This page was created to document and provide information regarding Golden Valley Electric Association activities. The page was then migrated to gvea.blogspot.com
Unofficial GVEA website 2000-2006
More info on this one at http://comity.blogspot.com.
GVEA in mediation with AIDEA over access.
The plot thickens as GVEA doesn’t want anyone else to operate this $300+ million experimental facility, but they don’t own it, just the land under it.
The Homer Tribune has been following this, and for more info, just google their site for “healy coal”.
Jan. 2006 – GVEA filed for another rate increase, as soon as possible following the 5.88% increase a year ago. They cited the need to improve reliability and supportd growth with new capital projects such as the BESS, Northern Intertie, and the N.P. Plant replacement. Interestingly, when these projects were proposed (the former two are complete), GVEA never indicated to the membership that they would be asked to pay 16% more. Of course, the fuel adjustment charge (COPA) continues to rise with the cost of oil and isn’t included in this increase.
Dec. 2005 – GVEA board chairman Rick Schikora and former president-CEO Mike Kelly, now a state legislator, have been running from past responsibility for the boondoggle power plant in Healy. The board chairman, in violation of the understanding of the board to speak with one voice, failed to let the board know about an article written under his name, but which he later told the board wasn’t written by him at all, but by GVEA staff.
In the meantime, Rep. Mike Kelly has total amnesia about his extensive previous involvement in the project and is on a witch hunt to extract many pounds of flesh from the state agency that now owns the plant through his standing as a legislator reviewing their budget, an obvious conflict of interest. He also appears to have forgotten he no longer represents his former employer, but the residents of his district.
You can read the latest exchange, originally published in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.
In the meantime, GVEA and AIDEA are in a civil suit over access, AIDEA returned excess revenues back to the state, and Homer Electric is interested in buying power from the experimental power plan. And GVEA is also in dispute with Pogo mine owners (near Delta Jct.) when they entered into a power sales agreement with the Pogo mine without the required regulatory approval and want to break the agreement because they are behind schedule on building new generation in North Pole (also in litigation with H.C. Price over that project), which would supply the power to the mine.
GVEA has fought giving back the difference of 5.88% and 8.0% to the coop members for months, but finally relented in December 2005. Even though they knew in July they were expected to give the money back to the members, they delayed, which caused them to lose money in 2005. Seems like they could have tightened their belts a little in 6 months.
GVEA has received an immediate interim rate increase of 5.88% for all customers from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, in response to GVEA’s 8% rate increase request in conjunction with the Simplified Rate Filing change. Here are RCA rulings:
GOLDEN VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. U-04-33(2)
ORDER AFFIRMING BENCH RULING ADOPTING PROCEDURAL SCHEDULE, GRANTING
UNOPPOSED PETITION TO INTERVENE, ISSUING ORDERS GOVERNING DISCOVERY
AND CONFIDENTIAL DISCOVERY MATERIAL, AND AMENDING DOCKET TITLE
- 07/02/04 GOLDEN VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC.
ORDER GOVERNING DISCOVERY
GOLDEN VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. U-04-33(4)
ORDER GOVERNING CONFIDENTIAL DISCOVERY MATERIAL
- 07/02/04 GOLDEN VALLEY ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. U-04-33(5)
ORDER GRANTING, IN PART, REQUEST FOR INTERIM AND REFUNDABLE RATE RELIEF
May 18, 2004 – Welcome, News-Miner readers. If you saw the Community Perspective article in the May 18, 2004 Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, I hope you are motivated to find out a little more and get more involved in your utility.
March 29, 2004 – GVEA Board approved the Simplified Rate Filing method (see below), a prelude to a substantial rate hike (est. 7%), reviewed the 2003 Fiscal Audit prepared by Mike Cook’s accounting firm, and the Green Power Advisory Committee’s final report.
March 18, 2004 – GVEA announces intent to raise electric rates by a whopping 7%, attributing the increase to increased demand and need to upgrade their facilities. I thought we just invested in a $70 mm tie line (partially funded by the State of Alaska) so we could increase our supply from Healy south. And it is interesting that GVEA has relentlessly pursued large commercial users such as Fort Knox and the Ft. Greeley missile project. They get a break for being large consumers, but this justification suggests that all users will have to pay for the large capital costs of increased supply.
In conjunction with this notice about the rate increase, there was also the notice (required by the RCA) of intent to change to a Simplified Rate Filing, which makes it easier for them to raise rates in the future. This will be discussed at the March 29, 2004 Board Meeting (to which members are invited). Here’s Article 3 and Article 5 for your reference.
After what became a nearly six year crusade to get GVEA to make minutes and agendas of board meetings more readily available to the membership, I happily report that these are available now on the GVEA website www.gvea.com/community as far back as January 2000. While they have been made available in Acrobat format, due to the way GVEA converted them, are larger file sizes than optimum for dial-up web users and also, as scanned images, one can’t do text searches. Please give firstname.lastname@example.org your feedback, should you find this a problem. I hope that GVEA finds it a useful resource by which they can expand the offerings to include items such as special meetings or presentations to the board. A good example of what is possible would be the University of Alaska Board of Regents website at www.alaska.edu/bor or the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, Boards and Commissions website at www.co.fairbanks.ak.us.
I want to thank the GVEA membership for supporting the resolution at last April’s annual meeting to encourage the board to make this happen and I encourage the membership to check out this resource to see what the board and your electric cooperative does. I think you will see that the board deals with a wide range of issues, some dry, some less so, but are all activities and decisions made on behalf of the membership, for better or worse. It has always seemed to me that the board members act without much direct input and involvement from our members. I hope this new resource will stimulate more two way communication between the members and the board as I believe that a better informed membership makes for better decisions.
March 15, 2004 press release given to the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer.
Posting agendas and minutes on GVEA website – Thanks to Golden Valley Electric Association members that supported the resolution I offered at the April 29, 2003 Annual Membership Meeting. This resolution was to allow the members to have web access to our board of director’s board meeting minutes, action items, and agendas on a timely and historical basis. I proposed this as a binding resolution for the next annual meeting (part of the rules). Illogically, it was rejected by the chair as being an operational issue, thus relegated to an advisory resolution from the membership. I have been requesting the board do this this for over four years. The VP for Administration and Finance committed to it at the annual meeting in 2001, but was fired a couple months later. I hope this commitment wasn’t why. Here’s what I had to say in 2000.
- GVEA Annual Meeting April 2000 – At this annual meeting, I made several comments one of which was addressed in the May 3, 2000 letter from GVEA below. Another request was that GVEA make better use of their website by posting agenda and minutes of board meetings. I seriously thought it could happen until someone went to the GVEA office to ask personally for the minutes and was given a rather stiff response from the GVEA Adminstration asking for what purpose this individual needed them. I thought this cooperative was supposed to be OPEN to the membership. We’re told it’s OUR cooperative – where’s the trust?
Green Power – Another advisory resolution, proposed by Tom Delong, was passed by the membership at the 2003 Annual Meeting, requesting GVEA to set up a Green Power Committee to work toward GVEA generating and marketing more green (non-fossil fuel) power. The News-Miner had a story on GVEA’s efforts May 4, 2003. Note: March 2004 – I know there have been meetings, but have no concrete information on what has been transpiring.
GVEA follows a cousin to Robert’s Rules of Order that was put out by the Federal Rural Electrification Administration (REA Bulletin 101-2). It looks to be a half-century old. Here are jpg images available by page 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10. Maybe someday, GVEA will have higher quality and updated Rules of Order posted on their website for members.
GVEA’s financial expenditures toward the Experimental Coal Project in Healy discussed in May 3, 2000 letter to Gary Newman.
We read in the May 4, 2003 News-Miner that GVEA has got U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski pushing a $125 mm loan to AIDEA to convert it to a conventional plant. AIDEA has a less costly approach, which GVEA has rejected. To put it in perspective, this would bring the price of this plant to about a half a billion dollars. That’s just half of what we are so incensed that Saddam Hussein took from Iraq’s Central Bank in March 2003. In other words, we will have committed in federal and state funds an amount equal to 1/8th of the hard currency of the country of Iraq in federal and state money toward a small 50 mw power plant. Had we put that much toward wind power, we’d be much farther ahead.
At the same time as pushing a complete retrofit of the Healy Plant, GVEA is planning a new oil fired plant in North Pole, also reported by the News-Miner May 4, 2003.