Homer Electric Association

Homer Electric Association has seen a sharp increase in the number of its members wanting to hook up their own renewable energy setups into the grid this summer, and is planning to ask the state Regulatory Commission to increase how much renewable energy it can buy back from them.

This summer alone, central peninsula residents have installed more than 140 kilowatts’ of solar panel capacity, with more planned for Homer. That adds to the number of people who already had renewable energy capacity at their homes or businesses who can generate their own energy and feed some back into HEA’s grid when they make too much. At the same time, they can also draw off the grid when it’s not sunny enough for their panels or not windy enough for a wind turbine.

Alaska’s midnight sun is going to work for more peninsula residents as they install more and more solar panels.

The Solarize the Kenai campaign kicked off this summer, offering discounts to people who wanted to install solar panels on their homes or businesses. The campaign, headed up by community action group Kenai Change, brought residents together to ask for bids from solar installers so they could get a bargain group rate on the panels before installing them.

Homer Electric Association’s annual meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at Soldotna High School. For the first time in the co-op’s 70-year history, though, HEA is encouraging members not to attend.

HEA is required by its bylaws to hold an annual meeting the first week of May but the bylaws did not foresee a global pandemic. HEA doesn’t want to encourage a crowd, given state health mandates on social distancing and large gatherings. That means no free meal or prize drawings, as HEA usually provides at the annual meeting.

If 50 or more people show up, an official meeting must be held. If less than 50 members attend, HEA can reschedule or cancel the meeting.

HEA ballots due soon

Apr 30, 2020

If you haven’t sent in your ballot for the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors, now is the time. HEA will announce the winners May 7.

Two candidates are running for a District 1 seat, covering Kenai, Nikiski and parts of Soldotna. Jim Duffield, of Kenai, comes from a financial background, having been an accountant and auditor. He is a shareholder and the managing member of JMJ Tax Relief in Kenai. Duffield says he would bring his financial background to serve on the board.

“The rates seem to have continually climbed steadily in the last few years,” Duffield said. “And I don’t feel like that’s really justified. And there’s been a number of good projects that they’ve gotten involved in that have paid off well for the company and for us as users, but there’s also some projects that have not worked out quite so well.”

In this week's show, we hear from candidates for the Homer Electric Association Board of Directors:
District 1: Jim Duffield and Erik Hendrickson

District 2: C.O. Rudstrom

District 3: Troy Jones, Pete Kinneen and Jim Levine

Find candidate resumes here.

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