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Governor’s Bill Paves Way for Susitna Dam Project


January 14, 2011, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today transmitted legislation that would authorize the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) to move forward on pursuing a large hydroelectric project to supply much-needed energy to Interior and Southcentral Alaska.

“Alaska must invest now to create new opportunities for economic development and jobs for Alaskans,” Governor Parnell said. “A Susitna Dam hydroelectric project will not only provide an important supply of energy for Alaskan homes and businesses, it will create jobs for Alaskans.”

The bill would authorize AEA to acquire, construct, own, and operate new power projects; create a new Alaska Railbelt Energy fund, as a fund of AEA; repeal the existing Railbelt Energy fund (AS 37.05.520) after the balance of the existing fund is appropriated and transferred into the new fund, or appropriated and expended for other purposes; address quorum requirements of the AEA board, and allow for the adoption of regulations to govern the procurement of supplies, professional services, and construction.

Alaska’s energy policy target is to reach 50 percent of its electricity generation through renewable resources by 2025. The legislation has been designed to give AEA the ability to continue with environmental and feasibility studies, positioning the state to seek preliminary approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a project that would provide half of Southcentral Alaska’s electricity demand. The bill will also define the board of director’s quorum to be four of seven members.

A copy of the bill is available at:

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/11411_susitna.pdf

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