Matanuska Electric Association Board Seats are up for Election!
SRC Hosted MEA Candidate Forum:
4/5/22 @ 5PM
Join the Susitna River Coalition for our 3rd annual (Virtual) MEA Candidate Forum. We'll meet candidates for both the At-large and the Eagle River Seats, ask questions, and help understand and inform the future of the MEA Board and our member-owned utility cooperative.
What is the Matanuska Electric Association (MEA)
The Matanuska Electric Association was established in 1941 making it the first electric association in Alaska. Today, more than 53500 members make up the ownership of MEA which serves the communities of Eagle River, Chugiak, Birchwood, and Eklutna in addition to the Mat-Su Borough. If you pay electricity bills to MEA, you are one of these member-owners! MEA is governed by bylaws and articles of incorporation that are voted on and approved by the member-owners of MEA. This role comes with rights and responsibilities such as voicing your opinion at monthly MEA Board meetings, getting monthly updates from MEA, and most importantly, voting for key by-law changes and members of the board of directors.
The MEA board of directors work closely with the CEO to provide reliable and affordable electricity and guide the cooperative in the future. The board of directors is made up of four district based representatives and three directors at-large who are elected at the spring annual members meeting and serve 4 year terms. MEA’s service area covers approximately 4,500 miles of power lines in Southcentral Alaska.
What Does MEA Mean to the SRC Community?
It is important to elect MEA board members who support expanding collaboration along the railbelt, speaking out against wasteful projects such as the Susitna-Watana Dam, and increasing engagement from member-owners like you! MEA plays a large role in the Railbelt Reliability Council (RRC) which is an effort between electric associations from Fairbanks to Homer to share power and innovation ideas.
Energy innovation is great, but projects such as the Susitna-Watana Dam have shown us that we need responsible board members advocating for responsible renewables on the MEA board and the RRC. That is why the Susitna River Coalition has launched a program to engage member-owners of MEA across the 4,500 miles of powerline to get out and vote for good candidates in the MEA board elections every spring
Important Dates for the 2022 Election:
Ballots and Election information sent to members Mail Boxes
Tuesday, April 26th @ 6PM
MEA Virtual Annual Membership Meeting:
Members can attend the meeting in person at the Curtis D. Menard Center in Wasilla or participate via Zoom. See the MEA webpage for more information.
Which Seats are up for Election in 2022?
During the 2022 MEA Board Election, an At-Large seat is up for a vote as is the Eagle River seat. All member-owners can vote for the At-Large seat while only member-owners in Eagle River can vote for the Eagle River district seat.
At-Large Seat Candidates
"The electrical systems serving Alaska need to be working together to create a safe, effective, redundant electrical grid that can sustain natural disasters without failing and permit for rapid repair. The system needs to be the same statewide so that in times of crisis or disaster any team of linemen from any utility can come into the service area and assist with repairs seamlessly, in the same way that fire departments provide mutual aid on large emergencies."
"I am a lifelong Alaskan, farmer, and business owner. I've built my farm with sustainability in mind with everything I do.This mindset carries through to all aspects of my life. I've raised my family here in the valley and want this wonderful place to be somewhere that they will want to come back to and build their lives. Affordable, reliable, safe, and accessible power plays a big role in that happening. That is why I am running."
Eagle River Seat Candidates
Mark Hamm (Incumbent):
"Federal funds should be used to help cover the costs entirely ofprojects that would upgrade the underlying infrastructure toallow additional renewable resources to be added to theRailbelt. For example, the Railbelt needs to have double circuited transmission lines from Homer to Fairbanks. This will cost a significant amount and will be necessary to incentivize additional renewable resources onto the grid."
"Alaska energy consumers need reliable, affordable power, notjust for today but forthe future. Energy consumers need the electric utility to be planning new projects, infrastructure upgrades, fuel contracts, and maintenance activities 5-10 years in the future. Unified economic dispatch for the Railbelt’s power generation is the highest priority for consumers in the near term."
Robert (Bob) Seitz:
"Any funds from any source, federal, state or private that is applied to infrastructure of the utility should be based on the results of planning and good engineering to determine the type of infrastructure that would be necessary to allow proper growth of renewable onto the system while maintaining low electrical rates. The infrastructure could be Pumped hydrodams. Generation stations placed along the transmission line which would be used as focal points for Microgrids that can provide sustained power to specific locations during times of disaster."
No SRC questionnaire received
Learn more about the election, and see the full responses to the Susitna River Coalition candidate questionnaire Here.
Fairbanks Sport Show
Did you miss us at the Mat-Su and Anchorage Sportsmen Shows? Find us in Fairbanks at the Outdoor Show, April 8-10. Come ask us about Rec Rivers, West Susitna Access Industrial Corridor, and enter to win a trip with Mahays!