Homer Electric Association General Manager Brad Janorschke gives an update on the utility cooperative’s renewable energy projects on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

HEA considers diversifying electricity

Most electricity used on the Kenai Peninsula has one source. Gas turbines, burning natural gas produced from Cook Inlet, make about 90 percent of the power supplied by Homer Electric Association, the utility cooperative that generates almost all the Kenai Peninsula’s electricity.

The price of Cook Inlet natural gas has been the biggest cost driver for HEA rates during the past decade, making up about a third of a member’s electrical bill, said HEA General Manager Brad Janorschke.

Though the present stability of the Cook Inlet gas market has been keeping electric rates relatively even, “we still see an upward pressure on gas into the foreseeable future,” Janorschke said. In a presentation last Wednesday, Oct. 19, to members of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, he outlined HEA’s efforts to diversify generation.

“It’s nothing we’ll do overnight,” Janorschke said. “It’ll take decades to do, but we’re looking at it.”

Read the rest of this story by the Peninsula Clarion here.

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