Skip to main content

Alaska Governor Parnell : Working toward 50% renewables by 2025


gov.alaska.gov August 9, 2012
Alaska Power Association 61st Annual Meeting

Governor Sean Parnell

Thank you, Marilyn Leland. It is good to be among people who are bold, innovative and visionary.

That’s you -- and it is good to see you working together on energy for Alaska.

The Future of Energy – truly -- it is the future of our state. Here in the city that hydro built -- we think of Juneau and its history as a mining town, as Alaska’s capital, as a tourist destination, and much more.

Very little of this would be possible, if not for hydro power.

You appreciate that more than most: The relationship between power and progress.

You appreciate that Juneau is not just sitting on a gold mine – the AJ Mine. It also has liquid gold -- water rolling down these mountains, powering an entire economy.

So thank you, AEL&P, and Inside Passage Electric Cooperative for hosting this meeting.

And thank you, Alaska Power Association, for your great work on behalf of communities. Thank you for all the work you do to grow our state.

Alaska is a vast treasure trove of resources and opportunities for our people. Resources and opportunity in hydro and in hydrocarbon, in wind generation and geothermal, in better delivery of kilowatt hours and in energy conservation.
Governor Sean Parnell spoke at the Alaska Power Association’s Annual Meeting in Juneau. Thursday, August 9, 2012.
All of these areas have a role in Alaska’s energy frontier. And I think it’s an exciting time for you all to be in your positions of leadership.

  • Over in Gustavus, they have gone practically all hydro, with very little dependence on diesel. Just a few years ago, they were burning 20-thousand gallons a month of diesel.
  • Ketchikan – the Federal Building and Coast Guard are looking at biomass generators, even as we’ve improved hydro capacity in recent years.
  • Regarding the Kake-Petersburg Intertie, IPEC, SEAPA and AEA have cooperated in developing a regional solution with energy benefits to Kake.
  • SEAPA has agreed to take a lead role and possible ownership in the potential development of this project to bring hydro to Kake, which is now diesel-dependent.
  • Kodiak is combining wind and hydro to reduce diesel generation to 6.5 percent of its usage.
  • The Anchorage Regional Landfill just powered up a methane plant for electricity.
  • And the Southcentral Power Project, a joint project with Municipal Light and Power, is constructing a new gas-fired power plant that should be in operation this year.
  • We recognize all these projects and, frankly, there are many more, too many to list.

For “hydro veterans” here in Southeast, the good news about a rainy summer is the reservoirs are full and will keep the lights on as we head into fall and winter. It’s a different scene up north this month. Along the rivers for the next few weeks, they’re buying diesel, taking barges up those rivers, loading the tanks, and getting ready for winter.

In the book, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” the authors coined the term: “Big Hairy Audacious Goal.”

B-HAG.

A B-HAG may look impossible from the outside, but people on the inside of a visionary group know that they can achieve this goal. And having such a big goal can help them move toward a shared and prosperous future.

In oil production, we set the B-HAG of a million barrels per day.

On the education front, we set the B-HAG of a 90 percent high school graduation rate, while meeting more rigorous curriculum standards.

And our big goal in energy is achieving 50 percent of Alaska’s electricity from renewable resources by the year 20-25.

You are the energy professionals with vision to get us there. So let’s talk about where we are in achieving this 50 percent renewable goal we share; because while the timeframe to 2025 is short, the checklist is long.

As you know, much of our effort will be to move water through turbines. Alaska, unlike the Feds, considers hydropower a renewable resource, one that will get us to our goal.

Last month I had the opportunity to visit the site where the Susitna-Watana hydroelectric project will be built. I was able to stand on the river bank right about where the dam will span the gorge, upstream from Devil’s Canyon.

It is truly a natural location made for this proposed dam. It’s a very narrow, natural gorge with walls up several hundred feet on both sides. When all is said and done, we will have a long finger lake in a remote and relatively confined area.

We also flew over several feasible road options for supplies and equipment that will need to be brought to the site.

Susitna-Watana is a big part of this state’s energy picture for the next 100 years. It will be one of Alaska’s signature projects in the 21st Century. That, and a gas line, of course!

Susitna-Watana is the right-sized project to meet Railbelt energy needs, and help meet the needs of rural Alaska through lower cost products and services statewide.

Regarding the FERC process, the proposed study plan for Susitna-Watana has been submitted. It already involves over 50 individual studies. I know you will be hearing more details on this project from the Alaska Energy Authority, and I will leave the details to them.

Additionally, we must aggressively address the power and space heating needs of our state’s second largest community, Greater Fairbanks. With us today, in addition to AEA Director Sara Fisher-Goad, is Gene Therriault, who has just joined AEA as a deputy director to strengthen their lead role on energy policy and to work with our office.

We are working on an All-Of-The-Above strategy because one size will not fit all. Not in Fairbanks, or Western Alaska, or even here in Southeast.

The answer is going to come from every direction. We’ve got to drill down into storage solutions. We can do even more as a research and development laboratory for cold climate energy conservation. We must stay focused on the milestones for a gasline to tidewater and spur lines to communities to lessen the burden on electrical generation and heat distribution.

AHFC home efficiency programs, commercial energy audits, revolving loan programs – all are part of an All-Of-The-Above strategy.

What’s more, this year AEA has increased its technical assistance and renewable energy project development for rural communities.

We will continue to develop powerhouses that are right-sized, efficient, and that can be integrated with renewable energy resources as they become available.

And we will continue to support agency coordination to get power to the people.

To review some recent legislation:

In June, I signed Senate Bill 25, the Alaska Sustainable Strategy for Energy Transmission and Supply. This grows opportunity for new energy infrastructure.

It created a new fund at AIDEA for financing energy development, allowing AIDEA to make direct loans for energy projects.

In addition, we’ve reauthorized AEA’s Renewable Energy Fund program and at least $200 million has been committed to more than 200 projects to date.

And House Bill 250 puts $50 million every year for the next 10 years to the Renewable Energy Grant Fund.

We invested over $1 billion in energy projects and programs last year alone.

These are just a few ways we are reducing the cost of energy throughout Alaska, using the resources appropriate in each region.

As we move ahead, we are fortunate to have the financial resources that come from oil production, so we can invest in solutions.

Stemming oil production decline continues to be a priority for all Alaskans. Currently, oil revenues represent 90 percent of our general fund. Oil pays for public services in education, safety, transportation.

And oil pays for capital projects, and investments we make in renewables.

I welcome your help in impressing upon legislators, particularly our friends in the Alaska Senate, the critical need to boost up the level of oil being produced on the North Slope, so we can continue to invest in diversifying our energy supplies. Thank you.

# # #

In the orb...


Idea to convert Slope gas into electricity gains listeners
Power utility, Native corporation refloat the concept to legislators seeking to cut rural energy costs.
By LISA DEMER
Anchorage Daily News
Published: August 14th, 2012 10:05 PM
Last Modified: August 14th, 2012 10:05 PM
An idea studied years ago by an oil company for producing vast stores of North Slope natural gas without building a giant pipeline has emerged again, this time before state legislators trying to find relief for residents crushed by heating and electricity costs.... http://www.adn.com/2012/08/14/2588431/idea-to-convert-slope-gas-into.html

Popular posts from this blog

Crabbers get a boost in bairdi Tanner quotas

LAINE WELCH Image via Wikipedia FISHERIES Published: November 7th, 2009 10:10 PM Last Modified: November 7th, 2009 10:12 PM KODIAK -- Kodiak and Alaska Peninsula crabbers got some good news last week -- bigger catch quotas for bairdi Tanner crab, a mid-January fishery important to local economies. Bairdi are the larger cousins of the better-known opilio Tanners, or snow crab. The bairdi boost stems from a big pulse of new crab recruits that biologists have been tracking for years. "That is what's fueling the increase in the harvest this year. We're just getting the very beginning of that year class," said......... http://www.adn.com/money/welch/story/1004091.html

#01-14-2014 - ComFish News Roundup

Chinook Conservation, Trawling and Permit-Stacking Addressed by BoF Jan 13, 2014 View of Kodiak from Pillar Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) Jay Barrett/KMXT The Alaska Board of Fisheries wrapped up its Kodiak area meetings on Friday afternoon at the Harbor Convention Center. KMXT’s Jay Barrett spoke with board Chairman Karl Johnstone about some of the decisions that came out of the meeting, and how the meeting schedule may change in the future..... http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5374 3:32 PM MON JANUARY 13, 2014 The Dillingham City Council Opposes Passage of House Bill 77 By MIKE MASON The Dillingham City Council has come out in opposition to a bill that is expected to be a major focus of attention during the next session of the Alaska Legislature. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details..... http://kdlg.org/post/dillingham-city-council-opposes-passage-house-bill-77 PORT STUDY Corps draft feasibility study on ports due in March

Danish commandos 'monitoring hippies' on Arctic offshore rig #artcticloons

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr Alaska Dispatch | May 31, 2011 Armed Danish commandos have (possibly) been summoned to monitor Earth-loving "hippies" clinging to the underbelly of an Arctic deepwater oil rig  off the coast of Greenland , sources say. The environmental non-governmental group  Greenpeace  has published  statements and  video  showing its activists aboard two ships that are attempting to "interfere" with oil exploration going on in the Davis Strait, 100 miles west of Greenland. This business has in turn prompted the Kingdom of Denmark to launch two ships and a few helicopters to monitor the Greenpeace interference. The  Leiv Eriksson  is the source of all this Arctic bait and switch. British oil company  Cairn Energy  is attempting to drill four wells at depths of at least 5,000 feet this summer in "iceberg-strewn sea" with the 53,000-ton offshore oil rig, which has made its way to Arctic waters after a month of failed attempts by Green