MEA wants in as Chugach Electric, ML&P talk merger

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Chugach Electric and Municipal Light and Power have entered discussions for a possible merger.

The move comes after a report released in April by the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation found “inherent inefficiencies” with Anchorage’s current model of two electric utilities, resulting in “growing costs for ratepayers.” The report was later backed by a resolution from the Anchorage Assembly urging Chugach and ML&P to begin taking steps toward a merger.

“At the direction of the Anchorage Assembly we have been having conversations with the MOA and ML&P about the future of Anchorage’s electric utilities,” wrote Chugach spokeswoman Julie Hasquet. “As a member-owned cooperative, we are always looking for ways to save ratepayers money.”

However, Chugach is not the only electric company looking to buy ML&P. Matanuska Electric Association sent a letter to the Anchorage mayor’s office last week expressing interest as well.

“We appreciate being added by the Assembly as a listed stakeholder to engage in further discussions on the topic,” MEA general manager Tony Izzo said in the letter. “Lacking any official contact from the Municipality on the subject to date, MEA has decided to proactively communicate our interest to you.

As of Tuesday, the city has not yet responded to MEA’s letter. Municipal manager Bill Falsey says he hopes to have a more public conversation over the potential merger in the coming weeks.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story indicated that a formal buyout proposal for ML&P could be finalized in the next few weeks. That statement was inaccurate and has been corrected.

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