Friday, February 13, 2009

Feb 11 HEA Press Release - Homer Electric to Study Power Supply Options

3977 Lake Street, Homer, AK 99603 (907) 235-8167
280 Airport Way, Kenai, AK 99611 (907) 283-5831

PRESS RELEASE - February 11, 2009

Homer Electric to Study Power Supply Options

The Homer Electric Board of Directors will be seeking proposals from power supply consultants to evaluate all possible power generation sources that may be available to the cooperative. The decision was made at the February 10th board meeting, following nearly two hours of comments from Homer Electric members.

The goal of the independent, third-party study will be to provide the HEA board with a complete cost-benefit analysis of different generation sources including natural gas, coal, and various types of renewable energy.

The study will be coordinated by the Homer Electric Board of Directors, with input from three members of the cooperative. The board will select a member from each of the three districts in the cooperative to participate in the design and implementation of the power supply study.

Board President Debbie Debnam said the results of the power supply study will be critical to determining HEA’s future power generation decisions.

"The Homer Electric board is committed to finding a mix of generation sources that will provide our members with reliable, affordable energy. We need to know, as best as possible, what the choices are and what each of them will mean to our rates. This study will give us direction on how to proceed with some very important decisions," said Debnam.

The timeline for completion of the power supply study is approximately six months, although it is possible it could be completed earlier.

There were several comments at Tuesday night’s board meeting regarding the possibility of Homer Electric purchasing power from the Healy Clean Coal Project (HCCP).

Homer Electric recently approved a Term Sheet with the state’s Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and Golden Valley Electric Association to purchase half of the power from HCCP, but a binding Power Sales Agreement has not been negotiated.

"The goal of the power supply study is to find out what our best options are. The study will consider all factors involved in power production, including possible future fuel costs, regulatory issues, reliability, and most importantly, the impact it will have on the rates paid by our members," said Debnam.

Debnam said the board hopes to be able to send out a request of proposals for a power supply study by the end of February.

For additional information regarding this press release, please contact Joe Gallagher, HEA public relations coordinator, at 907-283-2324

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