Railbelt utilities update RCA on efforts to develop transmission business model
To provide additional update by year-end
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Railbelt utilities have jointly submitted a letter to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska summarizing progress on their voluntary efforts to evaluate a business model whereby the operation, maintenance and upgrades of the Railbelt transmission network are accomplished by a transmission company to enhance the reliable delivery of electric power to Railbelt customers.
Joining the Railbelt utilities is American Transmission Co., a Wisconsin-based transmission-only utility formed through a similar effort in 2001 in the Midwest. ATC’s start-up and operational experience have been the starting point for discussions among the Railbelt utilities to determine the necessary steps in forming a transmission-only utility.
Recent discussions about possible development of a Railbelt transmission company stem from recommendations by the Alaska Legislature and the RCA over the past two years.
The Railbelt utilities’ report to the RCA can be found at: http://rca.alaska.gov/RCAWeb/ViewFile.aspx?id=0f1c34db-e14d-44e2-8572-3de55d84dbf9
The utilities will provide an additional update to the RCA by year-end.
Anchorage Municipal Light & Power – ML&P provides electric utility service to commercial, university and medical customers in the downtown and midtown business districts as well as industrial loads in the Ship Creek and port areas. In addition, it serves residential customers in some of Anchorage’s oldest neighborhoods in its roughly 20-square-mile area. ML&P powers Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and sells electricity to other Railbelt utilities. www.mlandp.com
Chugach Electric Association, Inc. – Chugach provides power to Railbelt Alaskans through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales. Chugach operates 2,238 miles of energized line, including 539 miles of transmission lines. www.chugachelectric.com
Golden Valley Electric Association — GVEA operates and maintains 3,202 miles of transmission and distribution lines and 34 substations in Interior Alaska. Its 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. Peak load in 2014 was 201.6 megawatts. System peak of 223 MW was set in December 2007. www.gvea.com
Homer Electric Association, Inc. — HEA is a member-owned electric cooperative that serves the western Kenai Peninsula. The 3,166-square-mile service territory includes the communities of Sterling, Soldotna, Kenai, Nikiski, Homer, and also the south side of Kachemak Bay from Halibut Cove to Nanwalek. The cooperative has over 33,000 meters on its system and maintains 2,407 miles of energized lines. HEA owns and operates three generation plants on the Kenai Peninsula. For more information, visit www.homerelectric.com.
Matanuska Electric Association – MEA is a member-owned cooperative that serves the Matanuska/Susitna and Eagle River/Chugiak areas. MEA serves over 61,000 meters through more than 4,200 miles of power lines. It was formed in 1941 and is Alaska’s oldest and second-largest electric co-op. www.mea.coop
City of Seward Electric System – City of Seward runs its own electric utility and purchases power from Chugach Electric Association and has backup generation capabilities. www.cityofseward.us
American Transmission Co. – ATC is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $3.5 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of its infrastructure. ATC now owns and operates $3.8 billion in assets, including more than 9,530 miles of transmission lines and 530 substations. 12% of ATC’s ownership is munis and co-ops, and 88% is investor-owned utilities. The company is a member of the MISO regional transmission organization, and provides nondiscriminatory service to all customers, supporting effective competition in energy without favoring any market participant. www.atcllc.com