GVEA's mission is to provide its member-owners with quality electric service, quality customer service and innovative energy solutions at fair and reasonable prices.
The cooperative operates and maintains 3,166 miles of transmission and distribution lines and 34 substations. Our system is interconnected with Fort Wainwright, Eielson AFB, Fort Greely, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and all electric utilities in the Alaska Railbelt which extends from Homer, Alaska to Fairbanks. Peak load in 2012 was 217.6 megawatts. System peak of 223 MW was set in December 2007.
Incorporated in 1946 in Fairbanks, Alaska, Golden Valley Electric Association took shape when a small group of locals became interested in bringing electric service to rural areas and furthering the agricultural industry in Interior Alaska. These pioneers applied to the Rural Electrification Administration, which granted a loan to form a not-for-profit rural electric cooperative.
GVEA now serves nearly 100,000 Interior residents in Fairbanks, Delta Junction, Nenana, Healy and Cantwell. We also serve Interior residents out to 48-mile Steese Highway.
(Photo right: The 9.500 kW Fairbanks Exploration Co. (F.E.) power plant was built in 1927 to serve the gold dredges operating in the Tanana Valley. GVEA purchased power from the F.E. Company until 1952, when they purchased the plant. It was retired in March 1972.)
GVEA energized the Northern Intertie (pictured) in October 2003. This 97-mile, 230-kilovolt line is one of GVEA’s initiatives to improve system reliability. This transmission line stretches between Healy and Fairbanks.
Golden Valley is the northern control point for the Alaska Intertie, which serves most Railbelt communities. This transmission line extends between Willow and Healy along the Parks Highway corridor. Through the Alaska Intertie, GVEA is connected to Chugach Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association, Homer Electric Association as well as the Anchorage’s Municipal Light & Power and the City of Seward electrical system.
Both interties allow GVEA to augment our 296 MW generation capacity with an additional 70 MW from the Anchorage area.
In addition to our diverse fuel supply of coal, oil, natural gas and hydroelectric power, GVEA is adding more renewable power to the grid. GVEA launched SNAP, its renewable energy program in 2005. Eva Creek Wind came online in 2012 adding just under 25 MW of wind to our generation mix.
Golden Valley’s Battery Energy Storage System project came online in November 2003. The BESS can provide 27 megawatts for 15 minutes or up to 40 MW for less time if necessary. Being able to produce 40 MW makes the BESS the most powerful battery energy storage system in the world in terms of MW output. In 2012, the BESS responded to 43 events, preventing approximately 114,000 member outages. System reliability was 99.97% in 2012. On average, members experienced less than 2.5 hours without power.
To help stabilize costs, Golden Valley maintains a diverse fuel mix of oil, coal, natural gas, hydroelectric and wind. The North Pole Expansion Power Plant generates power using naphtha, an extremely clean burning fuel. This power plant could be converted to burn natural gas should it become available in the Interior.