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Alaska State House Majority Caucus press release: House OKs Resolution to Classify Hydropower as Renewable

HJR 23 wants new definition & equal tax credits, incentives for hydro projects

Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska State House of Representative today passed a resolution urging Congress to add Hydropower to the definition of a renewable energy project.

House Joint Resolution 23, sponsored by the House Special Committee on Energy, asks that congress act to include hydropower in definitions and programs allowing the state to capture tax credits and incentives for production and construction of hydropower projects.

“There is no question that hydro power is, and must continue to be, part of our energy solution,” Energy Co-Chair Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, said. “Hydro is the largest source of renewable energy not only in Alaska, but in the entire U.S.”

Pruitt says the state and legislature are concerned that hydro projects and production only receive half the credits available to other government-classified “renewable resources” even though it is a sustainable, clean, green, and can be used to displace fossil fuels. “Hydropower can displace diesel or coal with little to no environmental impact,” Pruitt said. “We in the Legislature and state agencies are looking at the potential for large hydro projects right now, and getting the Congress to act on this would open up new incentives and further advance the state’s prospects.”

Energy Co-Chair Neal Foster, D-Nome, says Congressional action to add hydro as a renewable or alternative energy source stands to have positive financial impacts for all regions of the state. “Opening up the grid and expanding it with clean, renewable hydro allows for greater expansion of the electrical grid; being able to push more power to more places,” Foster said. “Southcentral Alaska isn’t the only region of the state that stands to benefit – developing our vast hydro resources, along with other renewable, can stand to lower the cost and need for rural Alaska down the road as well. We’re seeing great strides with research and pilot projects into wind, geothermal and biomass for our rural communities and the chance to tie-in hydro to the list of federal credits and incentives is imperative.”

HJR 23 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

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