ask questions about issues that were important to them and Mr. Wilkinson was on hand to respond. 
Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Director election results, the introduction of the 2010 scholarship award recipients, and the presentation of a newly produced DVD on the Idaho Youth Rally.  Quinn Verfaillie of Valdez, and Keaton Shepherd of Kenny Lake, CVEA’s 2009 Youth Rally delegates were also on hand to say a few words.
Congratulations to Carl Crosman and Fred Williams who were re-elected to serve on the Board in the Copper Basin district and to Dan Stowe who was elected to serve in the Valdez district.
Sara Jones, Rachel Stumpf, Ryan Williams-Cudo, Sydnee Faulkner, Hannah Rosenkrans, Josh Lorence, Ronald Boeddeker, and Daniel Leahy were all awarded scholarships in the Copper Basin district.  Valdez award recipients included Colbi Hill, Colin Irish, Kelsey LeMatta, Shelby Saylors, Quinn Verfaillie, Brett Wells, Sheila Mann, and Forest Masters. 
CVEA thanked the member volunteers who served on this year’s Credentials and Election Committee and Scholarship Committee. 
Several CVEA employees were recognized for their years of service to the Cooperative.  In the Copper Basin, Jeanie Willford was recognized for an amazing 20 years of service and Jaime Matthews was recognized for 5 years.  In Valdez, Mark Czarnecki was recognized for 10 years and Brett Stewart for 5 years.
Every person in attendance was given a nice lunch cooler full of goodies including a tasty meal and every member received a ticket making them eligible for door prizes, one of the favorite parts of the annual meeting each year.  This year a whopping 69 prizes were given away to members including electronics, items for the home and outdoors, and over $1,000 in cash.  The grand prize was a CVEA Beater!  Barry and Ruth Rempel were the lucky winners of a Ford Bronco and KCHU Radio won the GMC Pickup!
CVEA would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who took the time to attend the meeting. 

January 2010

2010 CVEA Community Foundation Scholarship Program

The CVEA Community Foundation (CVEACF) Board of Directors is making it easier than ever for students to get scholarships that will help them pay for the costs of higher education.

In an effort to be more inclusive, the Foundation Board removed the CVEA membership criteria as an application requirement.  Now, any student or his/her parent or legal guardian need only live in a dwelling served by CVEA during the school year to be eligible to apply. 

In addition, the Community College scholarship has been restructured to provide opportunities to students who are returning to college or those seeking continuing education and other opportunities for career advancement. According to Sharon Crisp, CVEA Manager of Member Services, “the intent of this scholarship is to help adult students who have a desire to continue their education, whether by enrolling full time and working towards a degree or taking a few classes that will help them in their career, but truly need financial assistance to do so.”

In 2010, $13,500 is available for CVEACF scholarship programs.

For high school seniors, the Board has authorized eight $500 general scholarships.  Half of the scholarships will be awarded in each district.  The scholarships are awarded for vocational, technical, apprenticeship training or a college degree program.

Students interested in the electrical industry are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship.  High school seniors who intend to pursue a field of study that contributes to the development and improvement of the electrical industry have the opportunity to be awarded this scholarship.  One will be awarded in each district.

The CVEACF will award two $1,500 Community College scholarships, one in each district.   These scholarships are designed to assist returning students or those seeking continuing education and other opportunities for career advancement at Prince William Sound Community College. The CVEACF Community College scholarships are not available to graduating seniors.

In addition, the Board has authorized two Idaho Youth Rally scholarships, one in each district.  The Idaho Youth Rally scholarship provides an opportunity for sophomores and juniors attending high schools in our service area to attend a fun-filled, week-long leadership camp and allows students to practice leadership, teamwork, and communication skills while learning about electric utility issues.

Quinn Verfaillie, of Valdez High School, and Keaton Shepherd, of Kenny Lake School, both attended the Youth Rally in 2009 and both believe that it was a fun, positive, life-changing experience and encourage all sophomores and juniors to apply.

Applying for a CVEA scholarship is easy.  Simply stop by your school counselor’s office, visit either CVEA office or log on to www.cvea.org for a scholarship application packet. 

The deadline for submitting scholarship application packets is 5:00 p.m., Friday, February 12, 2010.

Scholarship recipients will be decided in April by a selection committee made up of CVEA member volunteers and announced at CVEA’s Annual Meeting and at the 2010 high school and college graduation ceremonies.

For more information regarding the CVEA scholarship programs or any other CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506, or email crisp@cvea.org.

November 2009

Winners of the 2009 CVEA Ruralite Cover Photo Contest

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) is pleased to announce the winners of the third annual Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest.  Congratulations go to Robert Benda, JoAnn Benda, Stephan Benda, Susan Whitefeather, and Carl Crosman.  Robert Benda won for his photo entitled Brown Bear Eating Pink Salmon. JoAnn Benda won for her photo entitled Cinnamon Black Bear Sow & Cub.  Stephan Benda won for his photo entitled Sea Otter On Ice and Susan Whitefeather for her photo entitled View of Sugarloaf from the Duck Flats.  Carl Crosman won for his photos Copper River Gold and Linemen on the Line.

Forty-one photos were submitted by ten member photographers.  According to Sharon Crisp, CVEA Manager of Member Services, “CVEA was very pleased with the photo submissions this year.  There were many of exceptional beauty”.  CVEA employees helped to determine the winning photos by voting on their top six choices. 

Each winning photo will be featured on the cover of Ruralite Magazine for one issue in 2010.  Over 2500 copies are distributed monthly, so this means great exposure for the photographers.  The six winning photos will also be posted on www.cvea.org.  In addition, winners will receive $75 per winning photo. 

CVEA would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who submitted photos. 

If you have any questions or comments regarding this issue or any other CVEA topic, contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506, 835-7005, or email crisp@cvea.org.

October 2009

CVEA Improves Reliability for Downtown Valdez

CVEA recently completed a project on the corner of Meals and Pioneer that will improve reliability for the businesses located in the downtown center on Pioneer, Chenega, Meals, and Egan.

In 2005, CVEA discovered a fault, or damage to the cable, in the area.  Since that time, the businesses in this area have been receiving service through a back-up feed.  While this has been sufficient, it is considered a critical condition as it significantly compromises system reliability for that section of service.

Ensuring a reliable feed to this area is a priority for CVEA.  CVEA evaluated numerous underground alternatives for crossing Meals Avenue and determined that the need to cut the street, sidewalks, curbs, and gutter to find and replace cable combined with the presence and depth of underground water, sewer, and storm drain utilities made going underground neither practical nor cost effective. According to Chris Botulinski, CVEA Engineering Manager, “For safety reasons, CVEA must meet a minimum depth requirement when burying cable underground.  With the utilities in the way, this depth could not be reached without likely doubling the cost of construction for the project.”

Crossing Meals Avenue aerially was determined to be the best remaining option.  While less attractive to the eye than underground cables, the overhead cables are safe and effective and will provide a higher degree of reliability at a reasonable cost to the members.

If you have questions regarding this or any CVEA issue, contact Sharon Crisp, CVEA Director of Communications, at 835-7005 or crisp@cvea.org.

September 2009

CVEA Announces Third Annual Ruralite Cover Photo Contest

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) is excited to announce its third annual Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest.  CVEA will be accepting photographs for the cover of Ruralite Magazine, CVEA’s primary member communication tool, through November 6, 2009. 

Over 2500 copies of Ruralite are distributed each month and that means excellent exposure for winning photographers.  “We are extremely happy to be partnering with local members to find beautiful cover photos for Ruralite.  We are a cooperative owned by our members and it is exciting to be giving our members another opportunity to be a part of what we do” according to Sharon Crisp, CVEA Director of Communications.

Six lucky winners will be chosen.  Winning photos will be featured on the cover of Ruralite for one issue in 2010 and will also be featured on www.cvea.org.  Winners will receive $75 per winning photo. 

Revisit your September issue of Ruralite Magazine for detailed photo contest information and rules or visit www.cvea.org.  If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Crisp at 822-5506 or 835-7005.

September 2009

Jay Johnson Retires from CVEA After 30 Years of Service

CVEA employees from the Copper Basin and Valdez districts gathered to say goodbye to a long-time friend and CVEA employee.  Glennallen Plant Operator, Jay Johnson, retired September 13, 2009 after over 30 years with the company. 

Jay grew up in the area and graduated from what was then Glen High in 1971.  In 1978, Jay was hired to work in the Glennallen Diesel Plant and has been working hard to keep the lights on ever since.  Jay says he’s remained at CVEA because he thinks the job is fun and he truly enjoys the people he works with. “Things are always changing.  We never run out of things to do and we’re always learning. I will miss the job, the people, and the area, but we’ll be back.”

Jay and his wife Laurie plan to spend the next several months travelling, and visiting family and friends.  Ultimately, they’d like to spend their time working at youth bible camps.

August 2009

Recent CVEA Power Outages

Several recent outages have left members of Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) without power for short periods on August 8, August 19, and August 21.  Each of the three major system outages were caused by birds contacting energized equipment in the Solomon Gulch Substation.  When birds, animals and other objects come into contact with energized equipment, system protective devices detect a fault and act to shut down the system to prevent damage to electrical equipment. 

While outages in substations caused by birds or small animals are not unheard of they are far more common on the distribution system.  Three substation outages in a two week period of time is very unusual and bird caused outages at the Solomon Gulch substation is very rare.
 
According to spokesperson Sharon Crisp the second event seemed like a very unusual coincidence but the third event demanded a very close inspection of the substation to determine if there existed a food source or some other reason to explain the bird’s attraction to the location.  No obvious explanation was found.

CVEA is evaluating the recent events to determine what mitigation measures might be in order to prevent recurrence of these outages.

If you have questions concerning this news release or other CVEA business, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

July 2009

Steve Bushong, CVEA COO Retured

Steve Bushong, CVEA Chief Operating Officer retired July 1, 2009 after a 35 year career in the electric utility industry.  Steve began his career in Virginia in 1974 while still in college and has worked full time for electric cooperatives since 1978.  Steve enjoyed working for cooperatives because he believes they represent a true opportunity for service. 

As Chief Operating Officer for CVEA, Steve performed management responsibilities for all aspects of engineering, power generation and system operations since joining CVEA in January 2002.  According to CEO, Robert Wilkinson, “Steve’s extensive industry knowledge and experience in the electric utility industry has benefitted CVEA in countless ways and his contributions will be sorely missed.” 

For now, Steve and wife Denni will continue to reside in Valdez. 

April 2009

Copper Valley Electric Annual Meeting Highlights

Approximately 400 people attended the 2009 CVEA Annual Meeting of members held in Glennallen on April 14 and Valdez on April 16. 
Members were given up-to-date information on issues that are affecting their Cooperative.  CEO Robert Wilkinson gave an update on the Allison Lake hydroelectric project and discussed the acquisition of the Solomon Gulch Hydro Plant.
The message also discussed the cost of power, effects of the Petro Star fire, climate change, conservation, and Legislative issues. 
In addition to reports, CVEA members were encouraged to ask questions about issues that were important to them and Mr. Wilkinson and Board members were on hand to respond. 
Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Director election results, the introduction of the 2009 scholarship award recipients, and information on the new CVEA Community Foundation.
Congratulations to Travis Million who was re-elected to serve on the Board in the Copper Basin district and to John Bradshaw who was elected and Lyle Von Bargen who was re-elected to serve in the Valdez district.
Katya Rempel, Dillon Sondergaard, Scott Yahr Jr., Adrina Knutson, Gerald Mills, Chantelle Davey, Ashley Hicks, and Keaton Shepherd were all awarded scholarships in the Copper Basin district.  Valdez award recipients included Britni Ezell, Sarah Gussesrt, Annaliese Hazlett, Genevieve Murphy, Lindsey Roberts, Alexandra Wegner, Marche Bender, and Quinn Verfaillie. 
CVEA thanked the member volunteers who served on this year’s Credentials and Election Committee and Scholarship Committee. 
Several CVEA employees were recognized for their years of service to the Cooperative.  In the Copper Basin, Mike Leeper was recognized for 20 years of service, Walter ‘Pinky’ Becker for 15 years, Andy Hess and Bill Caynor for 10 years, and Ryan Cook was recognized for 5 years.  In Valdez, John Hunter was recognized for an amazing 35 years of service, Darrell Banner was recognized for ten years and Todd Stahley for 5 years.
Every person in attendance was given a goody bag including a free gift and information on how they can participate in the CVEA Community Foundation. 
Members enjoyed grilled burgers and  received a ticket making them eligible for door prizes, one of the favorite parts of the annual meeting each year.  This year a whopping 68 prizes were given to members in each district. 
Prizes included household items, gift certificates, electronics and $2,575 in cash!  The $1,000 grand prize was won by Shondra Gene in the Copper Basin and Dave Dengel in Valdez.
CVEA would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who took the time to attend the meeting. 

 

February 2009

CVEA Addresses Impacts from the Results of the Petro Star Fire

Since the event in December, CVEA has continued to monitor the financial impacts the Petro Star Refinery fire has had on the cooperative.  At their regular board meeting held February 19, the CVEA Board of Directors took further actions to address these impacts while attempting to minimize the impact on the member.

The Board voted unanimously to lower the Fuel and Purchased Power Charge (FPPC) on members February bills to 13.10¢ per kWh.  This is a reduction from the 15.64¢ per kWh charged in January.    

Residential members will also continue to receive the benefit of the Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit (RFCAC).  While it was anticipated the program would end in February, the Board voted to continue the program, at a reduced rate, through March.  Residential members will see a 6.57¢ per kWh credit on their February bill and a 2.57¢ per kWh credit on their March bill.  This action is intended to help members transition through the unexpected earlier termination of the program which, before we lost the Cogen, was expected to continue through May. 

Finally the Board scheduled member meetings to continue with planned changes to tariff schedule CV4 announced last month.  The meeting in the Copper Basin district will be held Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 5:30 pm and in the Valdez district on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm.  The meetings will be held in the respective business offices of CVEA.

Revisions to CV4, CVEA’s Fuel and Purchased Power Tariff, will accomplish several objectives:

(1) Changes to reflect the transition to CVEA ownership of the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Power Project: Currently, CVEA collects the cost of purchasing Solomon Gulch power from the Four Dam Pool in the FPPC. After CVEA purchases the Solomon Gulch project from the Four Dam Pool, CVEA will no longer purchase power from the Four Dam Pool, but CVEA’s costs associated with Solomon Gulch will be recovered through the FPPC. The proposed revisions clarify this.

(2) Temporary adjustments: The proposed revisions allow the Board of Directors to make temporary adjustments to the FPPC when and to the extent that significant unforeseen events warrant doing so to avoid significant financial harm to CVEA. As proposed, the Board of Directors’ power to implement such an adjustment would be limited in amount and duration to that which is necessary to address the harm projected. Allowing this type of limited, temporary adjustment will enable the Board of Directors to promptly address unforeseen events such as, the Petro Star Refinery Fire, as necessary without implementing permanent rate increases to electric base rates.

(3) Housekeeping changes: The proposed revisions change the name of the “FPPC” to “Cost of Power”, delete internal references to sections that no longer exist, and renumber sections.

The CVEA Board of Directors will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate necessary changes to the membership.

January 2009

CVEA Takes Action in Response to Petro Star Fire

The CVEA Board of Directors held a work session on January 14 to discuss the operational and financial impacts the Petro Star Valdez Refinery fire has had on the electric cooperative.

Although there was no apparent damage to the CVEA Cogeneration Project as a result of the fire, the project is expected to be offline until the refinery resumes operations.  Until that time, power requirements will be provided from a combination of Solomon Gulch and the Glennallen and Valdez Diesel Plants.  Petro Star is the fuel supplier for the diesel plants and has committed to fulfill CVEA’s fuel requirements under the revised generation plan.  The revised plan will be in effect until Petro Star resumes operations or commencement of the summer generating season when Solomon Gulch is able to carry the majority of the system load, whichever is earlier.

The financial impacts resulting from the fire are significant, the largest of which is the loss of heat revenues from the Cogeneration Project.  As part of the contractual arrangement between Petro Star and CVEA, the Co-op purchases fuel for the turbine from the refinery and Petro Star in turn purchases the exhaust gas from the turbine for use in the process of refining oil.  With the refinery shut down and the Cogeneration Project out of service, heat revenues from the project are not available.  The loss of heat revenues has a significant adverse impact on CVEA’s finances.  In a typical year, heat revenues pay some costs of operations, help hold the line on base rates, and more recently are the funding source for the fuel cost credit for residential customers.

While CVEA does not know when the refinery will resume operations, it seems unlikely that it will occur prior to the end of this winter generating season which will end when the Solomon Lake begins to fill and the hydro can take the majority of the system load. This event normally occurs in May.  The loss of heat revenue from the date of the fire through the end of the winter season is projected to be $1,400,000.  In response to this circumstance CVEA has placed a moratorium on unnecessary operating and capital expenditures and, in addition, has identified opportunities to defer maintenance where possible.

As a result of the work session the Board took the following additional actions.

First, the Board elected to continue the December FPPC (Fuel and Purchased Power Charge) rate of 15.64¢ for the January billing.
Second, The Board voted to continue the Residential Fuel Credit Program at 10.57¢ for January billings.  This program is funded by heat revenues and the Board recognizes it may not be possible to continue this program beyond January but felt it was important to offer it at least through the January billing.

Third, the Board approved creation of a margin stabilization program whereby 2008 margins would be deferred to 2009 to offset, in part, the loss of heat revenues.  This program is expected to provide approximately $800,000 to address the budget shortfall.

Finally the Board approved moving forward with recommending revisions to CVEA’s Fuel and Purchased Power Tariff to accomplish several objectives.  The most significant proposed revision is to grant the Board the authority to include in the FPPC calculation, a provision to temporarily collect additional revenues to address emergency conditions, such as what the Co-op has experienced as a result of the refinery fire.  The existing Tariff does not provide the necessary authority for the Board to address this type of emergency.  It has not yet been determined what amount might be necessary to fill the 2009 Budget shortfall caused by the loss of heat revenues.  In addition, the revised Tariff will change the name of the ‘FPPC’ to ‘Cost of Power’ and add a provision for collecting hydroelectric costs which will become necessary following the purchase of the Solomon Gulch power plant from the Four Dam Pool Power Agency.

CVEA will hold public meetings to discuss the proposed changes to the FPPC Tariff. Dates and times for these meetings are not yet scheduled.  Once those meetings are scheduled appropriate notice will be given to the membership.

The CVEA Board of Directors will continue to monitor the situation and anticipates additional actions will be necessary in the coming months to address impacts from the results of the fire.

If you have any questions regarding this or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

 

October 2008

CVEA to Acquire Solomon Gulch from Four Dam Pool Power Agency

Valdez and Glennallen – The Four Dam Pool Power Agency (FDPPA), owner of four Alaska hydroelectric facilities, is finalizing the sale of the two projects that serve cooperative members of the Agency.

Solomon Gulch which serves the Copper Basin and Valdez, and Terror Lake which serves Kodiak Island, will be sold to Copper Valley Electric Association and Kodiak Electric Association, respectively.  The FDPPA will retain ownership of the Swan Lake facility which serves Ketchikan, and the Tyee Lake facility which serves the cities of Wrangell and Petersburg.  The surviving Agency will be renamed the Southeast Alaska Power Agency. 

The transaction is expected to close in early 2009.

The Four Dam Pool Initial Project has been in existence since the early 1980s, when the state of Alaska constructed or acquired the four hydroelectric facilities. The Alaska Legislature provided that the four projects would be treated as one project that would be operated and managed jointly and that would share risks and charge an equal wholesale power rate to each of the five member utilities.  This arrangement was memorialized in a 45-year Long Term Power Sales Agreement (PSA) signed in October 1985.

In 2000, following many years of discussions between the utilities and the state regarding purchasing the assets, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation authorizing the formation of joint action agencies, a new entity under Alaska law specifically designed to enable the utilities to purchase the Four Dam Pool assets from the state.  Following enactment of the law substantial due diligence was performed in support of the transaction.  During this period Kodiak announced their strong desire to own Terror Lake and the utilities passed a resolution stating their intent to pursue breaking up the pool no later than 2012.

In 2002, the state-owned assets were sold to the Four Dam Pool Power Agency. The 1985 PSA which set forth provisions for risk sharing, pooling of costs and charging postage stamp wholesale power rates for all members remained in effect under FDPPA ownership.

In 2006, Kodiak proposed once again to break up the pool and offered to purchase the Terror Lake project for $38 million.  These additional resources combined with those of the Four Dam Pool resulted in negotiations which lead to approval by the FDPPA Board of Directors and the respective Boards of Copper Valley and Kodiak to a Purchase and Sale Agreement, whereby CVEA would purchase Solomon Gulch and Kodiak Electric would purchase Terror Lake.

Under the terms of the agreement CVEA will become the owner of the 12‑megawatt Solomon Gulch hydroelectric facility and the 106 miles of transmission line connecting the communities of Valdez and Glennallen.  As part of the transaction CVEA will no longer purchase power from the FDPPA but instead will roll the costs of operating and maintaining Solomon Gulch and the transmission system into its rate structure.  In addition, costs previously included in the FDPPA rate will now be paid directly by CVEA such as the cost of project management, insurance, regulatory and environmental compliance, renewals and replacements, and administrative costs.  Also, as part of the transaction, CVEA will assume all ownership risks pertaining to mechanical, electrical, structural and technological obsolescence, regulatory changes, and natural events including avalanches.  In exchange for assuming the risks and burdens of owning the Solomon Gulch Project, CVEA, will receive at closing, $15 million to be placed in reserve to fund these future risks of ownership and needed system improvements.

Notwithstanding the future ownership responsibilities the Management and Board of CVEA are confident that the transaction will result in future economic benefits to CVEA consumers.

Even though the FDPPA organization is composed of tax exempt cooperatives and nontaxable municipal utilities the transaction presented some formidable tax obstacles.  “We have had questions about the tax impact of owning Solomon Gulch since the 1999 discussions leading up to the FDPPA purchase of the projects,” said Robert Wilkinson, “and those questions have only recently been answered.”

Under the Internal Revenue Code municipal electric utilities are treated as “government” entities, while electric cooperatives are treated like private entities. Under the Code public assets may not be transferred to private ownership at below fair market value.  To do otherwise could result in CVEA receiving taxable income for the value of the cash received and the value of the facilities received.


To address this issue CVEA sought and obtained, from the Internal Revenue Service, a Private Letter Ruling which said that the value of the cash and assets received could be deducted from income as long as that value was accounted for as patronage sourced income.  To comply with the private letter ruling, the co-op will have to include both the cash and fair market value of the Solomon Gulch assets as part of its taxable income received in the year of transaction, but may allocate that value to members as non refundable patronage capital and take a tax return deduction in an equal amount.  This accounting and tax treatment avoids paying income taxes on the receipt of cash and the plant itself.

The transaction does have other tax consequences.  CVEA is tax exempt under Section 501 c (12) of the Internal Revenue Code which says that as long as CVEA receives more than 85% of its revenue from its members it remains tax exempt.  In 2009 the purchase of Solomon Gulch will cause CVEA to fail this test and to lose its tax exempt status because the value of the compensation received is considered by the IRS to be nonmember income.  While the value of the assets and cash can be deducted from taxable income, interest income cannot, and accordingly CVEA will pay some income tax on investment earnings in 2009.

“Individual utility ownership of the projects has been discussed since at least 1995,” says Wilkinson.  “The projects were built for the benefit of the communities they serve and it always made sense to return ownership to those communities.”

With Kodiak’s financing in place and Copper Valley’s tax issues addressed, it now appears that the cooperatives are positioned to take ownership of their respective projects.   The cities of Ketchikan, Wrangell, and Petersburg must now seek approval from their governing bodies and many other details must be accomplished before the transaction closes, hopefully in early 2009.

 

October 2008

CVEA to Leave More Money in Member’s Pockets

At their regular board meeting held October 16 the CVEA Board of Directors voted unanimously to use $350,000 in reserves to lower the FPPC rate for October bills.  This action was deemed necessary to avoid the dramatic increase from 8.7¢/kWh for September bills to a projected 17.24¢ /kWh for October bills. The result of this action is the revised FPPC rate that members can expect to see on their October bill will be 12¢ per kWh.

The FPPC rate is expected to increase over the next several months as fossil fuel generation becomes a larger percentage of CVEA’s total monthly generation requirement.  Based on current fuel prices, the FPPC for November billings is presently estimated to be 19¢/kWh.

The Board also approved $1.2 million to fund the Residential Fuel Cost Assistance program (RFCAC).  The RFCAC was created to help residential members deal with the high cost of winter power bills.  The RFCAC will appear on residential bills beginning in November and will continue through May 2009.  The credit is expected to be in the range of 10¢/kWh.

If you have any questions regarding this news release or other CVEA business, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

 

October 2008

FPPC PORTION OF POWER BILL TO RISE SHARPLY

The Fuel and Purchased Power portion of the electric bill is expected to rise sharply for October billings.  The FPPC is the cost of fuel used and power purchased from the Four Dam Pool Power Agency to generate a kWh of electrical energy.  The FPPC is not marked up.  It is passed on directly to consumers as a line item on the monthly bill. 

Beginning this summer CVEA adopted a cost causer/cost payer methodology for calculating the FPPC which says if the co-op generates primarily with hydro the FPPC will reflect the cost of hydro and alternatively if generation comes from fuel the FPPC will reflect a higher fuel component.  Under this plan, CVEA calculates the FPPC each month using the most current cost and generation information available.  Recent bills have meant lower FPPC rates during the summer months when CVEA is operating at close to 100% hydro.   Conversely, as winter approaches higher FPPC rates are expected as the Co-op generates more of its generation requirement from fossil fuels.

Recent colder temperatures at elevation and corresponding reduced flows into Solomon Lake have required that CVEA switch to the winter generation program several weeks earlier than expected.  This change will increase the fossil fuel generation included in the FPPC calculation for October bills.  The FPPC rate for October billings is expected to be 17.24¢/kWh.

The FPPC rate is expected to increase over the next several months as fossil fuel generation becomes a larger percent of the total monthly generation requirement.  Based on current fuel prices, the FPPC for November billings is estimated to be roughly 23¢/kWh. 

In August the CVEA Board of Directors approved a new program designed to help residential members deal with the high cost of winter power bills.  The new program called the Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit will appear on residential power bills beginning in November and is expected to last through May 2009.  The credit is expected to be in the range of 10¢/kWh.

If you have any questions regarding this news release or other CVEA business, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

 

August 2008

CVEA Board Approves Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit for Residential Bills

The CVEA Board of Directors unanimously approved the Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit (RFCAC) during their regular Board meeting on Thursday, August 21, 2008.  The RFCAC will be funded using cogen heat revenue and will reduce residential members’ power bills during the winter months.  Residential members’ will see the benefit of approximately 10.57¢ per kWh credit on their monthly bills November 2008 through May 2009.  The exact amount will be announced in November.

The idea for the RFCAC came from CVEA CEO, Robert Wilkinson, this past Spring after hearing a story of a member needing to choose between paying their CVEA bill or their fuel bill.  CVEA thought it was important to find a mechanism to help the residential member who can’t control the high cost of energy or pass the costs onto anyone else.

The impact to residential members will be substantial.  Members having an average monthly usage of 500 kWh will see an estimated $52.85 reduction on their monthly power bill.  This will add up to over $300 through the course of the winter. 

The CVEA Board believes the RFCAC is a positive attempt to help the membership and the community deal with high energy costs.   It will help residential members through the winter when fuel costs passed on to the members are at their highest.

If you have any questions regarding this or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

August 2008

CVEA Updates FPPC & Offers Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit This Winter

In an effort to better serve CVEA members, the Cooperative is changing the way they bill members for the Fuel and Purchased Power Cost (FPPC).  The FPPC is the cost of fuel used and power purchased from the Four Dam Pool Power Agency to generate a kWh of electrical energy.  The FPPC is not marked up.  It is passed on directly to consumers as a line item on the monthly bill.  Recently, CVEA has attempted to levelize the FPPC throughout the year in an effort to reduce seasonal cost impacts during the winter months.  With escalating fuel prices, changes in generation, and declining sales, CVEA realizes that the current method isn’t working. 

The CVEA Board of Directors has approved a plan to bill the FPPC monthly, using a cost user/cost payer approach. Under this plan, CVEA will calculate the FPPC each month using the most current cost and generation information.  For members, this will mean low monthly FPPC rates during the summer months when we are operating close to 100% hydro power and higher FPPC rates in winter when we are using mostly fossil fuel for generation.  CVEA is strongly encouraging members to plan accordingly. 

The monthly rate will be established by the 10th of each month and will be accessible to members on www.cvea.org  or by calling either CVEA office. 

The new FPPC billing plan took effect on the July 2008 bill.  Members saw the FPPC drop to 7.25¢ per kWh.  To get advanced notice of the August rate, check out cvea.org or give one of the offices a call after August 10, 2008.

CVEA has a commitment to providing power to members at the lowest possible cost.  In honoring this commitment, CVEA is doing everything they can to control high costs.  In the fall of 2008, CVEA plans to roll out a Residential Fuel Cost Assistance Credit (RFCAC) to help residential consumers deal with the high cost of power when we are generating with fossil fuel.  The credit will use cogen heat revenue to reduce residential consumers’ power bills during the winter months.  Residential members will see the benefit of an estimated 10.57¢ per kWh credit on their monthly bills November 2008 through May 2009. 

Public meetings have been scheduled to receive member input on these changes.  The hearings are scheduled as follows:
Valdez             Valdez Civic Center                 Tuesday, August 19, 2008                   7:00 pm
Copper Basin   American Legion Hall              Wednesday, August 20, 2008              7:00 pm

If you have any questions regarding this or any CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-5506 or email crisp@cvea.org.

July 2008

Notice of CVEA Tariff Addition
July 21, 2008

Copper Valley Electric Association’s Board of Directors gives notice to its members of intent to add a new tariff sheet for a residential fuel cost assistance credit (RFCAC).  The purpose of the credit is to help offset fuel costs for residential members in the winter months when CVEA is generating with fossil fuel.

Discussion

The RFCAC will be available to all CVEA residential consumers billed under the CB1 and V1 residential service rate schedules and will be applied to residential bills in the months of November through May.  The RFCAC will be calculated by dividing the total credit amount in dollars by the total residential kWh sales for the winter season.  The total credit amount will be determined by the CVEA Board of Directors annually by November 1.  The credit for this upcoming winter is estimated to be 10.57¢ per kWh.

Detailed information on this filing may be obtained from Jaime Matthews, Manager of Administration & Finance, CVEA, PO Box 45, Glennallen, AK 99588, phone: (907) 822-3211, (907) 835-4301 or by email at Matthews@cvea.org .

Any interested CVEA member may provide comments on the proposed tariff sheet to the Board of Directors either by hard copy or email.  Comments must be received by 5pm Friday, August 22, 2008, in the CVEA Glennallen office. Public hearings have been scheduled to receive member input on the proposed changes.  The hearings are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008             7pm       Valdez Civic Center
Wednesday, August 20, 2008      7pm       American Legion

July 2008

FPPC Lowered on July Bill

Please note that the FPPC rate has been lowered to 7.25 cents per kWh on your July bill.  This rate is based on actual costs for June. The new rate for August will be available August 10. Call or visit the website for updates.

April 2008

2008 Copper Valley Electric Annual Meeting Highlights

CVEA experienced near record turnouts, with over 400 people attending the 2008 Annual Meeting of members held in Valdez on April 15 and Glennallen on April 17.

Members were given up-to-date information on issues that are affecting their Cooperative. CEO Robert Wilkinson discussed the Allison Lake hydroelectric project outlining the next steps, the timeline for completion, and the benefits it promises to bring CVEA members.

The message also outlined current Legislative issues, including HB152, the Renewable Energy Bill, and other issues of interest that are affecting the electric industry.

Also discussed was the ongoing rate study. As the work on the rate study progresses, the Board’s goals are to ensure that the Cooperative maintains sound financial health while minimizing the impact to customers. Members heard a new plan for billing the Fuel and Purchased Power Costs (FPPC) as they are incurred and a program to help residential customers deal with the high cost of power.

The Residential Fuel Credit, proposed to begin in the fall of 2008, will use cogen heat revenue to credit against residential consumers’ power bills during the winter. The amount is unknown as of yet, but is conservatively estimated to be 5-6 cents per kWh.

In addition to reports, CVEA members were encouraged to ask questions about issues that were important to them and Mr. Wilkinson was on hand to respond. CVEA members in both districts had lengthy question and answer sessions.

Other highlights included the announcement of the Board of Director election results, the introduction of the 2008 scholarship award recipients, and the launch of the newly updated cvea.org.
Every person in attendance was given a goody bag containing energy efficient gifts and information intended to encourage members to take a hard look at conservation. These items helped carry an overriding message of the meeting, that one way members can control their power costs is to control their energy usage.

Copper River Beater -
Elbert Thompson
Valdez Beater - Marilyn Bell

Members also received a ticket making them eligible for door prizes, one of the favorite parts of the annual meeting each year. This year a whopping 67 prizes were given to members in each district.

Prizes included household items, gift certificates, electronics and $1,525 in cash! The grand prize was a CVEA beater! Marlynn Bell won the Ford F250 4X4 in the Valdez district, and Elbert Thompson won a Ford Explorer in the Copper Basin District.

CVEA would like to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who took the time to attend the meeting.

March 2008

Copper Valley Electric Files for Preliminary Permit on Allison Lake

On March 3, CVEA filed an application for a preliminary permit with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to undertake an Allison Lake Hydroelectric Project.  For CVEA the project holds the potential for increased hydro power generation which could displace over 20,000 MWH of fossil fuel generation and provide members of the Cooperative long-term, sustainable, environmentally clean energy.

Allison Lake has been studied as a potential source of hydroelectric power since the 1980s.  The Allison Lake drainage, which sits west of the Solomon Gulch hydroelectric project, has long been seen as a promising location for hydro power development.  Since 2004, soaring oil prices have dramatically raised the cost of electricity in Valdez and the Copper River Valley which has led CVEA to look at potential alternatives for power generation.  In 2006, CVEA prepared a reconnaissance level study of power supply alternatives.  This study, titled the Alternative Generation Review , evaluated the potential for geothermal, fuel cells, solar, wind, coal, and hydro via Allison or Silver Lake.  The study recommended Allison Lake be further evaluated.

In 2007, CVEA completed a pre-feasibility study of Allison Lake alternatives.  As part of the study, previous reports prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers and HDR Engineers were reviewed and a field reconnaissance site visit was conducted.  The pre-feasibility study identifies three potential alternatives for using Allison Lake water to generate electricity.  The alternatives include a tunnel option to divert Allison water to Solomon Gulch and two standalone options to move Allison water to a new power house near tidewater.

The conclusions of the study indicate that each of the three alternatives appears to be technically feasible and each appears to deliver power to CVEA at less than the current cost of fossil fuel generation, assuming the project is commercially financed. Grants or other attractive financing products would enhance the economics of each of the three alternatives.  The recommendation of the study was to proceed with the initial steps toward licensing a hydropower project at Allison Lake.

CVEA's application to FERC for the preliminary permit immediately follows the expiration of the permit recently held by Green Power Development, which expired on February 29, 2008.  The purpose of a preliminary permit is to secure and maintain priority to allow CVEA to study the power potential of Allison Lake and to develop information necessary to support a license application.  The term of the requested permit is three years.  During this time, CVEA will study the potential regulatory and environmental considerations associated with developments of this type.

Jim Manning, Board President, said the Board of Directors has been working toward this announcement since early 2007 and that the Board looks forward to discussing the potential Allison Lake has for the Cooperative's membership.

The application for the preliminary permit is available for inspection and reproduction during regular business hours at both CVEA offices and at the public libraries in Valdez and Glennallen.

For more information concerning this news release or other CVEA business, please contact Sharon Crisp, Director of Communications at 835-7005 or crisp@cvea.org.

November 2007

45¢ Per Gallon Increase in Diesel Fuel Costs Cause CVEA to Raise FPPC Again

Since the CVEA Board approved a 14.7¢ Fuel & Purchased Power Cost in October, the cost of diesel fuel purchased by CVEA has increased by 45¢ per gallon.  This increase was considered by the Board to be significant and warranted another review of the Fuel & Purchased Power cost.  As a result of the review, the Board determined that in order to recover fuel costs, it is necessary to increase the FPPC again in spite of their desire to hold the line until March of 2008. 

CVEA members will see an increase in the FPPC on their November bill.  The FPPC will increase to 17.12¢ per kWh.

CVEA has a commitment to providing power to members at the lowest possible cost.  In honoring this commitment, CVEA is doing everything they can to control high costs.  Since 2000, specific efforts to help offset the impact to the member include $2,500,000 in capital credit refunds and holding back $4,000,000 in fuel cost instead of increasing the FPPC even higher.  

One thing CVEA cannot do, however, is control the high price of fuel.  “The future forecast for the cost of a barrel of oil does not look good,” according to CVEA CEO Robert Wilkinson. “It is important for consumers to understand that as the price of oil continues to climb, the FPPC will continue to increase.  It is important that our members are prepared for that reality.”

With rising fuel costs impacting everyone's budget, CVEA would like to encourage members to take another look at their electric needs this winter.  There are many things consumers can do that have little effect on their day to day lives that will reduce the amount of kWhs used each month and lower electric bills.  Visit energy tips for conservation tips. 

For those with serious concerns regarding their ability to pay for their heating needs this winter, the State of Alaska, Division of Health and Social Services offers a heating assistance program to low income households.  This program assists qualified individuals with home heating expenses.  Eligibility is based on income.  For more information, contact Alaska's Public Assistance office at 1-800-470-3058, visit the State of Alaska's website at http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dpa/programs/hap or stop by either CVEA office for an application.

CVEA recognizes that the cost of fuel is a problem and the problem is much bigger than CVEA.  The cost of fuel is affecting every person in the CVEA service territory.   If you are concerned about the cost of fuel, whether that relates to electricity, heating fuel, or gasoline, we encourage you to contact your elected representatives and let them know that we need their help.

For more information regarding this topic or any other CVEA issue, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-7005, 822-3211, or email crisp@cvea.org.

October 2007

CVEA Board Authorizes Use of Margins to Help Keep Costs Down

CVEA members will see an increase in the Fuel and Purchased Power Cost (FPPC) on their October bill.  The FPPC will increase to 14.72 ¢ per kWh.   

The FPPC increase was approved after review by the Board of Directors at their regular board meeting on October 18, 2007.  Many factors affected this decision including the increasing cost of fuel and less than anticipated water available at Solomon Gulch for power generation.

 During the review, one scenario estimated the necessary FPPC rate to be as high as 18.58 ¢ per kWh.  In an effort to keep costs down, the Board authorized an expenditure of $1.5 million in 2007 margins, mostly resulting from heat sales, to offset the higher costs and allow for a smaller increase. Unless CVEA sees a dramatic increase in fuel costs, the Board has approved the rate to remain at 14.72 ¢ through the March 2008 billing.  This will help offset seasonal cost impacts to members through the winter months. 

 If you have questions or comments about this news release or other business of the cooperative please contact Sharon Crisp at (907) 835-7005 or by email at crisp@cvea.org.

August 2007

2007 APA Annual Meeting Comes to Valdez, September 12-14!

Valdez will be bursting with energy September 12-14 as approximately 150 delegates from the Alaska Power Association (APA) converge to discuss issues of importance to Alaska electric consumers.

The annual meeting of the trade association provides leaders from Alaska's electric cooperatives, investor-owned power companies and municipal utilities the opportunity to discuss issues faced by the industry, as well as recognize individuals whose accomplishments have benefited rural electrification efforts in Alaska. The theme for this year's event is ‘Energy Independence for Alaska' and the focus will be on statewide energy policy development.

In addition to attending meetings and general sessions, APA Annual Meeting attendees are able to spend time shopping, touring CVEA plant facilities and enjoying a reception and cruise aboard Stan Stephens Cruises. APA estimates its annual meeting will have a significant economic impact on the community. A conservative estimate that accounts for all costs including catering, hotel rooms, transportation, tours, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses is roughly $85,000, according to APA.

Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) looks forward to hosting the 2007 APA Annual Meeting and is excited to have the opportunity to showcase CVEA and show the rest of the state of Alaska why Valdez is such a great place to live, work, and visit.

If you have any questions regarding the Alaska Power Association Annual Meeting, please contact Sharon Crisp at 835-4301 in Valdez or 822-3211 in the Copper Basin.

July 2007

FUEL & PURCHASED POWER COST (FPPC) UPDATE!!

In an effort to better match the seasonal cost impacts of power generation resources in summer and winter the CVEA Board of Directors adopted a strategy to calculate the Fuel and Purchased Power charge semi-annually.  As communicated in the July issue of Ruralite, this strategy is proving more difficult in 2007.

Typically during the summer months, Solomon Gulch hydro generates nearly 100% of the power generation requirement.  This summer, water availability for power generation has been greatly reduced.  Currently, the Solomon Lake reservoir is only 56% of the seventeen year average of usable water.  To account for low water levels and in an effort to increase the reservoir level before winter CVEA will turn on the cogeneration and diesel plants in early August. 

This situation was reviewed by the Board of Directors at their regular monthly board meeting on July 19, 2007.  In view of the lack of water for summer power generation the Board approved a modest decrease in the FPPC from 12.49¢ to 11.47¢ per kWh.  This change is reflected on July bills and is expected to remain in effect through the September billing.   The Board of Directors plans to re-visit this subject at the October board meeting. 

If you have additional questions or comments please contact: Sharon Crisp at (907) 835-7005 or by email at crisp@cvea.org .

June 2007

CVEA, FERC and several community stakeholders review Solomon Gulch Emergency Action Plan!

On Thursday, June 14, 2007 representatives from the Four Dam Pool Power Association, (FDPPA) owner of the Solomon Gulch Hydro Facility, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Coast Guard, National Weather Service, Department of Transportation, Valdez Fisheries Development Association, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Providence Valdez Medical Center, and the Valdez Police Department met with Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) to participate in an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) review for the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric facility. 

 The exercise is required by FERC and the purpose is to review, test, and update the Emergency Action Plan that would be utilized for emergencies resulting in potentially hazardous situations or imminent failure of the Solomon Gulch Dam. 

 This year's review included discussion of the October 2006 flood that occurred in Valdez.  After reviewing the flood event, it was determined that the EAP did not have a communication process in place for a non-failure emergency condition and that such an action plan needs to be developed.  This would ensure all EAP participants are aware of severe conditions that need to be closely monitored.  In addition to the discussion on flood and high water levels, participants engaged in a table top drill.   During the drill, an emergency situation was presented to the group and alternatives for working through the situation were discussed.

 According to Steve Bushong, CVEA Chief Operating Officer, “This year's exercise was a good one, very productive, and I was pleased to see all of the critical representatives at the table.”  Having the right people at the table is very important as everyone would or could be involved if an emergency situation existed.  In addition, input from participating representatives can be used to help the FDPPA make changes to the existing EAP.

 The Solomon Gulch EAP is a critical component of CVEA's emergency response plan aimed at supporting our efforts to provide exceptional service through safe and reliable programs.

December 2006

$1.2 Million Capital Credit Retirement in December!

One of the benefits of belonging to a cooperative is receiving a portion of the margins in the form of capital credits.  At the November Board meeting, the Copper Valley Electric Association Board of Directors voted to retire (refund) ten percent of the Association's patronage capital.  The disbursement, which will be made by mid-December, will total $1.2 million.  The last general retirement of capital credits was made by CVEA in December 2004.

Refunds will be calculated based on the percentage of patronage capital method.  This method of calculation multiplies the percent of total cooperative patronage capital to be retired, in this case ten percent, by the individual member's capital credit balance regardless of when they joined CVEA.  Checks and billing credits will be sent to over 2,300 current members.

Refunds under $50 for active members will be provided in the form of a credit on the electric bill.  Refunds over $50 will be provided via check.  CVEA intends to distribute checks by the second week of December.  Refunds in the form of a billing credit will be reflected on the December monthly bill.

What are capital credits? CVEA is a nonprofit cooperative owned by our members. As provided in our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, electricity is provided at cost. In most businesses, receipts for goods or services in excess of operating costs are profits; while at a cooperative payments by members which exceed the cost of furnishing electric service are called margins. Margins are retained by the co-op as working capital in order to maintain and improve the electric system until the Board of Directors declares a refund.

How do they work? Margins are assigned annually to member accounts in proportion to the member's purchase of electric service during the preceding year.  Member/owners are notified via mail each year when margins are assigned.

October 2006

Alternative Energy Study

As a follow up to the Strategic Issues Paper, CVEA retained the Financial Engineering Company to provide an independent review of what generation options might provide lower costs to CVEA members.  The primary goal of the study was to determine whether the high fuel cost associated with the diesel plants could be displaced with another, less expensive, generation alternative.   The resulting report entitled Alternative Generation Review evaluated a number of generation alternatives while taking into account the contractual and seasonal limitations of producing power on CVEA's system.

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