The three Southcentral Alaska electric utilities, Chugach Electric Association, Municipal Light & Power and Matanuska Electric Association have signed an agreement to pool the use of their power generation and transmission assets, the utilities announced today. By sharing the use of generation facilities and routing the power appropriately across the transmission grid to electricity demand centers, the utilities will be able to make maximum use of the newest gas-fired power stations in the Southcentral section of the Railbelt grid. The result will be savings in the amount of natural gas required to generate power. The utilities say that they anticipate saving $12 million to $16 million per year in fuel, operations and maintenance costs, savings that will translate to lower electricity bills for electricity consumers.
"Working together to provide power to our customers in the most efficient, cost-effective manner means lower costs and improved reliability for everyone," said Lee Thibert, CEO of Chugach Electric. "This agreement represents a lot of hard work and cooperation on behalf of thousands of Alaska electric customers, and I want to thank everyone involved for the great work done."
"We are pleased to see our recent utility cooperation expanded into a more formalized agreement that can reduce costs for our members," said Tony Izzo, CEO of Matanuska Electric. "The Railbelt's new, more efficient generation suite brings significant opportunity for savings when we work together and we look forward to this new era of collaboration."
"The work of the utilities serving Anchorage demonstrates what collaborative effort can achieve and builds on our cooperative work to provide reliable, cost-effective electric service for businesses and families," said ML&P general manager Mark Johnston.
- ALAN BAILEY
See story in Feb. 5 issue, available online Friday, Feb. 3 at www.PetroleumNews.com