The 2104 Industry Outlook Forum is wrapping up this afternoon at the Kenai Challenger Learning Center.
Governor Sean Parnell will be delivering the lunchtime keynote address via Skype, since planes in Juneau have been grounded for days, due to fog.
This morning, attendees heard from Alaska’s Congressional Delegation (technical issues prevented the address last night) and utility companies.
HEA’s Joe Gallagher said the energy cooperative has been independent of Chugach Electric since January 1 of this year. HEA has relied on Chugach since 1962. And that’s not their only recent development…
Gallagher: “Homer Electric Association continues to upgrade its transmission line between Nikiski and Soldotna, the line will be upgraded from 69 kilo-volt to 115 kilo-volt and as of right now we’ve completed the majority of the project, we are down the Kenai Spur Highway to Soldotna we will no bring it across to the Soldotna substation near the Birchridge Golf Course. We expect to have the wires and the poles for the project completed by the spring of this year and then there will be some work at the substation in Soldotna to be completed in the fall and that will wrap up this project.”
Enstar also gave an update. Kevin Campbell said their attention is on the Funny River project…
Campbell: “Well the immediate benefit is going to be a significant reduction in energy costs for their homes. Many of the residents out there are currently on fuel oil or propane or possibly even heating with wood, and costs for the fuel oil and propane are significantly higher than natural gas, so it’s going to be an immediate savings, much like Homer has seen.”
Campbell said Homer residents are now paying about 1/3 as much as this time last year. The Funny River project will meet 400 residents and 700 parcels of land in the area.
For more on the Forum, read: