Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 17

03/06/2018 10:15 AM ENERGY

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Audio Topic
10:19:41 AM Start
10:20:01 AM Presentation: Understanding Energy in the Interior
11:37:19 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Overview: Railbelt Utilities by TELECONFERENCED
- Cory Borgeson, General Manager, Golden Valley
Electric Assoc.
- John Burns, VP & General Counsel, Golden
Valley Electric Assoc.
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ENERGY                                                                              
                         March 6, 2018                                                                                          
                           10:19 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Adam Wool, Chair                                                                                                 
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative John Lincoln                                                                                                     
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                                
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Vice Chair                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: UNDERSTANDING ENERGY IN THE INTERIOR                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
JOHN BURNS, Vice President & General Counsel                                                                                    
Golden Valley Electric Association                                                                                              
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION    STATEMENT:       Presented   a    PowerPoint   titled                                                             
"Understanding Energy in the Interior."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:19:41 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  ADAM WOOL  called the  House Special  Committee on  Energy                                                             
meeting to  order at 10:19  a.m.  Representatives  Wool, Johnson,                                                               
Lincoln, Rauscher, and Claman were  present at the call to order.                                                               
Representative Johnston arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION: Understanding Energy in the Interior                                                                           
       PRESENTATION: Understanding Energy in the Interior                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:20:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL announced  that the only order of business  would be a                                                               
presentation titled, "Understanding Energy in the Interior."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:20:55 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  BURNS,  Vice President  &  General  Counsel, Golden  Valley                                                               
Electric Association,  noted that a  color-coded map and  a plain                                                               
paper  map which  depicted  the  Railbelt System,  as  well as  a                                                               
decision by the Regulatory Commission  of Alaska (RCA) related to                                                               
the  Delta Wind  Farm, had  been distributed  to all  the members                                                               
[Included in  members' packets].   He introduced  the PowerPoint,                                                               
titled  "Understanding Energy  in  the Interior."   [Included  in                                                               
members' packets]                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS explained  that  the presentation  would  be in  three                                                               
parts:  Golden Valley Electric  Association (GVEA), today; Golden                                                               
Valley   Electric  Association,   tomorrow;  and   Golden  Valley                                                               
Electric Association, in  perspective.  He shared  slide 2, "GVEA                                                               
at  a  Glance,"  which  listed a  membership  of  almost  35,000,                                                               
serving nearly 100,000 residents  over almost 6,000 square miles.                                                               
He reported  that there were  a little  more than 3,200  miles of                                                               
power lines, from  Cantwell to Delta.  He shared  that the latest                                                               
retail sales were  1.24 billion kWh, about $141  million of power                                                               
purchases.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:25:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS moved on to slide  3, "Where Our Power Comes From," and                                                               
reported  that  the  fuel  supply  in  2016  and  2017  had  been                                                               
essentially  the  same.   Directing  attention  to the  2017  pie                                                               
chart, he stated  that hydro, 5 percent of the  total energy, was                                                               
from  Bradley  Lake, that  coal  was  the cheapest  source,  that                                                               
natural  gas was  the  "economy energy"  and  was purchased  from                                                               
other utilities, that  oil was the dominant source,  and that the                                                               
wind power was from Alaska Environmental Power and Eva Creek.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL  asked about  the anticipated  percentage of  coal use                                                               
once the Healy 2 coal power plant comes on line.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  replied that coal  use would  increase, as it  was the                                                               
cheapest source,  with an offset for  the use of oil  and natural                                                               
gas.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked about the effect on the consumer.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS explained  that it  would have  a direct,  significant                                                               
impact on the cost of power adjustment (COPA).                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:28:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  introduced slide 4, "GVEA  Generation," which depicted                                                               
the  sources  of  GVEA  power,   including  Healy  Unit  1  &  2,                                                               
Fairbanks,  Eva Creek  Wind, North  Pole, Delta,  and North  Pole                                                               
Expansion.  He offered a brief description of each source.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked if gas  and diesel were combined at                                                               
the North Pole Expansion plant.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS explained that the plant  was run on diesel although it                                                               
was convertible to gas.  He  said there were two turbines, as the                                                               
one was gas and its exhaust was converted to steam.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS returned  to slide 4 and reported that  the Delta plant                                                               
was an  emergency back-up,  as it was  the most  expensive plant.                                                               
He pointed  out that the  North Pole  plant was oil  because that                                                               
was all that  was available when it was built.   He declared that                                                               
the Eva Creek wind farm had  been a tremendous success, with a 35                                                               
percent efficiency.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL  asked about  the cost  per MW of  the two  North Pole                                                               
plants.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS replied  that he was not  sure of the cost.   He stated                                                               
that Healy  was the cheapest, although  at Eva Creek the  cost of                                                               
the power was zero, except for the associated capital costs.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  if  battery storage  was used  in                                                               
Fairbanks to retain the power from Eva Creek.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS replied,  "not the way it's currently  configured."  He                                                               
shared that, as  the battery technology was  now vastly improved,                                                               
this was being evaluated.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:34:09 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WOOL  asked  if  Eva  Creek and  Delta  Power,  both  wind                                                               
sources, could  share the  same spinning  reserves to  offset the                                                               
fluctuations and avoid extra costs.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS  replied  that  this  underscored  the  components  of                                                               
renewables: integration  cost and regulation cost.   He explained                                                               
that  when Eva  Creek was  built, it  was sized  appropriately to                                                               
optimally absorb the spinning reserve  that was regularly run and                                                               
have no impact  on the system.  He pointed  out that putting more                                                               
renewables on that pad would  have to ensure there was sufficient                                                               
spinning  reserve to  capture the  regulation.   If this  was not                                                               
optimized, it  became necessary to  bring on  additional spinning                                                               
reserve.     He  emphasized  that  utilities   were  not  against                                                               
renewables,  as   utilities  had   an  obligation  to   bring  on                                                               
reasonably priced power.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  pointed  out   that  this  brought  the                                                               
conversation back to the need for storage.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL offered  his understanding that the  battery at Golden                                                               
Valley was used to  quickly supply a lot of power  in the case of                                                               
a power outage, as opposed to a fluctuating reserve.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:37:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON asked  about  the base  demand to  Golden                                                               
Valley Electric Association.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  replied that the  peak load  was 210 [MW],  usually in                                                               
the coldest  part of  winter.   He stated that  281 [MW]  was the                                                               
generating  capacity, although,  as  the cost  was so  expensive,                                                               
they did not want to go to full capacity.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked if the  base load was  covered just                                                               
by coal.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  said that coal  could not be  used to regulate,  as it                                                               
was necessary  to have  something that was  very responsive.   He                                                               
pointed  out that  the  challenge was  to  optimally configure  a                                                               
system with generation  sources.  He declared that  it was Golden                                                               
Valley Electric  Association's responsibility to keep  the lights                                                               
on at the lowest cost.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked if  the peak load  was when  all the                                                               
plants were running at full generation capacity.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS explained that load  was different than generation.  He                                                               
pointed  out  that  load  was demand,  how  many  consumers  were                                                               
drawing on  the electricity.   He  explained that  generation was                                                               
the   ability  to   produce,  and   that  these   were  different                                                               
components.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:40:32 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS, in response to Chair  Wool, stated that it was the 120                                                               
MW North Pole plant.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS moved  on  to slide  5,  "Independent Power  Producers                                                               
(IPP),"  and reported  that  the three  largest  IPPs were  Delta                                                               
Wind,  Bradley Lake  Hydro,  and Aurora  Energy,  which was  coal                                                               
fired.  He pointed out that  these IPPs could connect to the GVEA                                                               
system,  either as  a small  utility of  2 MW  or less  through a                                                               
simplified  streamlined  process,  or  as  a  larger  utility  of                                                               
greater  than   2MW  which  required  use   of  the  Interconnect                                                               
Agreements.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS addressed  slide 6,  "GVEA Supports  Renewable Power,"                                                               
and declared  that GVEA  strongly supported  renewables, pointing                                                               
out that  they had the  ability to generate  up to 20  percent of                                                               
their requirement  with renewables.   He added  that there  was a                                                               
very  aggressive SNAP  program,  Sustainable Natural  Alternative                                                               
Power.   He reported that of  the 199 SNAP producers,  96 percent                                                               
were producing  solar power.   He called  this "net  metering" as                                                               
the excess was sold back to the  utility.  He spoke about the Eva                                                               
Creek wind farm, with 12  turbines producing a capacity of almost                                                               
25 MW.   He added that the  wind farm had been  running at almost                                                               
35 percent efficiency for the past  five years.  He declared that                                                               
"it's  been wonderful,"  and  he  added that  the  size had  been                                                               
optimized  for the  system.   He shared  that most  utilities had                                                               
similar  commitments for  renewable  energy,  declaring that  "we                                                               
have to  be stewards of our  environment."  He reported  that the                                                               
initial pledge  for renewable energy  had been 10 percent  of the                                                               
system peak  load, which had been  met in 2007, and  increased to                                                               
20 percent,  which had also been  met by 2014.   He reported that                                                               
the  board, as  part  of its  strategic  planning, was  currently                                                               
evaluating the next goal.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL asked if the 20 percent was capacity of peak demand.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS explained  that when  all the  available renewals  are                                                               
maximized, that would be 20 percent  of the peak.  In response to                                                               
Chair Wool, he said that this included Bradley Lake.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS  addressed  slide  7,   "GVEA's  New  Solar  Project,"                                                               
declaring this  to be  the newest project  and the  largest solar                                                               
array  in Alaska,  all on  a three-acre  footprint.   He reported                                                               
that the panels  had been ordered and the process  would begin in                                                               
the spring.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:45:51 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON,  noting  that the  peak  was  seasonal,                                                               
asked if this was tied to industrial use.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS  stated that  GVEA  considered  this "somewhat  of  an                                                               
experimental  process."    He   explained  that,  although  solar                                                               
worked, it  remained to be seen  how it would integrate  into the                                                               
GVEA system.   He  said that  it was not  tied to  any industrial                                                               
use,  as  they   were  still  trying  to  determine   how  it  be                                                               
integrated.   He  added that  although it  was only  0.5 MW,  and                                                               
covered  three  acres,  it  reflected   the  GVEA  commitment  to                                                               
renewables.   He pointed out that  the optimal time for  solar in                                                               
Fairbanks was the  spring due to the reflection off  the snow and                                                               
the angle of the sun.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON   asked  if   [the  solar   panels]  had                                                               
automatic directional.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS offered his belief that these were stationary.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL offered his belief that  they would need to be brushed                                                               
off during the winter.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS reiterated that it would be an experiment.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL spoke  about a power plant in  Colorado which produced                                                               
power  using wind,  solar,  and batteries  and  was cheaper  than                                                               
coal.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS, in response to  Representative Rauscher, said that the                                                               
solar project  produced half a megawatt  at its best.   He opined                                                               
that it would supply power for about 50 residences year-round.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked if there was any rebate.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS explained  that GVEA owned the  project, although there                                                               
had been a $250,000 grant for this project.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS,  in response  to  Representative  Johnson, said  that                                                               
about  54 residences  were served  by the  half MW,  and that  he                                                               
would confirm.   He moved on  to slide 8, "Power  Purchases," and                                                               
shared that  the independent power  producer (IPP)  Aurora Energy                                                               
produced 25  MW from coal  and the  Chugach plant supplied  60 MW                                                               
from natural gas through the Intertie.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS shared  slide 9,  "Residential  kWh Rate  Comparison*"                                                               
which  compared the  costs  of different  energy  to the  billing                                                               
amount  for 600  kWh.    He noted  the  savings  when GVEA  could                                                               
purchase economy energy,  natural gas, to offset  the higher cost                                                               
of fuel oil.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL asked whether Homer Electric used natural gas.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  said that  he was  not sure,  although he  pointed out                                                               
that  Homer   Electric  had   just  installed   "some  additional                                                               
facilities" which added to the total cost.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL  asked where Juneau  would fit  on the list  [on slide                                                               
9].                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL  opined that  in rural Alaska,  after PCE  [power cost                                                               
equalization]  and for  usage less  than  500 kWh,  the cost  was                                                               
about $0.25.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS explained  that the slide clearly  illustrated that the                                                               
power generation mix correlated to the price.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WOOL asked  about the  cost  of transport  for power  from                                                               
Bradley Lake to Fairbanks.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  said that he  was not  sure of the  transmission cost.                                                               
He noted  that GVEA owned  about 18  percent of Bradley  Lake and                                                               
that it had tremendous potential for regulating variables.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON explained  that there  was an  issue for                                                               
transmission with Bradley Lake,  opining that the ML&P (Municipal                                                               
Light & Power)  ownership would have sold Bradley Lake  as it did                                                               
not fit into the business plan.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS  acknowledged that  all  the  Railbelt utilities  were                                                               
monitoring  the   Anchorage  ML&P  proposed  sale   with  Chugach                                                               
Electric  Association  to  better  understand  the  impact.    He                                                               
declared that the  utilities had to take  a holistic perspective,                                                               
as they could no longer operate  as islands.  He stated that "the                                                               
Intertie has been a very positive thing."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  shared an anecdote about  early power in                                                               
Fairbanks.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:57:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS moved  on to  slide 10,  "Dispatching Power...  by the                                                               
minute," and  he played a  video which explained how  to optimize                                                               
the energy mix in real time to save money.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS stated  that the  goal was  to optimize  generation in                                                               
order to minimize costs.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WOOL asked  whether the  Anchorage utilities  were calling                                                               
Golden Valley Electric Association for cheap power.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS acknowledged that they  were not calling, even as there                                                               
"were  lots  of  exciting  things   that  are  happening  on  the                                                               
Railbelt, and  there may  be a  time when  one of  our generating                                                               
units is part of the power cooling agreement."                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  if the  military efforts  to move                                                               
toward renewable power would affect the power structure.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS said that he was not  sure if it would affect the power                                                               
structure,  and  he   shared  that  GVEA  was   also  working  on                                                               
renewables to allow the military the benefit for its use.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked about the increase in demand.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  explained that  it was a  "trickledown effect,  as the                                                               
population  increases,   service  demands   increase,  businesses                                                               
multiply, that  sort of thing."   He said that he  was unaware of                                                               
an analysis  for the long  term economic impact for  Fairbanks or                                                               
the load increase for GVEA.  He  opined that, if this came to be,                                                               
it would be  a huge positive.  He explained  that the next slides                                                               
would  reflect  GVEA  tomorrow,  which  he  deemed  to  be  "very                                                               
bright."   He returned  to slide 11,  "The Future  Looks Bright,"                                                               
and shared a  number of the proposed projects,  including the new                                                               
load  at  the  Clear  Air Force  Station,  additional  demand  at                                                               
Eielson  Air Force  Base, addition  of renewable  energy sources,                                                               
and the $7.2 million capital credits refund.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:05:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  moved on to  slide 12, "GVEA's Rate  Case Successfully                                                               
Completed," and  reported that this  had just been  submitted and                                                               
approved, contingent upon Healy 2 adding to the base load.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL mused  that, although the power  production cost would                                                               
be  less as  Healy 2  would be  burning coal,  the capitalization                                                               
cost for  the power plant  would have to  be added, and  he asked                                                               
how that would affect the rates.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS said that there would  be a slight impact, although the                                                               
cost was  spread over 30  years.  He  said that the  reduction in                                                               
cost  of   generation  would  more   than  offset  the   cost  of                                                               
capitalization,  resulting  in  a  significant  decrease  in  the                                                               
overall consumer bill.   In response to Chair  Wool, he expressed                                                               
agreement that the goal was for a net reduction.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:08:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS moved on to  slide 13, "Meter Replacement Project," and                                                               
spoke  about the  advanced metering  infrastructure (AMI),  which                                                               
allowed the  consumer tremendous  access to data  for consumption                                                               
and costs in real time.   He declared that this would improve the                                                               
system reliability and  would allow them to  pinpoint the outages                                                               
and respond more quickly.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked if these were  smart meters, noting                                                               
that these were very controversial.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS acknowledged that these  meters could be controversial,                                                               
dependent on  the perception,  as they collected  a lot  of data.                                                               
He  pointed out  that this  was optimum  for a  utility, as  they                                                               
monitored peak  load demands and time  of day usage.   This would                                                               
allow for a  change to rate structure to  offer different pricing                                                               
at different  times.  He declared  that the intent was  to ensure                                                               
better  service, not  to have  "big government,  somebody looking                                                               
over your shoulder and knowing what's going on."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL  asked if the current  rate was across the  board, all                                                               
the time; whereas  , in a more advanced system,  there could be a                                                               
different rate at different times of day dependent on demand.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS  explained  that   very  sophisticated  utilities  had                                                               
notices  to customers  for load  curves and  corresponding costs,                                                               
and that this  was an opportunity to maximize  opportunities.  He                                                               
called this a load balancing process.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WOOL   reflected  on   earlier  discussions   for  on-bill                                                               
financing to  include the  purchase of  various devices,  such as                                                               
batteries  that could  be used  to store  energy during  non-peak                                                               
hours.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked if there  was the potential  for an                                                               
opt out on the meters.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS replied, "absolutely."                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN mused  that this was an  issue between "big                                                               
brother watching them using power" and "saving money."                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL asked about a communication line from the meter.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS said  that  it  was internet  based,  although he  was                                                               
unsure for the set-up to the  array.  He expressed agreement that                                                               
the data had to be collected and communicated.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS reiterated that the  reissuance of this refund was very                                                               
positive and  that it underscores  "that as a co-op,  members are                                                               
the  owners,"  slide  14,  "$7.2   Million  Refunded  in  Capital                                                               
Credits."                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:16:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  discussed slide 15,  "Alaska Railbelt -  1980s," which                                                               
he described as  the "holistic overview."  He  shared the reality                                                               
that  GVEA was  intimately  connected to  the  Railbelt, and  how                                                               
critically dependent it was to the other Southcentral utilities.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS directed  attention to  slide 16,  "Alaska Railbelt  -                                                               
1990s" and slide 17, "Alaska  Railbelt - 2000s," which showed the                                                               
development   of  the   Alaska   Railbelt,  as   prior  to   this                                                               
development, GVEA was an island:   "When we were out of power, we                                                               
were out of power."  He stated  that, as this became a health and                                                               
welfare  issue, Alaska  recognized  this and  created the  Alaska                                                               
intertie.   In  the 2000s,  the Northern  Intertie was  added, as                                                               
well  as the  Battery  Energy Storage  System,  the Ground  Based                                                               
Missile  Defense,  Alyeska  Pump  #9, the  Pogo  Gold  Mine,  the                                                               
expanded transmission line  from North Pole to  Carney, and Clear                                                               
Air Force Base.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL asked about the North Pole to Carney reference.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS explained that it  was a transmission line, although he                                                               
was unclear  for its  purpose beyond  additional power  for those                                                               
areas.   He  reiterated  how  important it  was  for everyone  to                                                               
recognize that everyone was interconnected.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:22:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS   shared  another  short   video  which,   he  stated,                                                               
underscored the  cooperation among  the Railbelt  utilities, even                                                               
though people did not always agree.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS stated that working together  was "the only way that we                                                               
can ensure  that we all  succeed."   He concluded with  slide 19,                                                               
"Alaska Railbelt Update," and offered  his belief that the future                                                               
looked bright and that decisions could not be made in a vacuum.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked about the vision  for power pooling                                                               
in Southcentral Alaska.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS  replied  that  optimally  the  utilities  would  work                                                               
together and  use the lowest  costs, progressively,  to configure                                                               
all the  energy generation.   He declared  that it  would require                                                               
some  cooperation.   He  added that  the  utilities were  working                                                               
through some challenging issues, including billing and dispatch.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:31:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  asked if GVEA  was in favor  of formation                                                               
for the Railbelt Utility board.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS  said that he had  just read the proposal,  and that he                                                               
was not in a position to respond.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  stated  that  it was  obvious  for  what                                                               
needed to happen and questioned  if it was possible to coordinate                                                               
this without an oversight Railbelt utility board.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS offered  his belief  that the  utilities needed  to be                                                               
working through  the issues together  and that the  proposed bill                                                               
was aspirational legislation  that should be looked  at to better                                                               
understand how to internally address  the issues.  He assured the                                                               
committee  that the  GVEA management  would review  the proposal,                                                               
and  that  it  would  be discussed  at  the  Railbelt  management                                                               
meetings.  He said that, although  many wanted to pass edicts for                                                               
a  specific  direction,  this  action  could  result  in  a  more                                                               
troubling solution  than what was  being sought.  He  added that,                                                               
although  the proposed  bill  provided  aspirational aspects  for                                                               
what  the utilities  ought  to be  thinking  about, he  expressed                                                               
concern for  another body  that forced an  issue which  should be                                                               
accomplished through dialogue.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR.  BURNS, in  response  to  Representative Johnson,  reiterated                                                               
that he had not "had time to digest it."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:34:52 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WOOL  relayed that this was  an issue that had  been around                                                               
for a while.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked if the video showed a connection                                                                  
between Copper Valley and MEA.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. BURNS said that he would review the video.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON stated that it showed it as part of a                                                                   
northern intertie.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:37:19 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Energy meeting was adjourned at 11:37 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HouseEnergyCmte 3-6-18 GVEA.pdf HENE 3/6/2018 10:15:00 AM