Thursday, October 25, 2007

HEA at a Crossroads

HEA buys its power from Chugach Electric, and that power supply agreement expires in 2014. So HEA is working now to line up new power sources. To date, HEA has focused primarily on coal-fired power, including the Healy coal plant (50MW) and a proposed coal-fired generator (100-200MW) in association with Agrium's coal gasification project. While Alaska has plentiful coal supplies (roughly half the nation's reserves), coal faces increasing costs, including proposed carbon taxes and mercury limits. So, the question becomes: what's the best way to provide HEA members with cost-effective, sustainable power supplies for the foreseeable future?


Peripatetic Wanderer said...

I know it's completely counter-intuitive to the for-profit structure, but a first step should be reversing the kw rate ladder. For example, establish kwh pricing based on the typical monthly use for a family that uses conservation methods (CFLs, power strips, proper insulation, etc.) as a baseline. USe over that amount should cost MORE per kwh, not less. The same should apply to businesses. These costs, of course will be passed on to the consumer, but the consumers can push back. Hopefully, this would result in conservation methods applied residentially and commercially/industrially.

Anonymous said...

I went to the HEA "wind forum" the other night - and that's what we got - a lot of wind! I didn't hear any serious proposals to actually do anything. All the while HEA is moving very deliberately toward coal at Healy. Did anyone else feel this was but a smokescreen to divert attention from HEA's real pursuit?