After a rather contentious start, Tuesday’s HEA Board meeting resulted in action to respond to member concerns over the proposed Healy 2 deal with AIDEA and GVEA.
At least 55 members crowded Homer and Kenai HEA offices to express their views. In over two hours of testimony, all but three or four opposed involvement with Healy 2 for a variety of reasons, from environmental to public health and economic questions. Many thanks to all of you who were able to participate and to everyone who sent comments to the Board.
It was a long meeting but, in the end, the HEA Board passed a motion by David Thomas to issue an RFP for a comprehensive, third-party, revised power supply study. It will examine Healy in relationship to all other power options available for meeting HEA’s power needs. Cost/benefit assessment of the various options will be an element of this study. Future fuel costs, regulatory issues, reliability, and potential impact on rates will be among the things considered.
In response to a recommendation by General Manager Brad Janorschke, this process will be conducted by the Generation Committee. Two Board members and three member/ratepayer representatives (1 from each Board district) will work with HEA staff to develop and oversee the RFP and the estimated six month power supply study process.
Unfortunately, the Board did not preclude continuing contract negotiations for a Power Sales Agreement between HEA and GVEA. Still, it would be hard to imagine HEA attempting to sign such a document absent results of the completed study.
Many significant issues remain regarding the way our electrical cooperative does business but HEA Board members deserve words of encouragement for taking a significant step in response to member concerns.