GVEA Sets Goal to Reduce Carbon Emissions by 26% by 2030

Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) has set a goal to reduce its carbon output by 26 percent by the year 2030.

The board of directors adopted the Carbon Reduction Goal at its January 21 meeting in Fairbanks.

The 26 percent reduction will be measured against GVEA’s 2012 emission levels. The resolution gives management a variety of ways to achieve the reductions, including renewable energy, waste-heat recovery, demand-side management, alternative fuels and energy storage. The co-op may also reach its goal via carbon off-sets.

“The board recognizes there are many ways to reduce emissions besides large-scale renewable power projects,” said Cory Borgeson, Golden Valley President and CEO. “This new goal demonstrates their willingness to look at a variety of ways to lessen our environmental impact.”

The resolution promises to achieve the goal without adverse long-term effects on rates or reliability.

“We are going to keep a very close eye on costs, so our members don’t see higher bills as a result of this goal,” said Rick Schikora, GVEA’s board chairman.

The resolution also calls on management to consider the cost of carbon emissions when evaluating fuel contracts and future projects. The board has requested semi-annual updates on the co-op’s carbon emission performance.

This is the third in a series of “green goals” set by the GVEA board. In 2005, the board adopted Alaska’s first “Green Power Pledge,” calling for 10 percent of system peak load to come from renewable sources by the end of 2007. After achieving that goal, the board raised the target to 20 percent. GVEA hit that mark in 2013 with the addition the Eva Creek Wind Farm near Healy.

GVEA’s new Carbon Reduction Goal represents a year of study and preparation by the GVEA board, staff and the Member Advisory Committee (MAC). GVEA will present more details at its annual members meeting the evening of Thursday, May 2, at Hering Auditorium in Fairbanks.

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