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Southeast Conference Energy Committee

  • Chair Alec Mesdag

Next scheduled meeting

  • TBD

Previous Committee Meetings

  • November 21, 2017

Committee Notes

Energy Goal Statement

To create long term energy security, support energy infrastructure development, and promote efficient use of existing energy-related resources within Southeast Alaska.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Hydro, biomass and renewable energy resources.
  • Technical expertise for biomass and other energy resource development.      
  • Funding opportunities for renewable and other energy.
  • We are diesel dependent in many of our rural communities.
  • Funding opportunities for renewable and other energy. 
  • There is a low economy of scale and lack of economic industry, and limited inter-connectivity of communities and energy resources.
Opportunities Threats
  • Tongass land management amendments to support energy development.
  • Develop resources in close proximity to our loads.
  • Regulatory reform (RCA, FERC, EPA, etc.) 
  • Partnering with other industry groups, come together and show unified positions.
  • Changing and increased regulations and Federal land use restrictions (Roadless Rule, etc.)
  • Permitting obstacles (long permitting time and bureaucratic process; increased litigation).
  • Limited financing options (especially for projects with a long payback period).

Energy Priority Objectives

Priority Objective #1: Promote priorities of the regional energy plan including infrastructure and diesel displacement

During these times of fiscal austerity, educate and communicate with the federal government regarding the value and importance of regional energy projects, especially small community-based projects. There are a number of projects that help meet renewable energy goals of the state and federal agencies. Partner with federal agencies to advocate for renewable energy development and advance energy technologies in order to promote economic development and jobs to contribute to a resilient tax base.

Work with the federal government to increase investments. Support efforts to set aside the Roadless Rule as a barrier to renewable energy development. Increase access to renewable resources within the Tongass National Forest.

Identify federal regulations that hamper energy development. Reduce barriers to increase new investments in energy.

The majority of energy costs paid by residents goes toward space heat. Opportunities abound for alternative energy heat to displace diesel, especially biomass. Educate people regarding energy use. Provide diesel displacement through improved incremental delivery of conservation and efficiency measures to businesses and residences in order to reduce energy costs. There are many opportunities for energy efficiency in generation, transmission and demand-side management. Facilitate technical expertise for utilities and educate consumers regarding energy use.

Other Energy Objectives:

Objective #2: Support community efforts that create sustainable power systems that provide affordable/renewable energy.

Objective #3: Complete a Regional Hydrosite Evaluation for Southeast Alaska.

Build upon the existing work to catalog critical information necessary to determine the highest value hydropower projects to meet the growing needs of our region.