And if you think GVEA has issuesJust to let folks know that, by contrast to Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) and Chugach Electric Association (CEA), GVEA is quite stable as far as board, membership, and executive administration relations.
MEA tried to ram a coal fired power plant down the members' and communities' throats, but finally appears to have reconsidered.
CEA has had a running back-and-forth battle between two camps on the board of directors. They recently appointed a new board member to fill a vacancy who I was told really has no idea what a cooperative is and put her on a committee to get the current CEO. This is politics at its base and it hurts the utility. The members get riled up by some factions claiming the IBEW union, who represent the employees, are taking over.
The Chugach board's latest move is a special board meeting called for this coming Wednesday to fire General Manager Bill Stewart. No reason given except they want to go in a different direction, with no hint of what that direction might be. Rebecca Logan (new appointed board member, Uwa Kalenka and Elizabeth Vazquez will comprise the committee to search of a new GM. I'm told that many good employees are bailing out. This sounds to me like a majority of the board is on a political purge. Ray Kreig, former board member, has been most active in engineering this takeover by avowed anti-union board members. I certainly admire activism and the espoused goal of more openness, but have seen no indications that the recent or future board actions empower the members.
When they aren't fighting internally, they sue each other. MEA doesn't generate any of its own power, relying on AML&P, Homer Electric, and Chugach for their generation.
Not to say, while all this acrimony goes on, they don't try to get together, with recent reports that Chugach is investigating merger with AEL&P and still working on a joint agency to deal with upcoming supply issues.
Now if they could only get Fire Island wind project off the table. Non-renewable resource costs aren't getting any cheaper, nor are climate change impacts going away without some serious mitigation.