I had a chance to talk with Copper River Electric about their electrical production. There was a copy Ruralite sitting on the desk as we chatted. They apparently have a well informed webpage (http://www.cvea.org) and have been making various efforts to communicate with their customers. School outreach, fairs, as well as a demonstration turbine that had been put up in their parking lot at one time to attract discussion.
In general, there has been an uptick in solar with a customer service net metering program in place. (There is a community scale solar array up in Glen.)In the summer, hydro takes the day, and thus rates are not much more than Anchorage’s during those months. In winter, co-gen kicks in with diesel generators as the water is not as available.
One advantage is that they share with Petro Star refinery and thus their customers get a type of financial payback from savings on that collaboration. Up river, the Copper River economic authority is talking with them on helping to get at some of the extended challenges of distribution which takes place all the way from Prince William Sound up beyond the Tok Cut Off!
Great work with the community has occurred, and the utility looks forward with more discussions and work as they let folks know of the benefits from the Allison Creek Hydro project completion.