Railbelt Utilities Focus on Improved Reliability and Planning

Joint Press Release - January 18, 2018

A consortium of Railbelt electric utilities has hired GDS Associates, Inc. to develop a plan to achieve increased reliability and regional planning for the state’s only major interconnected grid.

The utilities are working together through an organization called ARCTEC (Alaska Railbelt Cooperative Transmission and Electric Company). The group recently released a request for proposal (RFP) to guide the development of a Railbelt Reliability Council (RRC) that would be responsible for critical aspects of an efficient electric grid including reliability, planning, and open access.

“GDS is honored to be selected by ARCTEC to facilitate a model for a more effective and reliable electric grid with lower long-term costs,” said Seth Brown, Partner and Vice President of Transmission Services.

Georgia-based GDS was selected out of a pool of responses from organizations within and outside Alaska. They bring experience assisting a variety of public power utilities and other related groups with power pooling, system operations, regional transmission organizations and integrated resource planning.

“GDS stood out to the selection committee due to their extensive experience working with other utility groups throughout the U.S. on collaborative and innovative solutions,” stated David Glines, chair of the ARCTEC board and President of the Matanuska Electric Association board of directors. “They will be a catalyst for developing a model that can serve Alaskan ratepayers for years to come.”

GDS will involve the remaining Railbelt utilities along with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and other interested stakeholders in discussions and public forums. The final product will include a recommended organizational and leadership structure for the RRC along with a scope of responsibilities and authority.

“Full participation in the effort by all the Railbelt utilities and stakeholders will be key to delivering meaningful benefits today and into the future,” said Brown.

Work will begin in January 2018 and is expected to be complete within 6 months. For more information contact


Alaska Railbelt Cooperative Transmission and Electric Company (ARCTEC) is a consortium of Railbelt utilities brought together to address opportunities and resolve issues on Alaska’s ‘Railbelt’ electric grid, spanning from Homer on the Kenai peninsula to Fairbanks, which is 600 miles north in interior Alaska. More information at Member utilities include Chugach Electric Association, Golden Valley Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association and Seward Electric.