At the recent Chugach Electric Virtual Candidates Forum, candidates were asked to discuss a plan that has been proposed to achieve 100% renewable power not just for Chugach Electric, but the entire railbelt electric grid. Although the proposal has been presented to the Board of Directors of Chugach Electric, Golden Valley Electric, Matanuska Electric and Homer Electric, as well as the Alaska Energy Authority at Governor Dunleavy’s request, it became clear that none of the other candidates were aware of it. Continue reading
The Chugach Electric Annual Meeting was held by virtual teleconference on Monday, June 15. The only business was to report the results from the Board of Directors election. While I’m disappointed to say that my attempt to gain a seat at the table for renewable energy fell short, I am gratified by all the support I received during the campaign and will continue to look for other ways to move Chugach in the direction of renewable energy, lower rates and lower emissions. I am also encouraged by the large voter turnout and I hope that the message of the more than 3,000 members who voted for me will still be heard in the boardroom without me sitting at the table.
Congratulations to Sam Cason and Mark Wiggins on their election to the Board. They each bring valuable skills to the Board and I know they will do their best to represent the interests of the members. Out of 8,249 ballots cast, the votes were as follows:
Sam Cason 3,947
Mark Wiggins 3,411
Brad Authier 3,134
Mitchell Roth 3,023
The Chugach Electric Board of Directors election has generated considerable interest in my plan for moving Chugach to 100% renewable energy. Because some candidates are openly opposed to renewable energy, while others are giving lip-service to the possibility it might be feasible “someday,” it seems like a good time to repost the 100% Renewable Plan I presented to the Board of Directors back in 2018. In it, I explain what “100% Renewable” means to me and lay out cost-effective ways to achieve 100% through modest expansion of existing renewable energy sources in 5 years or less.
In the 2 years since the original post there have been significant developments in renewable energy in Alaska which make the 100% renewable goal even easier and cheaper to achieve. I have updated the original plan to reflect the rapidly changing technology and promote the growing awareness that renewables are for real in Alaska. Chugach still has no plan to address the price and shortage of natural gas, and no plans to develop a plan. Renewables are the only viable option to lower both electric rates and greenhouse gas emissions. Here is the 100% Renewable Plan 2020 update.
Although there are a number of off-grid solar operations in the Girdwood area, Chris and Lynn Kent’s home is one of the first to connect into the Chugach Electric grid. Alaska Solar is doing the 6kw installation. Chris and Lynn are looking forward to watching their electric meter run backwards on sunny Girdwood days when excess power from the panels is flowing back into the grid. Not only are they saving money, they are dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of their home. Over the 30 year life of the panels, the system will eliminate about 200,000 pounds of CO2, equivalent to 16 years of emissions from the average gasoline car. Let the sun shine!
Online voting is open until June 15. Listen to Mitchell talk about why your vote matters. Looking for Chugach Electric election notification and voter ID code? Check the spam folder in your email or look for a letter in the mail. Voting information for the Chugach Electric Board of Directors election is available at the election website and on the Chugach Electric Annual Meeting website.