Railbelt Reliability and Planning

Project Overview:

ARCTEC is coordinating a facilitated effort to achieve increased reliability and regional planning for the state’s largest interconnected grid. ARCTEC’s goal is to develop an organization that would adopt and enforce Railbelt reliability standards, conduct Railbelt system planning and ensure open access.  This organization could eventually fulfill the role of a system operator for the Railbelt.

Project Scope:

ARCTEC has hired a contractor to facilitate this project with three primary objectives:

  • Facilitate a transparent, inclusive process involving a broad range of stakeholders.
  • Recommend a business model, including governance structure and organizational functions that stakeholders can support.
  • Ensure an innovative, sustainable solution based on industry best practices and balanced by the unique nature of the Railbelt in contrast to the much larger interconnected grids in the Lower 48.

Project Facilitator:

GDS, Associates Inc. was selected following a competitive bidding process with a pool of responses from organizations within and outside Alaska. They bring extensive experience assisting a variety of public power utilities and other related groups with power pooling, system operations, regional transmission organizations and integrated resource planning.

ARCTEC believes GDS will be a catalyst for developing a model that can serve Railbelt ratepayers for years to come. To ensure an unbiased solution, ARCTEC will remain at arms-length during the process.

Learn more about GDS at their website: gdsassociates.com

Timeline and Next Steps

Stakeholder input is essential in developing a solution. GDS will conduct a series of stakeholder meetings and public presentations from January-March to gather input and provide a recommendation to the ARCTEC board within 4-6 months that is inclusive of input from a variety of stakeholders. ARCTEC only wants to move forward with solutions that can be supported by our stakeholders.  A briefing will also be provided to all involved parties.

ARCTEC will then make a recommendation to the RCA and determine if other legal, regulatory or legislative action is required. Based on the recommendation, additional phases of the project may be required to further define the details and ensure a successful execution.

For questions or to indicate your interest in being considered as an interested party in this effort, please contact us at info@arctec.coop.

If you would like to submit comments directly to the GDS team, please email AlaskaRailbeltUtilities@gdsassociates.com.

To read the press release about the Railbelt Utilities’ focus on improved reliability and planning, click here.

To read the Railbelt Reliability Council development facilitator RFP, click here.