Nominations are open for Homer Electric Association’s board of directors. The utility cooperative opened up nominations in January. A seat is available in each of the association’s three districts.
A Seldovia resident is planning to run for the Kasilof, Homer, Seldovia district seat. Erin McKittrick wants to shape the future of Homer Electric’s power sources. She thinks HEA won’t be able to rely on natural gas in the future because of climate change.
“We need to make our grid ready now, working together with the other utilities, so we can better integrate and use renewables looking to the future,” she said.
HEA says its goal is to pull 18 percent of its power from renewable sources by the end of 2022.
Homer Electric was considering installing a solar farm near Anchor Point, but due to low support from members, HEA said that project was put on hold last year.
McKittrick is also interested in getting a seat on the HEA board because she wants to represent customers on the southern side of Kachemak Bay. Residents in Seldovia, Halibut Cove and other areas often wait longer for the power to be restored after outages. McKittrick wants to look into more local support to speed up that process.
“One of the things that I wonder about, but I wouldn't be sure without doing more research, is if we can set things up, sometimes getting the backup generator on is more complicated than it should be and requires people coming over from the Homer side to do it, which they can't always do in a storm,” she said. “I think training some local people to do the things that can be done, not repairing the power lines, but switches and such would be a good idea.”
Applications for HEA board seats are due on March 1. Applications can be found on the HEA website. Ballots will be sent out to members on April 1.