Anchorage has been talking about consolidating Chugach Electric and Municipal Light & Power for over 30 years. Now, Anchorage voters will be asked to help move that idea forward. Proposition 10 on the April 3 municipal election ballot asks voters to authorize the sale of ML&P to Chugach. It’s an opportunity to save ratepayers money over the long-term, eliminate duplication, and reduce costs. Chugach Electric Association CEO Lee Thibert and Mayor Ethan Berkowitz will present the case for consolidation.
Lee Thibert – CEO, Chugach Electric Association
Thibert became CEO of Chugach Electric in July 2016, assuming leadership of the member-owned cooperative with over 68,000 members, serving about 83,000 residential and retail meters. Headquartered in Anchorage, Chugach provides service from South Anchorage to the northern Kenai Peninsula, and from Whittier on Prince William Sound to Tyonek on the west side of Cook Inlet.
Thibert began working at Chugach in 1987, holding a variety of senior management positions, including senior vice president, strategic development and regulatory affairs. During his long career with the utility he has been responsible for a number of key divisions including regulatory, engineering, operations, telecommunications, power production, and power control & fuel supply.
Born in Minnesota, Thibert has a Bachelor of Arts in organizational management from Alaska Pacific University. He is a board member of Western Energy Institute; a trustee for the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund; serves on the Governor’s Renewable Energy Financial Advisory Council; a member of the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy steering committee; and a member of the Anchorage Downtown Rotary.
Celebrating its 70th year as an electric cooperative, Chugach has over 25 years of experience in the capital markets, solid financial performance, and strong bond ratings on the “A” level. The Chugach system has 531.2 megawatts of installed generation capacity, 434 miles of transmission line and 1,719 miles of distribution line. Chugach has a total utility plant balance of $1.2 billion, with a net utility plant balance of $710 million. During 2017, Chugach provided 1,165,333 MWh of electricity to its retail and wholesale members.