Naknek Electric Association, Inc.
Naknek Electric Association is committed to the mission of providing superior electric service, accomplished through the efforts of a highly skilled, motivated and safety conscious work force with the support services, technologies and facilities to ensure the assocation`s members enjoy its benefits at the lowest price consistent with sound management.
NEA began operations on 12/21/60 with three White Superior generators totaling 1,050 kilowatts. In the early years, average load was around 250 kw and the peak was in the winter at around 400 - 500 kw. In 1965, a 500 kw generator was added and in 1977 four more generators totaling 2,320 kw were installed. In 1981 the USAF base at King Salmon elected to purchase NEA power, and two 1,100 kw generators were installed to meet the new load. A 2,500 kva section was added to the substation to deliver this energy.
In 1988, the 1,100 kw generators were taken out of service due to the continual maintenance problems they had presented and were replaced by Caterpillar 3516 generators rated at 1,135 kw each. In 1991, 1992 and 1993, the three original generators were replaced by Caterpillar 3512, 865 kw generators. In 1999, the 500 kw White Superior was replaced with an electronic Caterpillar 3516(b), 1,322 kw unit. The remaining three 440 kw White Superiors were replaced in 2005 and 2006 with electronic Caterpillar 3512s, 1050 kw each, bringing the total plant capacity to 10,337 kw. Another 5 mva capacity was added to the substation in 1996. In 2007 an additional 5 mva bank is being added bringing its total capacity to 15 mva.
Our peak demand is experienced in the summer months during the salmon processing season. Although the instantaneous peak experienced is over 8,000 kw, the 15 minute maximum peak has been around 7,700 kw. Wintertime peaks are around 3,000 kw.
NEA burns 1,500,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, generating about 15 kwh a gallon. We are able to store 2,100,000 gallons of diesel in six welded steel tanks contained in a steel diked yard that is lined with an impermeable geomembrane. Fuel is purchased in bulk with one or two annual deliveries. Combining our needs with other western Alaska utilities, the 6.5 – 7 million gallons of diesel used by the group attract considerable attention from fuel suppliers and fuel is purchased for a good price, about 20 cents per gallon above the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) listing for diesel fuel in Seattle.
Electricity is distributed via three feeders, one to King Salmon, one to Naknek and a third to South Naknek. The King Salmon feeder is energized at 25kv and the other two at 12.5kv. There are approximately 1,029 services on 89 miles of line, 696 residential, 285 commercial, 47 large power (over 25 kw) and one wholesale consumer – the USAF base at King Salmon. Consumer density is about 11.6 per mile. Annual sales are 19.5 million kwh, with residential users accounting for 4 million kwh (21%), commercial 3.5 million kwh (18%), large power 8.5 million kwh (43%) and the Air Force Base is the biggest single user at 3.5 million kwh or 18% of the total. Before its drawdown in 1994, the USAF consumed 5.5 million kwh (30%) of gross sales.
2007 revenue from the different rate classes was 31.3 cents per kwh from residential users, 30.9 from commercial and 28.9 cents from large power users. The Air Force is served under an interruptable rate schedule and paid 25.8 cents per kwh. All residential members receive power cost equalization, a state payment meant to minimize the cost difference between urban and rural power, of about 18 cents per kwh on up to 500 kwh a month. $478,000 of the cooperative’s 5.8 million annual revenue comes from the state’s PCE program.
NEA has a jacket water heat recapture program in place and 180 degree generator cooling water is circulated via insulated buried pipes to the local school buildings, the medical clinic and nine residences. The heat is sold to these users and generates another $83,000 in annual revenue. The swimming pool receives heat from this system when there is excess heat available.
Annual sales have grown at a steady pace for several years, from a decline in 2002 of 16.9 million kwh to 19.5 million kwh in 2006. Due to the significant decline of over 2 million kwh in USAF usage, 1994 sales were 18.7 million kwh and 1995 (the first full year of reduced USAF sales) was 17.9 million. 1996 sales were back to 18.7 million.
NEA has approximately $16.6 million in total utility plant with $5.3 million in generation and another $3.08 million in the bulk fuel tank farm. The distribution system accounts for about $6.4 million and headquarters, line buildings and rolling stock total $1.8 million. The recaptured heat distribution system has about $300,000 invested in it.
NEA employs 18 full time individuals. The seven in generation (two in maintenance and five in operations) provide 24 hour operations in the power plant. The Distribution Department consists of two linemen and an apprentice. The Fleet Vehicle Department consists of one mechanic. The Special Projects and Public Relations Department consists of 3 individuals. Administrative functions are provided by an office manager with two subordinates and all operations are directed by the general manager. Policy making and overall direction are provided by a seven person board of directors elected from the community at large.