From yesterday’s Alaska Star, courtesy of today’s Alaska Dispatch (“MEA board moves ahead on new $200 million power plant“).
… Matanuska Electric Association’s board of directors has approved two contracts that advance the utility’s plans to build a natural gas-fueled power plant at Eklutna within three years. … MEA also doesn’t know where its fuel is coming from yet.
The story reports that MEA is spending $810K to work on the construction of a new gas fired plant in the Cook Inlet. Certainly, MEA needs a source of electricity when its contract with Chugach expires in 2014. But until the Cook Inlet gas situation sorts out, don’t you think it would make more sense to work with Chugach to extend the life of the existing plant than start down the road of building a $200 million stand alone gas plant? The utilities, including MEA, are spending a lot of time talking about the benefits of combining their efforts. See Alaska Dispatch, Utilities co-op finally a Railbelt reality (Dec. 30, 2010).
This seems to be going in the opposite direction. Why?