Alaska Intertie Fact Sheet
The Alaska Intertie transmission line is a 170-mile long, 345 kV transmission line between Willow and Healy that is owned by AEA and operates at 138 kV. The project includes transmission towers and conductors, transformers at the Healy and Teeland Substations, and system stability devices at three locations that are necessary to allow the Railbelt Utilities to remain interconnected.
Purpose: The purpose of the Alaska Intertie is to interconnect GVEA, the regulated utility that serves areas north of the Alaska Range, with south central Alaska Utilities. Although the Alaska Intertie allows resources north and south of the range to be shared to improve reliability, the GVEA storage battery and generation resources have been used to send emergency power south at times to minimize catastrophic network wide outages.
Source of Funds: The Intertie was built in the mid-1980s with State of Alaska appropriations totaling $124 million. As a result of the state funds there is no debt associated with this asset.
Participants: The operation of the Intertie is governed by the 3rd amended and restated agreement. There are five parties (participants) to this agreement AEA, GVEA, ML&P MEA and CEA.
Benefits: A 1981 cost/benefit analysis indicated that substantial energy cost savings would result from the construction of an intertie allowing the exchange of economy energy and the sharing of reserve generation capacity between the Anchorage and Fairbanks load centers. Although the anticipated yearly monetary benefit was originally estimated to be $17 million per year, GVEA ratepayers achieved savings in excess of $52 million in 2012.
Additional Background: AEA has agreements with participating utilities to assure the Alaska Intertie operates with prudent maintenance and operation by utilities. ML&P is the southern region operator and GVEA is the northern region operator. MEA and GVEA maintain the intertie in the southern and northern regions respectively.
AEA serves as financial administrator, providing basic accounting services to establish a cost-based wheeling rate that is trued up each year. AEA collects payments from Intertie users and pays expenses, including reimbursement costs incurred by the two operators of the line, ML&P and GVEA, and the three maintenance contractors, MEA, CEA, and GVEA.