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Alaska regulators side with Golden Valley Electric in wind farm case

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska denied a request by Delta Wind Farm Inc. to force Golden Valley Electric Association Inc. to interconnect and purchase the output of its planned 13.5-MW wind project in Delta Junction, Alaska.

In its ruling, the commission agreed with Golden Valley Electric that an agreement with Delta Wind would result in higher rates for the co-op's ratepayers, with the cost of integrating the wind power at the offered rate of 16 cents/kWh far exceeding the benefits.

"The Commission's ruling underscores the fact that under PURPA, a utility such as GVEA is not required to purchase energy from qualifying facilities if such purchases would adversely impact the co-op's ratepayers," said Cory Borgeson, Golden Valley Electric president and CEO, in a Feb. 20 statement.

Golden Valley Electric currently has a long-term power purchase agreement for 1.9 MW of electricity from the operational Delta Wind project, which is owned and operated by Alaska Environmental Power LLC.