Recently Kate Troll submitted a My Turn that contained misleading information, and I would like to take this opportunity to offer some clarifications.
We understand and share Troll’s commitment to Juneau’s energy future. AEL&P has been planning and providing for Juneau’s energy needs since 1893, and we will continue to do so. We are proud that one of our corporate goals is to provide renewable energy to our community.
During development of the Juneau Renewable Energy Strategy, two AEL&P representatives actively participated in the process, with one AEL&P employee holding a seat on the Juneau Commission on Sustainability at the time.
AEL&P then spearheaded the involvement of local groups and individuals to explore, with the help of the Rocky Mountain Institute, how to meet several of the JRES goals.
These efforts by AEL&P have helped to increase adoption of both heat pumps and electric vehicles in Juneau, and the reality is that, even with these changes, AEL&P can meet firm customer demand for many years to come.
The addition of heat pumps and EVs has been offset by efficient appliances, LED lighting and other conservation measures. In fact, firm electric sales in 2018, 2019 and 2020 were all lower than in 2017. Should this situation change, AEL&P can and will be ready to meet the needs of the community.
AEL&P prioritizes affordable renewable energy. And we know from our years of experience that if we build or purchase capacity before it is needed, that will increase the price of electricity without providing additional benefit.
AEL&P has worked with Juneau Hydropower Inc. on interconnection agreements related to their proposed hydropower project. Our focus remains on ensuring JHI’s project can interconnect safely and reliably, and that it will not negatively impact customer rates.
We look forward to continuing the conversation about Juneau’s energy future. One upcoming opportunity to learn more about AEL&P’s activities will be in June — unbeknownst to Troll, AEL&P had last month scheduled to present an energy update to the CBJ Assembly Committee of the Whole on June 7.
AEL&P works hard to prepare for what the future will bring. When the time comes to secure additional energy resources, we will be ready to meet the needs of the community, just as we have for more than 125 years.
• Connie Hulbert is a Juneau resident and is president and general manager of AEL&P.