Electric utilities and independent power producers throughout Alaska’s Railbelt are already interconnected by wires. An Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) would tie them together more closely.
Years in the Making
The Railbelt Reliability Council (RRC) includes electricity stakeholders, state agencies, consumer and environmental advocates, and independent members from Homer to Fairbanks. If the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) certifies the council as the regional ERO, the RRC will establish and enforce clear rules of reliable operation for all entities connected to the electrical network and protect the system against cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and other threats. The RRC will also conduct a public process for the entire Railbelt to produce an integrated resource plan to ensure the system’s evolving infrastructure needs are contemplated on a regional basis.
The legislature created the requirement to form an ERO for the Railbelt by enacting Senate Bill 123 in 2020. The RRC Implementation Committee, an informal group of volunteers, initially began work in July 2020. The committee incorporated the RRC, and the new corporation met for the first time on March 14 to install board members, elect officers, and adopt corporate documents. On March 23, the RRC voted to approve and submit its ERO application to the RCA.