Golden Valley Electric Receives Loan for BESS, Solar - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Utilities, Solar  -  July 2, 2024

Golden Valley Electric Receives Loan for BESS, Solar

Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) was awarded a $100 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Powering Affordable Clean Energy (PACE) program.

The program includes $60 million of the loan amount reduced through loan forgiveness. 

GVEA will work with Rural Utilities Service, the entity administering the PACE program, to negotiate the award agreement in the third quarter of 2024 and to finalize project milestones, construction and purchase agreements associated with these projects to begin the construction process.

GVEA’s proposal includes the following:

  • Construction of a 46-megawatt (MW)/92-megawatt-hour (MWh) Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in Fairbanks, Alaska, interconnecting at GVEA’s existing Wilson substation
  • Enhancements to the Nenana Substation to support a 16-MW solar Power Purchase Agreement with Nenana Solar Farm, LLC
  • Installation of a half-mile long circuit to connect the Nenana Solar Farm to the Nenana Substation

These initiatives aim to reduce fuel costs, lower reliance on fossil fuels, and enhance energy diversity, ultimately benefiting GVEA members with more stable, affordable electric rates.

In addition to the $60 million in loan forgiveness provided under the PACE Program, the BESS could also qualify for an additional 30-50% in tax credits.

“This funding will allow GVEA to significantly advance initiatives under our Strategic Generation Plan, benefiting our members and the broader community. We are committed to creating a sustainable energy future for Interior Alaska,” says GVEA CEO, Travis Million, in a statement. “Our collaboration with Doyon underscores the importance of community partnerships in achieving these goals. We look forward to continued teamwork with additional community stakeholders as things advance.”

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