Chugach board supports full evaluation of alternative energy options
As Alaskans evaluate alternatives for how to meet the energy needs of customers, the board of directors of Chugach Electric Association affirmed its support for keeping all generation options on the table.
The board unanimously adopted a resolution in support of alternative energy in Alaska at its Nov. 20 meeting.
Among other things, the resolution adopts a goal of moving from being overly-dependent upon power generated with natural gas to having a generation mix that favors renewable energy. Currently about 90 percent of the kilowatt-hours Chugach sells each year comes from burning natural gas, with the other 10 percent coming from hydroelectric projects.
For some months, Chugach management has been telling audiences that the utility’s long-range vision is to flip that ratio around, and become a utility where 10 percent of its power comes from fossil fuel-fired generation and 90 percent from renewable resources.
The resolution adopts Chugach’s "90/10 to 10/90" concept as a long-term goal, as well as noting strong support for the review of a potential hydroelectric project on the Susitna River currently underway by the Alaska Energy Authority.
The board resolution makes it clear that all alternative generation technologies should be considered as the AEA and other organizations look ahead and contemplate how best to meet the future electric energy needs of Alaskans. The resolution lists a number of technologies that should be considered, including hydroelectric, coal-to-liquids, coal gasification, gas-to-liquids, nuclear, geothermal, biomass, conservation and efficiency measures, incineration of municipal waste, tidal, wind and solar. The resolution states that obstacles that limit the consideration of any of these technologies should be removed from state law.
Chugach is the largest electric utility in Alaska, providing power for Alaskans throughout the Railbelt through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales.