Legislature(2009 - 2010)BUTROVICH 205

03/26/2009 11:00 AM Senate ENERGY

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             SB 150-EMERGING ENERGY TECHNOLOGY FUND                                                                         
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SB 150.                                                                            
11:20:49 AM                                                                                                                   
TREVOR FULTON, Staff to Senator McGuire, introduced SB 150 and                                                                  
read the following into the record:                                                                                             
     Alaska has great potential to  become a world leader in                                                                    
     researching and developing  new energy technologies. We                                                                    
     have  a  unique   combination  of  remote  communities,                                                                    
     abundant energy resources -  both renewable and fossil-                                                                    
     based  -   and  a  stable  and   attractive  investment                                                                    
     environment.  SB 150  would  complete  that picture  by                                                                    
     creating a  mechanism for the  funding of  new research                                                                    
     and development (R&D) energy technology projects.                                                                          
     SB 150 establishes the  emerging energy technology fund                                                                    
     (EETF), which  would distribute  R&D funding  through a                                                                    
     competitive  grant program  aimed  at funding  projects                                                                    
     designed to research and  test new energy technologies.                                                                    
     The  fund would  be administered  by the  Alaska Center                                                                    
     for Energy  and Power (ACEP).  ACEP is a  University of                                                                    
     Alaska agency whose mission is  to meet state, industry                                                                    
     and  federal  demand  for applied  energy  research  in                                                                    
     order  to lower  the cost  of energy  throughout Alaska                                                                    
     and develop  economic opportunities for the  state, its                                                                    
     residents and its industries.                                                                                              
     The timing  for the creation  a state energy  fund like                                                                    
     the one created  by SB 150 is more  critical than ever.                                                                    
     The federal  government has committed over  $13 billion                                                                    
     to  renewable energy  research and  development through                                                                    
     the   American  Reinvestment   and  Recovery   Act  and                                                                    
     President   Obama   has   vowed  to   make   renewable,                                                                    
     alternative  and  clean  energy technology  a  top  and                                                                    
     continued  priority for  his administration.  In recent                                                                    
     years the Department of Energy  has offered millions in                                                                    
     federal  grants  that  typically   require  a  mere  20                                                                    
     percent cost share at the  state level. Every dollar of                                                                    
     state funding  invested in the  EETF could  generate up                                                                    
     to an additional four dollars in federal funding.                                                                          
     Alaska  has   the  available  natural   resources,  the                                                                    
     financial means  and the political  spirit to  become a                                                                    
     national   and  global   leader   in  researching   and                                                                    
     developing new energy technologies.  SB 150 creates the                                                                    
     funding  mechanism that  will help  us to  achieve that                                                                    
11:23:24 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR MCGUIRE said  she has been asked if the  spirit of the bill                                                               
came from the former Alaska  Science and Technology Fund. In part                                                               
it did, but  the idea here is to focus  on alternative energy and                                                               
establish a structure  so the fund is  managed appropriately. She                                                               
asked Mr.  Fulton to discuss  what the committee  substitute (CS)                                                               
MR. FULTON explained that the CS  makes two changes. The first is                                                               
to add a  five-member advisory committee that will  carry out the                                                               
business   of   soliciting,   reviewing   and   selecting   grant                                                               
applications. This  creates another  level of  separation between                                                               
the  agency  that   would  administer  the  fund   and  the  fund                                                               
recipients.  University members  would  not be  appointed to  the                                                               
board. He noted  that there had been concern  with the university                                                               
serving as  the oversight agency  because they likely would  be a                                                               
grant applicant or partner with  others to apply for funding. The                                                               
language  that  was used  is  loosely  modeled on  the  Renewable                                                               
Energy Fund  language and  is a common  model for  grant programs                                                               
managed at  universities nationwide.  It allows  a wide  range of                                                               
stakeholder voices  in the selection  process. The  second change                                                               
expands  the  definition  of   "eligible  applicant"  to  include                                                               
nonprofits as well as public and private sector entities.                                                                       
CHAIR MCGUIRE  asked him to  talk about the  educational criteria                                                               
for becoming a board member.                                                                                                    
MR. FULTON  explained that the  sponsor wanted to make  sure that                                                               
the board  members have the appropriate  scientific expertise and                                                               
background. The bill  requires that each member  of the committee                                                               
have a  degree in science or  engineering and at least  two years                                                               
experience working in Alaska.                                                                                                   
11:27:53 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if a private  company like ExxonMobil                                                               
could apply for and receive a grant under the bill.                                                                             
MR. FULTON  said he  doesn't see  any reason  why a  company like                                                               
that would be excluded.                                                                                                         
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if  the bill  specifies the  means by                                                               
which the board will evaluate the proposals.                                                                                    
MR.  FULTON  replied  it  would  be  at  the  discretion  of  the                                                               
administering body, which  would be the Alaska  Center for Energy                                                               
and Power (ACEP).                                                                                                               
CHAIR  MCGUIRE said  the  idea is  for the  board  to decide  how                                                               
criteria would  be weighted. Chris  Rose is available  online and                                                               
can talk  about some of the  standards and there is  a handout in                                                               
the packet from ACEP, she said.                                                                                                 
11:30:05 AM                                                                                                                   
LARRY  PERSILY, Aide  to the  House Finance  Committee, said  his                                                               
experience in following  energy issues leads him  to believe that                                                               
alternative energy  and emerging  technologies will be  the issue                                                               
du  jour for  several years.  There  is a  significant amount  of                                                               
money in  the stimulus bill  and there will be  significant funds                                                               
in  federal budgets  for  years to  come  for energy  technology,                                                               
alternative energies and new research  that will help the country                                                               
reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.  The state would not want to                                                               
lose out  on a research grant  for lack of a  qualified applicant                                                               
or a mechanism  to do it. The question for  the Legislature is if                                                               
there is  a way to  improve the state's  odds of getting  some of                                                               
those grants.                                                                                                                   
11:32:13 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI asked  if the state having  a fund available                                                               
improves the odds of getting funds.                                                                                             
MR. PERSILY  said it's not  so much  having the fund  itself, but                                                               
having enough  people with the  skills, knowledge,  and expertise                                                               
to look for opportunities.                                                                                                      
SENATOR   WIELECHOWSKI   asked   if  he   envisions   this   fund                                                               
establishing  a position  for  someone  to go  out  and look  for                                                               
alternative energy or emerging technology grants.                                                                               
MR.  PERSILY replied  he hasn't  thought  to that  detail. He  is                                                               
looking  at whether  there  are federal  dollars  or programs  in                                                               
years to come  that the state has  a chance at and  would want to                                                               
make  a considered  effort to  go after.  It could  be funding  a                                                               
position or staff  or board members who serve  for honorarium. It                                                               
might not  be an employee, but  you need to have  somebody who is                                                               
paying attention, he said.                                                                                                      
11:34:15 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  MCGUIRE said  the  idea  was to  put  the  fund under  the                                                               
authority  and management  of the  Alaska Center  for Energy  and                                                               
Power because  it has an  administrative construct in  place, but                                                               
it will be interesting to see  how the board evolves. Her hope is                                                               
that  this will  draw  attention from  venture capital  companies                                                               
that might be looking for incentives  to locate in Alaska. It was                                                               
purposefully not  funded; it's a shell  and an idea. In  her view                                                               
it was  shortsighted to  remove the  statutory language  from the                                                               
Science and Technology Fund.                                                                                                    
11:36:01 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS ROSE,  Executive Director, Renewable Energy  Alaska Project                                                               
(REAP), said REAP is a coalition  of more than 60 urban and rural                                                               
electric  utilities,  businesses, conservation  groups,  consumer                                                               
groups,  and  Alaska Native  organizations  with  an interest  in                                                               
developing  Alaska's   renewable  energy  resources.   State  and                                                               
federal  agencies  contribute  in   an  advisory  capacity.  REAP                                                               
supports  SB 150  and  feels it  is a  niche  in Alaska's  energy                                                               
portfolio and policy that is much needed.                                                                                       
Currently the  renewable energy  grant fund  uses state  money to                                                               
fund commercial  and mature technology  projects, but there  is a                                                               
huge  need  to  do  research and  development  and  demonstration                                                               
projects because Alaska has some  of the highest utility rates in                                                               
the nation.  At the same  time the  state has many  renewable and                                                               
fossil resources  that could be  developed, but  the technologies                                                               
for  development aren't  yet commercial.  For example,  tidal and                                                               
wave power  hold tremendous opportunity for  coastal villages and                                                               
communities statewide,  but the technology isn't  yet mainstream.                                                               
Battery  storage  is  another   huge  opportunity.  Alaska  could                                                               
develop the  technology for use in  the state and for  export. In                                                               
fact,  a lot  of the  technologies  that could  be developed  for                                                               
Alaskans  could  be technology  and  expertise  that is  exported                                                               
around  the  world. An  advantage  to  demonstrating projects  in                                                               
Alaska is  that it also saves  money for the people  in the state                                                               
who  are  using that  technology.  For  example,  a 45  cent  per                                                               
kilowatt hour tidal  project wouldn't be much help  to anybody in                                                               
the Lower 48, but  it would be very helpful to  a village that is                                                               
using diesel power to generate electricity.                                                                                     
MR.  ROSE  said there  is  also  a  huge opportunity  to  attract                                                               
federal money  as more comes  available for R&D in  renewable and                                                               
alternative energy. A  program such as the one created  by SB 150                                                               
is necessary  to get in  line and  apply for funding.  The Alaska                                                               
Center  for Energy  and Power  is well  suited and  positioned to                                                               
administer this program and the  proposed advisory committee is a                                                               
way to  insulate the  university from  any potential  conflict of                                                               
interest.  This simply  creates the  shell to  attract state  and                                                               
federal money to help Alaska and Alaskans, he said.                                                                             
11:40:40 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  MCGUIRE thanked  Mr. Rose  for  his help  in getting  this                                                               
concept off the ground.                                                                                                         
DENALI DANIELS,  representing the  Denali Commission,  noted that                                                               
yesterday she  sent a letter that  was signed by the  federal co-                                                               
chair.   She  explained   that  the   Denali  Commission   is  an                                                               
independent  federal   agency  with  seven   commissioners.  Each                                                               
program area operates under the  advisory committee structure and                                                               
each  committee  makes   recommendations  about  policy,  project                                                               
selection and funding determinations.                                                                                           
The energy program is the  Denali Commission's legacy program. In                                                               
1998  the commission's  original  intent was  to bring  deficient                                                               
bulk fuel facilities  into EPA compliance. Today the  focus is on                                                               
bulk  fuel,  power  plant   upgrades  and  alternative  renewable                                                               
energy.  The  energy advisory  committee  has  been developing  a                                                               
strategy for  funding alternative renewable programs  and roughly                                                               
$10  million  is  currently  available.   Part  of  the  strategy                                                               
includes emerging  technologies. The commission  has historically                                                               
been involved  in pilot projects  including the  Chena geothermal                                                               
project, a hydrokinetic project in  Eagle, and the Alaska Village                                                               
Electric  Cooperative Inc.  (AVEC)  high  voltage direct  current                                                               
feasibility  project.   All  of   these  projects   have  created                                                               
efficiencies  and have  further developed  technologies. At  some                                                               
point they  can become eligible  for the renewable fund  that the                                                               
state funded this last year.                                                                                                    
11:43:45 AM                                                                                                                   
MS.  DANIELS   said  this  initiative  is   consistent  with  the                                                               
commission's vision  that emerging technology is  instrumental in                                                               
the  overall  continuum for  energy  development  in Alaska.  The                                                               
commission  has been  in active  dialog with  ACEP, REAP  and the                                                               
national renewable laboratory (NREL)  to develop a partnership to                                                               
fund emerging technologies. Hopefully  some stimulus funding will                                                               
be included.                                                                                                                    
The Denali  Commission held  its quarterly  meeting last  week in                                                               
Juneau and  they heard a  great deal of positive  testimony about                                                               
the commission's  efforts to support emerging  technology. SB 150                                                               
was mentioned frequently. From our  perspective, it's our role to                                                               
help to  leverage resources  and we  hope to have  a seat  at the                                                               
table as SB 150 moves forward, she said.                                                                                        
11:45:55 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said the  Denali Commission will  be added  to the                                                               
list of resources.                                                                                                              
PAT  PITNEY, Vice  Chancellor,  University  of Alaska  Fairbanks,                                                               
said she is  with the UAF administration, but she  is speaking on                                                               
behalf of Gwen Holdmann who is  with the Alaska Center for Energy                                                               
and Power. She  is attending an energy conference  in London. Ms.                                                               
Pitney described the fund as an  essential piece for the state to                                                               
focus  research on  things that  will  be of  benefit in  Alaska.                                                               
Energy  funds are  available  and will  be  used nationwide,  but                                                               
Alaska will be  better off to the degree that  it can apply those                                                               
funds to problems in Alaska.                                                                                                    
MS. PITNEY said  it makes no difference to the  university if the                                                               
fund is managed by ACEP, AEA,  or the Denali Commission. There is                                                               
a level of expertise with the  Alaska Center for Energy and Power                                                               
that makes it a reasonable  choice for selection and the advisory                                                               
committee is essential. But what  this does is strengthen the tie                                                               
between  the  university  research  and the  application  of  the                                                               
technology  in society.  The  key  points are  that  the fund  is                                                               
essential  and although  the university  would do  a good  job as                                                               
manager, it isn't essential. "We  are 100 percent behind the idea                                                               
of the  fund and the essentialness  of the fund to  attract those                                                               
federal dollars to put towards Alaska's problems," she said.                                                                    
11:48:51 AM                                                                                                                   
BILL LEIGHTY said he is a 37  year resident of Juneau and a small                                                               
business  owner.  Alaska  Applied  Sciences  Inc.  owns  14  wind                                                               
machines in Palm  Springs that he maintains. He  also does energy                                                               
consulting. The  last 8 years he  has spent most of  his time pro                                                               
bono  as  a  director  of  the  Leighty  Foundation  co-authoring                                                               
research  papers  on  the problem  of  transmission  and  firming                                                               
storage for stranded renewable energy.  The foundation also funds                                                               
nonprofit organizations to do energy policy research.                                                                           
MR.  LEIGHTY  noted that  earlier  in  the  week he  emailed  all                                                               
legislators a paper  he will present on March 31  at the National                                                               
Hydrogen  Association  annual  meeting.   The  title  is  "Alaska                                                               
Village Survival:  Affordable Energy Independence  via Renewables                                                               
Firmed  via Hydrogen  Storage in  Liquid Anhydrous  Ammonia." The                                                               
essence  of   the  research  that's   promoted  is   that  energy                                                               
independence for villages  requires annual-scale firming storage.                                                               
He  told the  committee that  last week  he testified  before the                                                               
Denali Commission  to suggest that  they place $5 million  of the                                                               
$10 million  that is available  for renewable energy in  this new                                                               
emerging energy technology fund should it become law.                                                                           
MR. LEIGHTY provided  an example of a project.  He explained that                                                               
pro  bono he  helped write  a  grant application  for AEL&P,  the                                                               
local electric utility,  under HB 152. [25   Legislature - An Act                                                               
establishing a  renewable energy  grant fund.] It  wasn't funded,                                                               
primarily because  it was too  much an (R&D) project  and perhaps                                                               
people didn't understand that it  had village application. But it                                                               
is a  good match for  SB 150 and it  is shovel-ready in  that the                                                               
application has  already been written,  he said. That  project is                                                               
referenced in  the research paper because  it emphasizes storage.                                                               
It's an R&D  project and demonstration project  that would happen                                                               
at AEL&P because you want to  do a research project close to good                                                               
support and  in a  major city  before it's  propagated out  to an                                                               
Alaska village. He noted that  he recently emailed some suggested                                                               
modifications to the bill.                                                                                                      
MR.  LEIGHTY agreed  with  Mr. Rose  that  Alaska has  particular                                                               
needs  and  opportunities. Some  of  those  opportunities can  be                                                               
pioneered  here  in  Alaska  and  may  have  U.S.  and  worldwide                                                               
application so it's important to pass  SB 150 to create the fund.                                                               
"I  recommend  that you  move  this  out  of committee  and  that                                                               
somewhere  in the  Legislature it  receive an  appropriation," he                                                               
CHAIR MCGUIRE  said she  looks forward to  reading his  paper and                                                               
he's invited to visit her office to discuss it.                                                                                 
11:52:08 AM                                                                                                                   
GREG BROWN, representing  himself, said he was  the president and                                                               
CEO  of  Schneider Electric  in  Canada  and Latin  America,  the                                                               
largest    electrical   distribution    and   control    products                                                               
manufacturer in the world. He is  also a former president and CEO                                                               
of the  company that makes  Zantrex inverters. Although  he's now                                                               
retired  and  living in  Juneau,  he  is  doing work  in  Ontario                                                               
Canada.  That   province  probably   has  the   most  progressive                                                               
alternative energy  program in the Northern  Hemisphere, he said.                                                               
Their Legislature set up the  renewable energy standard operating                                                               
program to  attract outside money to  develop alternative energy.                                                               
He is  working for Silicon Solar  Inc. to do a  30 megawatt solar                                                               
project there.  Another project he's  working on is  called plug-                                                               
and-play  and it  could  supply 100  kilowatts  to remote  Alaska                                                               
villages. Standard components are used  to hook up to wind power,                                                               
solar, tidal or  anything that generates power and  then it's run                                                               
through an inverter.                                                                                                            
MR. BROWN said  that about six months ago he  gave an alternative                                                               
energy presentation and in that  presentation his company offered                                                               
to give the University of Alaska  a cutting edge wind machine. In                                                               
return  they wanted  information. The  machine is  in route  from                                                               
Spain and will  likely end up in his garage  since the university                                                               
recently  told  him that  they  probably  won't be  accepting  it                                                               
because of  funding problems. This  is a concern because  this is                                                               
an opportunity to  work with a seasoned company to  use a cutting                                                               
edge product, he said.                                                                                                          
11:55:07 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  BROWN said  he  is also  working on  a  biomass facility  on                                                               
Prince of  Wales Island  using pellets.  The raw  materials would                                                               
come  from  thinning  the  forest and  sawdust  from  the  mills.                                                               
They've  also experimented  with  using 5  percent cardboard  and                                                               
mixed paper.  This project  would employ  about 20  people, solve                                                               
recycling issues and provide heat. He  described SB 150 as a good                                                               
first step  in making Alaska a  technology state and a  leader in                                                               
the industry.                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  MCGUIRE  commented that  if  nothing  else this  bill  has                                                               
brought out some very interesting people.                                                                                       
11:57:01 AM                                                                                                                   
KIRK  HARDCASTLE,  Taku  River  Reds, said  he  is  a  commercial                                                               
fisherman  in Southeast  and he  has identified  fish waste  as a                                                               
tremendous renewable resource. In Juneau  alone between 12 and 15                                                               
million  pounds  of  fish  waste  goes  into  the  water.  He  is                                                               
currently working  with the  Alaska Energy  Authority (AEA)  on a                                                               
feasibility study to  recover up to 100,000  gallons of biodiesel                                                               
from fish  waste. Primarily it will  be used for heating,  but it                                                               
might have  power application as well.  He would like to  be able                                                               
to venture to find sources for the product.                                                                                     
MR. HARDCASTLE said when he  visited Finland he learned that some                                                               
older  communities that  were no  longer economically  viable had                                                               
started to venture into emerging  technologies. Right now Finland                                                               
is  one of  the  few nations  putting  positive investments  into                                                               
alternative  energies and  emerging energy  technologies. It  has                                                               
the only commercialized fish waste  to biodiesel production plant                                                               
in  existence. Most  places, like  Dutch Harbor,  use fish  waste                                                               
only as  an in-house  supplement. What  was more  impressive than                                                               
the  Finnish   technology  was  their  ability   to  redevelop  a                                                               
workforce.  They created  vocational  tech schools  and spun  the                                                               
graduates out  to business tech schools  and research technology.                                                               
Right now  they are  exporting emerging  technology ideas  to the                                                               
rest  of the  world. There  are a  lot of  analogies for  Alaska.                                                               
Finland leveraged  innovation and  Alaska can  do that  with this                                                               
bill.  Also,  SB  150  will help  his  small  alternative  energy                                                               
business cross the tipping point into the commercial realm.                                                                     
12:01:28 PM                                                                                                                   
DOUGLAS JOHNSON, Alaska Projects  Director, Ocean Renewable Power                                                               
Company LLC.  (ORPC), Anchorage, said  he is pleased to  speak in                                                               
support  of  SB 150  because  it's  just  what Alaska  needs.  He                                                               
explained  that ORPC  is  currently  developing two  hydrokinetic                                                               
projects in  Alaska: the  Cook Inlet Tidal  Power project,  and a                                                               
river project on  the Tanana and Nenana. ORPC was  started on the                                                               
east  coast   and  has  received   financial  support   from  the                                                               
technology funds established in  Massachusetts and Maine, both of                                                               
which  are similar  to the  fund created  by SB  150. This  is an                                                               
opportunity but  it will take  work to develop  that opportunity,                                                               
he said.                                                                                                                        
MR. JOHNSON said he has worked  with the Alaska Center for Energy                                                               
and  Power and  feels it  is a  credible and  professional agency                                                               
that will do a  good job administering the fund if  it is set up.                                                               
Alaska is one  of the few places  in the world that  has the full                                                               
sweet of renewables.  There is tremendous potential  here and the                                                               
biggest challenge is  transmission and storage. He  noted that as                                                               
a  company ORPC  is  up against  some  technology challenges  and                                                               
would  like to  work  cooperatively with  the  university in  R&D                                                               
efforts to  optimize their  technology and  be more  effective in                                                               
the work they are doing in Cook Inlet and Nenana.                                                                               
MR.  JOHNSON  said he  is  speaking  directly  to ocean  &  river                                                               
technologies,  but there  is  also  opportunity in  transmission,                                                               
storage,  biomass  to combine  heat  and  power, low  temperature                                                               
geothermal, and wind turbine optimization.  There's a lot of work                                                               
to do  but without  an emerging energy  technology fund,  it more                                                               
than  likely won't  happen, he  said.  It is  happening in  other                                                               
states and Alaska needs to get on the bandwagon.                                                                                
12:05:30 PM                                                                                                                   
KATE  TROLL,  Executive  Director, Alaska  Conservation  Alliance                                                               
(ACA), said she also serves on  the board of the Renewable Energy                                                               
Alaska Project.  She highlighted  that clean energy  is estimated                                                               
to be a $55 billion business and  is recognized as one of the few                                                               
bright  spots in  the world  economy. Because  Alaska has  world-                                                               
class resources it is incumbent upon  the state to be a leader in                                                               
renewable energy. She said she  is particularly excited about the                                                               
development  of  hybrid systems  for  distribution  of energy  in                                                               
rural  Alaska. The  220 villages  provide  a natural  laboratory.                                                               
This is  something the world  will need  with the over  2 billion                                                               
people in the developing world  looking for levels of energy. The                                                               
projects are  exciting and it's  exciting that they will  in turn                                                               
create jobs in rural Alaska where they are very much needed.                                                                    
MS. TROLL  stressed the importance  of leveraging  federal funds.                                                               
Mr. Persily  spoke of  federal funds that  may be  available from                                                               
the  federal   stimulus,  but  ACA  anticipates   there  will  be                                                               
additional funds  as Congress considers climate  change and other                                                               
energy-related legislation. Clearly it's  a smart move for Alaska                                                               
to have the  fund in place. She said she  understands that the CS                                                               
expands the eligible applicant pool  to include private companies                                                               
and it  adds the  advisory council.  She supports  those efforts.                                                               
She thanked  the Legislature for  establishing the fund  and said                                                               
it's critical that Alaska continue to be an energy leader.                                                                      
12:08:13 PM                                                                                                                   
BRENDON BABB,  representing himself,  stated support for  SB 150.                                                               
He drew an analogy  between JFK working to put a  man on the moon                                                               
and harnessing  the moon  to help  man. There  is huge  amount of                                                               
tidal resource here  and it's the moon that  causes these amazing                                                               
tides that Alaska has, he  said. Tidal power, geothermal and wind                                                               
are tremendous resources  that Alaska enjoys, and  this fund will                                                               
allow for R&D  as well as demonstration projects  to harness that                                                               
energy and  benefit rural  villages. This  is an  opportunity for                                                               
Lower 48 companies  to collaborate to do  a demonstration project                                                               
and  be able  to  say that  they  are saving  money  for a  rural                                                               
village at the same time.                                                                                                       
A  lot  of  the  world  looks  like  rural  Alaska  in  terms  of                                                               
remoteness and  lack of electricity. People  want electricity and                                                               
they want  it yesterday so there  is a huge marketplace  in which                                                               
to  sell any  new technology.  Emerging energy  is a  $55 billion                                                               
industry  that is  expected to  quadruple  by 2015.  This is  the                                                               
modern day  race to  put a man  on the moon.  Sadly, the  U.S. is                                                               
behind in that race, but  the emerging energy technology fund and                                                               
Alaska's vast natural  resources can make this state  a leader in                                                               
the U.S. and the world. The timing is perfect.                                                                                  
CHAIR MCGUIRE said  the Legislature has spent a lot  of time this                                                               
session  talking   about  alternative  energy  as   a  method  of                                                               
sustaining reliable  energy and  testimony today points  out that                                                               
it also provides opportunity for the creation of jobs.                                                                          
12:10:59 PM                                                                                                                   
WAYNE WEIHING,  representing himself from Ketchikan,  said SB 150                                                               
provides  opportunity  for  Alaska's  future. It  will  help  the                                                               
workforce  and address  energy issues  in  small communities.  In                                                               
Southeast  small communities  like  Kake and  Angoon are  hurting                                                               
because  of  power  generation  costs.  Right  now  Ketchikan  is                                                               
running on  diesel power  rather than  hydro because  lake levels                                                               
aren't  replenishing  in the  cold  weather.  Instead of  running                                                               
diesels there  is the opportunity  to generate backup  power with                                                               
tidal,   he  said.   The  opportunities   are  exciting   and  he                                                               
appreciates the  forward thinking  of the  committee to  put this                                                               
fund in place.                                                                                                                  
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced she would hold SB 150 in committee.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Bill Packet for SB 150.pdf SENE 3/26/2009 11:00:00 AM
SENE 3/27/2009 11:00:00 AM
SB 150
Bill Packet for SB 136.pdf SENE 3/26/2009 11:00:00 AM
SB 136