SEEKING APPLICATIONS FOR RAILBELT GRID ORGANIZATION LARGE CONSUMER SEAT
The RRC Implementation Committee is currently accepting applications for a board seat representing large commercial or industrial consumers of electricity. Applications are due July 21 at 5pmClick here for more information
A New Path for Managing Alaska’s Largest Electrical Grid
The RRC will provide a forum and structure for six interconnected Railbelt utilities, along with seven non-utility stakeholders, to work together to address Railbelt-wide regional electric system issues to ensure grid resilience and reduce long term costs.
The RRC will define and enforce electric reliability standards, coordinate joint planning through an integrated resource planning process and ensure consistent interconnection protocols for utilities, independent power producers and others who would like to use the grid. The RRC will also work with the RCA to develop a cost sharing methodology for assets that have a regional benefit and will also study if there are effective ways for the Railbelt electric system to reduce fuel costs for ratepayers.
RRC Implementation Committee Update – June 30, 2021
The RRC Implementation Committee (IC) is responsible for developing the organizational documents and formally establishing the RRC as a viable operating organization and applying to the RCA to become the designated Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) for the Railbelt interconnected electric system. The committee held its kickoff meeting on July 23, 2020 and is meeting weekly to complete its duties.
View Approved IC Meeting Minutes <here>
Find the full list of Implementation Committee members <here>
To read the Implementation Committee Duties of Care, click <here>
To contact the RRC Implementation Committee to provide comments or asks questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next steps: The RRC IC is focused on making progress on the following topics in the upcoming months:
- Finalize Articles of Incorporation and file for incorporation
- Finalize organization bylaws
- Develop Integrated Resource Planning process
- Create standards approval, management, and enforcement processes and associated penalty matrix.
- Identify and develop key components of the RRC tariff.
- Begin compiling information into the application and identify gaps and overlap.
- Educate members on key issues.
- Monthly workplan and budget reporting.
- Have an ERO application ready to submit to the RCA by October 2021.
The Right Solution at the Right Time
The RRC meets requirements established in a 2015 letter <view here> from the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) to the Alaska State Legislature indicating the need for reform on the Railbelt and requesting voluntary solutions from the utilities. As a culmination of months of discussions amongst the utilities, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by all utilities detailing the framework of the RRC. Non-utility stakeholders, including independent power producers, the RCA, consumer groups and others assisted in the MOU process. The MOU can be viewed <here>.
The RRC will be governed by a mix of utility and non-utility stakeholders. In addition to the six utility seats, the Board will include six non-utility seats:
- the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA)
- two independent power producers (IPP’s) – entities having an existing project on the Railbelt system
- an organization/individual representing consumers (consumer advocacy seat)
- two independent, non-affiliated members
Once the RRC is stood up, the board will also include an additional seat representing the interests of larger commercial or industrial consumers.
Establishing the RRC Implementation Committee
The signed MOU laid out steps to form the Implementation Committee (IC) that is responsible for developing the organizational documents and formally establishing the RRC as a viable operating organization. The Implementation Committee is now seated and working to complete its duties. Listed below are the major milestones and documents associated with that effort:
- January 2 – Public notice for applications to fill the non-utility seats begins (complete)
- January 17 – Utility, AEA, RCA and RAPA delegates named (complete)
- February 17 – All other non-utility applications due (complete, see list of applicants <here>)
- March 20 – IPP seats selected by Alaska Independent Power Producer Association (complete)
- April 20 – Firm retained to conduct review of applications (complete)
- May 11 – Consumer advocacy seat selected (complete)
- July 15 – Independent, unaffiliated seats selected (complete)
- August- Implementation Committee kick off meeting (complete)
RRC Implementation Committee adds final two members – click here to read
Railbelt Utilities Sign Groundbreaking Agreement – click here to read.
The original signatory utilities to the December 2019 MOU included Anchorage Municipal Light and Power (ML&P) and Chugach Electric Association (CEA) serving the Anchorage area, Whittier, Tyonek and communities south as far as Moose Pass and Cooper Landing; Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) in Fairbanks serving the Interior; Homer Electric Association (HEA) serving the majority of the Kenai Peninsula; Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) serving the Mat-Su Valley and Eagle River; and Seward Electric, a municipally-owned utility serving the Seward area.