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Regional Integrated Resource Plan (RIRP) presented by Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) Dec 10, 2009
The Railbelt electric utilities attended a public presentation of AEA's RIRP on 10 Dec. The utilities applaud the substantial efforts of the AEA led by Mr. Jim Strandberg to accomplish this herculean task in record time. The 80 page briefing presented by AEA's contractor, Black and Veatch was received by as many 0 people in a room in the Captain Cook hotel.
The essential and most critical findings of the presentation can be summed up in three major areas:
- Gas is in short supply in the Cook Inlet and a concentrated and coordinated effort by utilities, State agencies and producers must be initiated without delay to ensure sufficient supplies are made available for the immediate future.
- Future financing capacity of the combined utilities is inadequate to meet the financing needs in the future by a substantial amount; hence, some form of State aid (grants or loan guarantees) is necessary to fill the gap.
- Longer term Railbelt electrical energy needs can be met with hydroelectric plants at either the higher reaches of the Susitna River or if feasible, Lake Chakachamna.
Bradley Evans, CEO of Chugach Electric Assn, Alaska's largest electrical utility said, "We have been striving to reach this kind of understanding for over 10 years. I think this effort, though not completely agreed to by all the utilities in all cases, will provide a viable foundation for discussion of Generation and Transmission utility organization, major renewable project development and state financial assistance in the upcoming legislative session."