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Power Plants

Plant tours are available.

To sign up for a scheduled tour or to arrange a group tour, please Contact Sharon Scheidt at scheidt@cvea.org.

View Member Tour on Vimeo

List of Power Plants

CVEA owns and operates a diverse mix of power plants that includes two hydroelectric plants, a cogeneration plant, and two diesel plants. The total generating capacity is 40 megawatts. In a typical year more than 70% of CVEA's energy comes from clean, renewable, carbon-free, hydroelectric power.

 


View Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Facility Slideshow

The Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Facility produces the majority of CVEA's energy. The plant was commissioned in 1982. The powerhouse for the 12 megawatt facility is located on Dayville Road in Valdez, and is powered by two Francis type turbines. The water reservoir for the facility is Solomon Lake, located South of the power house at an elevation of 600 feet above sea level. The dam that forms the lake is a rock-filled structure with a 12" this asphalt face. The dam is 115 feet tall by 386 feet long. Water is routed through the bottom of the dam to the power house in two 48-inch diameter, 3,800 foot long, steel pipes called penstocks. The steel pipe was surplus pipe left over from the construction of the Trans Alaska Pipeline that was completed in 1977. The lake and dam are accessible to the public via the John Hunter Memorial Trail.

Visit the Convention & Visitor's Center website for details and a map of the John Hunter Memorial Trail.

The CVEA Electric System Dispatcher is based in the Solomon Gulch powerhouse. The Dispatcher is responsible for operating the Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric facility as well as remotely monitoring and controlling the other four CVEA power generating plants, substations and the transmission and distribution assets. The Dispatcher position is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Valdez Fisheries Development Association's (VFDA) Valdez Hatchery is located directly across the road from the Solomon Gulch power house. Fresh water is supplied to the hatchery from the Solomon Gulch power plant for rearing fish.

The hatchery is open daily throughout the summer, and offers an unguided walking tour.


View Allison Creek Hydroelectric Facility Slideshow

The Allison Creek Hydroelectric Facility was commissioned in 2016. The plant is located at teh end of Dayville Road, next to the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's Valdez Marine Terminal. Allison Creek is a run-of-the-river project which backs up a small amount of water in the creek with a diversion structure, located at elevation 1,310 feet above sea level. The water is routed from the diversion structure through a 36-inch diameter, 7,000 foot long penstock to the power house. Power is generated with a Pelton style turbine that was uprated in 2019, from 6.7 megawatts to 7.0 megawatts. Because this facility does not have a reservoir, it is dependent on water flowing in the creek to produce power, typically from mid-May through November.

Allison Creek and Solomon Gulch combined are estimated to produce nearly 70-percent of CVEA's energy requirements.

For detailed information on the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project, visit the Allison creek website.


View Cogeneration Project Slideshow

The Cogeneration Plant (Cogen) is located at the Petro Star Refinery on Dayville Road. The plant was constructed as a mutual effort between between CVEA and Petro Star, and was commissioned in 2000. The plant has a 5.2 megawatt Solar Taurus 60 turbine which is fueled by Light Straight Run (LSR), a naptha type product that is supplied by the refinery. LSR is a byproduct of the refinery distillation process. The unit is operated during the winter months, typically from December through April. During these months, it is the primary source of power to the CVEA system. The 850 degree Fahrenheit exhaust heat from the turbine is sent to the refinery's crude heater to increase the efficiency of thei refining process. The refinery pays CVEA for this heat. CVEA members receive the benefit of this heat revenue as a heat revenue credit on their electric bill. The credit is applied to each members' bill during the months the unit operates on a per kilowatt-hour basis.


View Glennallen Diesel Plant Slideshow

The Glennallen Diesel Plant (GDP) was the first and is therefore the oldest CVEA power plant. The plant was constructed in the mid-1950's, expanded in the 1970's, and upgraded multiple times since. The total plant capacity of eight megawatts is generated with two Enterprise DSR46 diesel generators, one Caterpillar 3516B diesel generator, and one Electro Motive Diesel (EMD) 16-710 diesel generator.

 


View Valdez Diesel Plant Slideshow

The Valdez Diesel Plant (VDP) was constructed after the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and upgraded in the years since. The total plant capacity of 8 megawatts is generated with three Enterprise DSR46 diesel generator sets and two Caterpillar 3516B diesel generator sets. The caterpillars were commissioned in 2017.

 

CVEA's service areas are tied together with a 106-mile, 138-kilovolt transmission line that is owned and operated by CVEA. The transmission line provides the link to all five generating plants. Power can flow from any of the generating plants to the end consumers. Historically, power flows from Valdez to the Copper Basin in the summer months, as nearly all of the power requirements are met with our two hydroelectric plants. The transmission line traverses severe terrain between the two districts and parts of it, in the Thompson Pass area, which is known for being one of the snowiest places in North America. In 2014 nearly four-miles of the transmission line through Thompson Pass was relocated to minimize the risk of avalanche danger and to mitigate the risk to CVEA's Linemen that would have to work on getting the line back together if it were struck by an avalanche, as it was on many occasions in the past.

Dedication of Dan Smith SubstationOn May 11, 1996, the substation connected to the VDP was dedicated to Don Raymond Smith, a 20-year CVEA Lineman who passed away. The substation was renamed to the Don Smith Substation, a sign, plaque, and Don's climbing hooks and hardhat were bronzed and mounted to the plaque in memory of Don.

On September 16, 2013, the hiking trail to the Solomon Gulch Dam was dedicated to John Hunter, a 38-year dedicated employee with CVEA who passed away. The hiking trail was renamed to the John Hunter Memorial Trail, with a plaque at the trailhead. John started with CVEA as an Operator at the Valdez Diesel Plant, then became the first Chief Plant Operator at Solomon Gulch, and retired as the Production Manger in May 2012.