CVEA representatives work closely with state and federal lawmakers to maintain good working relationships. We consistently review items of value or concern to our Cooperative, our members, and the entire electric utility industry. We act and speak on your behalf to help make necessary changes or ensure forthcoming changes have the best possible outcome.
Efforts include communications as necessary throughout the year, local meetings when representatives are in our service territory, attending state and federal Legislative fly-ins and other meetings, and in person meetings with representatives and agency's in Washington, D.C.
Significant Historical Efforts
2013 Legislative Update:
Governor Parnell signed the 2014 Budget and CVEA is the recipient of $4,085,509 for the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project.
2008 Legislative Updates
In 1991, as a means to address the high cost of electricity in the region, CVEA began investigating a possible electrical interconnection to the Railbelt Energy Utility Grid. The project was studied extensively and in 1993, the Alaska Legislature authorized the project and appropriated a $35 million, zero-interest, 50-year loan for partial funding. The justification for this appropriation was to provide a meaningful rate reduction for an entire region of the state.
Edgar Blatchford, Commissioner of Community and Regional Affairs in 1994, found that the project was economically feasible, and during the remainder of 1994, CVEA attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate loan agreements with DCRA. In 1995 the feasibility of the project was re-assessed by AIDEA, and ultimately no further progress was made in advancing loan agreements for the project. After investing five years and $1.3 million in study and administrative costs for the intertie project, the CVEA Board of Directors in October 1996 determined, for a variety of reasons, the project could not be advanced.
Due to pressing power supply concerns, CVEA elected instead to pursue a combustion turbine cogeneration project with its largest customer, the Petro Star Valdez Refinery. A legislative effort was mounted in 1997 to secure a re-appropriation of a portion of the intertie loan to capitalize a 15 Megawatt (MW) generation project for the region. If accomplished, that re-appropriation could have resulted in significant financial benefits for the region. The effort was unsuccessful.
After failing to receive state financial assistance, CVEA scaled back the proposed project to a single 5 MW combustion turbine with a heat recovery unit. The project was constructed in 1999, and it commenced commercial operation on April 24, 2000. The project has numerous benefits including reduced emissions of nitrous oxide (NOX), it uses Alaska North Slope crude oil to benefit Alaskans, and it adds a valuable increment of generating capacity to CVEA's Valdez system. In addition, through the benefits of cogeneration, the project recovers heat from the combustion turbine for use in the refining process which significantly increases the overall thermal efficiency of the project.
While the cogeneration project has numerous benefits, it does nothing to help the region with the high cost of electricity, which was one of the principal goals of the intertie appropriation. Furthermore, it does nothing to address the problem of maintaining adequate power generation reserves in the Copper Basin in the event the transmission line (between Valdez and the Copper Basin) is out of service.