GVEA signs agreement to purchase surplus power from University of Alaska Fairbanks

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:20 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - In April, the Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) made an agreement with the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) allowing GVEA to purchase excess power from the university when available.

“So what they have left over, then, Golden Valley is able to purchase when it’s economically viable for us,” Meadow Bailey, Director of External affairs and Public Relations with GVEA, said.

This agreement gives GVEA another local option for power. “Being able to purchase locally generated power is always a benefit. Just the ability to get it locally means that it’s close by. It’s a shorter distance as far as transmission goes. We’re always looking to bring power into our portfolio that is at a lower cost, which is an advantage for our members,” she explained.

According to Bailey, UAF also benefits from the arrangement. “The university is able to run their plant at higher capacity, so they’re able to generate more power than they know that they’ll need. It’s more efficient then, and it also lets them, since it’s a newer plant, to test out their plant and to learn about the plant.”

To provide electricity to the Fairbanks area, GVEA relies on multiple power sources. “We’re also currently getting hydroelectricity. We’re getting natural gas generated power, all of that, from the intertie. We also combine in there the university power now, but also power that’s generated from Healy 1 or 2 that’s coal-generated. When we need, depending on the load, we’re also generate, we have power plants in North Pole. We also have power plants in Fairbanks, and we also purchase power from Aurora Energy.”

GVEA also uses renewable sources, including a solar farm and Eva Creek Wind Farm.

The agreement with UAF will last for one year, at which time it may be extended after its benefits are evaluated by both parties.

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