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By KJ Lincoln 

Nuvista hosts Region Energy Plan Meeting

 


The Nuvista Light and Electric Cooperative, Inc. a regional wholesale utility formed by Calista Corporation and currently administered by AVCP, Inc. hosted a public meeting regarding alternative energy plans for the Calista/AVCP region. The meeting was held Tuesday night at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center, after the AVCP Convention had recessed for the day.

The focus of the meeting was to introduce the new energy plan and the planning process for the YK delta region in response to the high and ever-increasing costs of energy.

Special speakers included George Guy, Chairman of Nuvista; Sen. Lyman Hoffman – Alaska Legislature; Ron Hoffman – AVCP RHA; Sandra Moller – Alaska Energy Authority Deputy Director for Rural Energy; Peter Crimp – AEA (Alaska Energy Authority) Deputy Director for Alternative Energy; and Elaine “Chicky” Samuelson – Energy Director and General Manager for Nuvista; and Christine Klein – Calista Corporation COO.

“Now is the time for an energy plan,” said Ron Hoffman. “The price of fuel is not going to go down.”

The new plan is called the “CARE” Plan for Calista AVCP Regional Energy.

Elaine Samuelson introduced Nuvista. It is a non-profit corporation and is guided and governed by a 12 member board of directors made up of businesses professionals and community leaders. Three directors are elected by Calista Corporation and AVCP Inc. and one director each from YKHC, AVCP Housing Authority, Middle Kuskokwim Electric Company, AVEC, Lower Yukon, and the Chaninik Wind Group.

Its mission is to improve the energy economics in our region and future management of electrical generation and transmission that will enable the region to attain affordable, long term energy sustainability and self-sufficiency.

The goal of the regional energy plan will be to provide recommendations for activities and projects that will lead to reducing the long-term cost of power, heating, and transportation and improving energy system reliability in the Calista/AVCP region.

During preliminary planning of the CARE Plan, the YK delta was divided into sub-regions using an old map developed in the 1970s. The sub-regions are: 1) Bethel, Akiachak, Akiak, Kwethluk, Tuluksak, Napaskiak, Napakiak, Nunapitchuk, and *Kasigluk. 2) Aniak, *Kalskag, *Lower Kalskag. 3) *Russian Mission, *Marshall, *Pilot Station, *St. Mary’s, *Pitka’s Point, *Mtn. Village, Nunam Iqua, *Alakanuk, *Emmonak, and *Kotlik. 4) **Tuntutuliak, **Kongiganak, **Kwigillingok, **Kipnuk, Chefornak, *Nightmute, *Toksook Bay, *Tununak, and *Mekoryuk. 5) Newtok, Chevak, Hooper Bay, Scammon Bay. 6) *Eek, *Quinhagak, *Goodnews Bay, Platinum. 7) Chuathbaluk, Napaimute, Crooked Creek, Georgetown, Red Devil, Sleetmute, Stony River, and Lime Village.

(*AVEC Communities, **Chaninik Wind Group Communities)

“If everyone is happy with the boundaries, we’ll use it,” said Samuelson of the map.

The other goal for Nuvista for the CARE Plan is to establish a stakeholders advisory group to review the draft energy plan. Samuelson said she plans to hold stakeholder meetings in the villages to identify existing energy needs, supplies, and alternatives specific to communities and sub-regions from January through April. A resource inventory and data analysis from the villages from the community meetings will also include information on: energy consumption, resources, power systems (how old are your generators?), and bulk fuel facilities. Also to be considered are long term fuel costs, projections, replacement costs of generation facilities, maintenance and operations, future energy demands, and any other factors important to the communities.

“Most communities are using Jet A fuel but if you continue to make repairs on your generators, you’ll have to switch to ultra low sulfur diesel and you’ll need new tanks,” Samuelson said.

Once the energy plan is finalized after review, it can be utilized to acquire funding for projects.

“The plan can be used to bring to the legislature, the AEA can use it to apply for grants for each sub-region,” said Samuelson.

The plan should be finalized in the next year or 2.

 

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