GVEA Sets Goal to Reduce Carbon Emissions by 26% by 2030

Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) has set a goal to reduce its carbon output by 26 percent by the year 2030.

The board of directors adopted the Carbon Reduction Goal at its January 21 meeting in Fairbanks.

The 26 percent reduction will be measured against GVEA’s 2012 emission levels. The resolution gives management a variety of ways to achieve the reductions, including renewable energy, waste-heat recovery, demand-side management, alternative fuels and energy storage. The co-op may also reach its goal via carbon off-sets.

“The board recognizes there are many ways to reduce emissions besides large-scale renewable power projects,” said Cory Borgeson, Golden Valley President and CEO. “This new goal demonstrates their willingness to look at a variety of ways to lessen our environmental impact.”

The resolution promises to achieve the goal without adverse long-term effects on rates or reliability.

“We are going to keep a very close eye on costs, so our members don’t see higher bills as a result of this goal,” said Rick Schikora, GVEA’s board chairman.

The resolution also calls on management to consider the cost of carbon emissions when evaluating fuel contracts and future projects. The board has requested semi-annual updates on the co-op’s carbon emission performance.

This is the third in a series of “green goals” set by the GVEA board. In 2005, the board adopted Alaska’s first “Green Power Pledge,” calling for 10 percent of system peak load to come from renewable sources by the end of 2007. After achieving that goal, the board raised the target to 20 percent. GVEA hit that mark in 2013 with the addition the Eva Creek Wind Farm near Healy.

GVEA’s new Carbon Reduction Goal represents a year of study and preparation by the GVEA board, staff and the Member Advisory Committee (MAC). GVEA will present more details at its annual members meeting the evening of Thursday, May 2, at Hering Auditorium in Fairbanks.

(Posted to GVEA's Blog on Jan 24, 2019.)

GVEA Receives a 55-Megawatt Hybrid Power Generation Project Proposal

Golden Valley Electric Association has received a proposal from Eco Green Generation LLC (EGG) of Monument, CO, an independent power producer, to add 55 megawatts of energy to GVEA’s system.

EGG proposes to add 11 cogeneration units, 9 in Fairbanks and 2 in North Pole. Each unit will produce 5 megawatts of electricity using LNG or propane. The cogenerating units would be positioned near large commercial buildings, enabling the waste heat to be used by those buildings.

EGG’s proposal includes a 25-megawatt wind farm near Delta Junction, and a 4.4-megawatt battery energy storage system. The 11 cogeneration units would employ reciprocating engines that can be throttled up and down quickly, taking up the slack if the wind suddenly dies down.

The proposed project involves Alaska Environmental Power (AEP) of Delta Junction. AEP currently provides GVEA with 2 megawatts of wind power. Under this proposal, AEP would receive one third of the net revenue from the project.

EGG has laid out an ambitious timeline for the project, anticipating it to be online by November 30, 2019.   “If this project is able to deliver on its promises, it could be something positive for the Interior,” said Cory Borgeson, GVEA President and CEO. “GVEA is always looking for ways to lower our members’ costs and reduce our emissions.”

Under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), utilities are obligated to purchase power from independent power producers as long as there are no adverse impacts on reliability or rates. GVEA has hired an independent engineering firm, to assist GVEA staff, in evaluating EGG’s proposal to determine any impacts to GVEA’s system and to calculate associated costs. GVEA has until February 27 to respond.

Cogeneration is not a new idea in the Interior. The Aurora Power Plant on the Chena River has been generating both electricity and steam heat for downtown Fairbanks since the 1950s. The new UAF power plant is also a cogeneration unit that provides both heat and electricity to the campus. “It makes sense to use waste heat, particularly in a cold climate like ours,” said Brian Youngberg, Vice President of Member Services at GVEA.

To view the documents that were issued to GVEA (proposal letter and attachments), simply click on the appropriate link below:

(Posted to GVEA's Blog on Jan 4, 2019.)

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