Golden Valley, CIRI agree on Fire Island Wind expansion
Final agreement under negotiation
The second phase of Fire Island Wind is expected to be complete by October 2017. Pictured is phase one construction.
Alaska Crane Photo
Golden Valley Electric Association (“GVEA”) and Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (“CIRI”) today jointly announced the re-start of negotiations for GVEA to purchase the wind power from CIRI’s planned Fire Island Wind, Phase 2 (“the Project”).
“We at GVEA believe it is in all Railbelt utility customers’ best interests to keep up efforts to acquire economically competitive renewable resources to supplement conventional thermal resources and to build strong business relationships with independent power producers who bear the risk of developing, constructing and operating these projects,” said Cory Borgeson, President & CEO of GVEA. “GVEA has been working closely with CIRI to negotiate an agreement that provides immediate and long-term benefits for GVEA’s customers. We are pleased to be working together with CIRI to bring this project to fruition.”
The basic transaction involves a 25-year purchase of energy that will provide an effective hedge for GVEA against the volatile cost of fossil fuel. Under an escalating price agreement the purchase cost for power could be as low as $56 per megawatt hour. Mr. Borgeson said that while GVEA is prepared to take all the wind power from the Project, GVEA would be pleased to work collaboratively with other Railbelt electric utilities to share the economic and environmental benefits. The final agreement is under negotiation and will be subject to review and approval by both the GVEA and CIRI boards of directors as well as the Regulatory Commission of Alaska.
CIRI Sr. Vice President, Land and Energy Development, Ethan Schutt said “CIRI is pleased to expand the Fire Island Wind project – fueling local job growth and long-term economic activity at a time when Alaska needs it most, while lowering the cost of electricity for consumers and reducing the region’s carbon emissions. CIRI values its relationships with the Railbelt electric utilities and looks forward to working with GVEA.”
CIRI expects to close financing in the fall of 2016 and complete construction and achieve commercial operations of the second phase of Fire Island Wind by October 2017.
Golden Valley Electric Association, Inc. is a member-owned electric cooperative. GVEA, headquartered in Fairbanks, operates and maintains 3,216 miles of transmission and distribution lines, 34 substations and 8 generating facilities. GVEA’s system is interconnected with Fort Wainwright, Eielson AFB, Fort Greely, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and all electric utilities in the Alaska Railbelt, which extends from Homer, Alaska to Fairbanks.
Cook Inlet Region, Inc. is proudly owned by more than 8,700 shareholders. CIRI is one of twelve regional corporations created by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. Today, CIRI is recognized as a model of success, with business interests across Alaska and around the United States. Through its wholly-owned subsidiary CIRI Energy, CIRI has shown itself to be a successful and sophisticated energy project developer and investor. CIRI’s decisions are guided by its corporate mission to provide economic benefits for its current and future generations of Alaska Native shareholders.