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Electric Vehicle charger installed at Rustic Goat

MOA latest to partner with Chugach Electric on charging station

Anchorage, AK - An electric vehicle (EV) charger is now available at the Rustic Goat restaurant in West Anchorage, installed by the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA), which leases the parking area to the restaurant. The charger is the fourth and final charging facility funded in part by Chugach Electric Association as part of an EV charging research program. Chugach launched an incentive program last year to help the utility learn more about the use of publicly available EV chargers. The Chugach program reimburses up to $7,500 in upfront costs for each of the chargers in exchange for three years of charging data. To date, charging stations have been installed at Alyeska Resort, the South Anchorage Mall, and the Dimond Center. The charger in the parking lot near Rustic Goat, across Turnagain Street just east of the restaurant, is the latest in the research program.

“EVs save money and improve air quality,” said Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson. “We’re excited to support the EV transition through this grant and to offer residents more transportation choices.”

“It’s exciting to see this fourth partner in our research program as we work to expand charging options for EV drivers,” said Chugach CEO Lee Thibert. “We are looking forward to seeing the charging habits and ways to improve access to those who want to charge away from home.”

Ongoing Chugach research has shown a steady increase in the number of EVs registered in Alaska.  At the end of June there were nearly 1,200 registered EVs statewide, about a 25% increase from the same time in 2019; nearly half of the EVs were registered to addresses in the Railbelt.

Nationwide studies have found that most EV drivers do most of their charging at home, however, publicly available chargers can enable regional travel, reduce range anxiety for drivers, and attract business for their hosts. Chugach Electric calculates that at its residential rate, drivers save about 50 percent on their monthly cost for “fuel” compared to gasoline at $3.00 per gallon. EVs can last between 200 to 400 miles when fully charged.

Although the charging research program is now fully subscribed, Chugach offers several other EV incentive programs for its commercial and residential members.  Details can be found at https://www.chugachelectric.com/energy-solutions/electric-vehicles.

Chugach will have a prize drawing for EV drivers who use each of the four chargers installed under its research program in the next few weeks. Details of the Chugach EV Charging Road Rally will be available starting Nov. 16 on the Chugach website www.chugachelectric.com

Contact:

Chugach Electric

Julie Hasquet

(907) 717-9619                 

Municipality of Anchorage

Pierce Schwalb

(907) 229-2106

Chugach Electric completes ML&P acquisition

Chugach Electric today announced the closing of the acquisition of Municipal Light & Power (ML&P). The final step in the transaction comes two and a half years after 65% of Anchorage voters approved selling the municipal-owned utility.

“This is a historic day, and I am grateful for the hard work and efforts of so many,” said Chugach CEO Lee Thibert. “We could not have done this without the support of the employees, our board of directors, the administration and Anchorage Assembly, and the citizens of Anchorage. This has truly been a community effort.”

“The Chugach Board of Directors is proud to have been a part of this initiative – one that has been talked about for decades,” said Board Chair Bettina Chastain. “This will benefit Chugach members far into the future as we continue to provide reliable, affordable power to homes and businesses while achieving greater savings and efficiencies.”

In April 2018, Anchorage voters approved the sale of ML&P for roughly $1 billion. Following the vote, Chugach filed for approval of the transaction on April 1, 2019 with the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). After several weeks of RCA hearings and additional time to analyze the transaction, the RCA gave approval on May 28, 2020, with conditions that were met on Aug. 20. The total transaction is valued at $986 million.

The combination of the two utilities is expected to lead to lower long-term rates for all utility ratepayers with an estimated savings of over $200 million over the next 15 years.

“As Alaska businesses, individuals, and the economy as a whole face financial difficulties because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a better time to bring these utilities together,” Thibert said.

As part of the acquisition, Chugach kept its commitment to offer jobs to all ML&P employees who wanted to stay with the utility. The combined utility has approximately 92,000 members and 500 employees.

Two-day closure

In order to consolidate records to help facilitate a smooth transition for ML&P customers as they become Chugach members, Chugach offices will be closed Nov. 2 and 3. The first day of operations for the combined utility is Nov. 4.

Chugach members can continue to do business online and current ML&P customers will be able to sign up to become a Chugach members starting Nov. 4 at https://www.chugachelectric.com/powering-anchorage-together.

Former ML&P customers will also receive a welcome brochure and a member application in the mail from Chugach in the coming days. The application will be available on the Chugach website beginning Nov. 4.

During the two-day closure, Chugach will respond to power outages and other emergencies as usual but will not be available for member service requests.

Chugach’s locations and hours of operation as of Nov. 4:

 

Chugach South Campus

5601 Electron Drive

Monday-Friday

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Chugach North Campus

Drive-thru window only

1120 East 1st Avenue

Monday-Friday

7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

Member Services Phone

(907) 563-7366

Monday-Friday

7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Electric vehicle charger installed at Dimond Center

The Dimond Center is the latest Anchorage business to team up with Chugach Electric on an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. The Dimond Center has installed a facility to charge electric vehicles on the west side of the mall, near a main entrance. The installation was completed with financial assistance from Chugach as part of a research project to gather information about the use of publicly available chargers in Anchorage.

The charging station was unveiled Friday, Oct. 2 at a ribbon cutting to coincide with National Drive Electric Week, which is Sept. 26 to Oct. 4. National Drive Electric Week is a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“We’re very happy to have the Dimond Center partner with us on this EV charging station as it’s a key location in Anchorage,” said Chugach CEO Lee Thibert. “Our charging program has multiple benefits for members and the whole community. We are learning more about the use of publicly available chargers while also helping attract customers to businesses and providing places for EV drivers throughout the Railbelt to charge when they’re away from home.”

“As a local family-owned business, Dimond Center always looks for ways to serve its customers better,” said Hugh Ashlock, with Dimond Center. “We feel this is a tremendous opportunity to jumpstart the electric vehicle movement in our state and we are excited to welcome EV drivers to the largest mixed-use facility in Alaska.”

The Dimond Center charging station is the third such facility funded in part by the Chugach program.  Similar installations were completed earlier at the Alyeska Resort and JL Properties’ South Anchorage Mall.  An additional installation is planned for a Municipal parking lot in West Anchorage.  The installations are for Level 2 charging equipment with universal connectors.  Like the other installations, the Dimond Center facility can charge two electric vehicles at the same time.  An hour of charging can add 25-30 miles of driving range to the batteries of electric vehicles.  

As part of the program Chugach contributed up to $7,500 toward the actual installed cost of the charging facility. The charging station will be selected, installed, owned, and maintained by the customer for the duration of the three-year research period.

For more information on Chugach’s EV incentive program, go to https://www.chugachelectric.com/energy-solutions/electric-vehicles

For more information on National Drive Electric Week, go to https://driveelectricweek.org/

Chugach offers electric vehicle incentive programs

Chugach is offering several new electric vehicle (EV) related incentives to promote the use of EVs in Alaska. Individually, the incentives are intended to help the utility’s members interested in owning and driving an EV and the businesses that would like to serve them. Collectively, the programs will help Chugach learn more about the trend toward transportation electrification and its impacts on the power grid.

There are two types of EVs that connect to the grid, and both qualify for the incentive programs. Battery electric vehicles are all-electric and generally have a range of 200-300 miles on a full charge. Plug-in electric hybrids travel for a limited range (25-40 miles) on battery power before switching to an internal combustion engine. Both are present in Alaska.

The incentive programs from Chugach provide bill credits for residential and commercial members who install charging equipment. Additional programs target specific types of members, like hotels and fleet owners, with reimbursements for adding EV charging stations. All are available now for Chugach members. Another Chugach program will be available in the future once rental car companies begin offering EVs for rent. One will help pay the cost of an extended rental for Chugach members who want to see what it is like to drive an EV. The other will help lease an EV for one or more Chugach members who are transportation network drivers.

Chugach has multiple goals in offering the initiatives including helping members build business, reducing range anxiety for drivers, and growing beneficial load that spreads fixed costs across more unit sales. An additional benefit of the program is to gain information that may be useful in the development of alternative rate options for EV charging.

Background

The new Chugach programs follow an EV charging research program initiated by the cooperative in 2019. Under that program, Chugach is helping interested commercial members install publicly available charging stations in exchange for 36 months of usage information. So far charging stations have been installed by Alyeska Resort and JL Properties (for the South Anchorage Mall complex that includes South Restaurant and other businesses), with others at the Dimond Center and a Municipality of Anchorage parking lot near The Rustic Goat expected later this year. Early indications are that EV drivers are finding and using these facilities, and in the process attracting business to the hosts.

Ultimately, Chugach wants to be prepared to serve what is forecast to be an increasing shift to electric vehicles in coming years. Chugach’s own research has shown a near-doubling of the number of electric vehicles registered in Alaska in the last few years. At the end of June, there were nearly 1,200 EVs in Alaska, with almost half of them registered to addresses in the Railbelt.

More information and applications for the new programs are available at https://www.chugachelectric.com/energy-solutions/electric-vehicles