We appreciate having a public discussion of the electric service needs and goals for the City and Borough of Juneau and thank the authors of two recent My Turns in the Empire highlighting this discussion. Juneau Hydropower has a board resolution fully supporting the Juneau Climate Action Plan and the Juneau Renewable Energy Strategy.
We agree very strongly that our energy security and delivering clean, low-cost power is a public interest that impacts our community in a big way. We agree with community input and open discussion into planning. We are a community that benefits from the investment in clean hydropower made years ago by the Federal Government and that without that investment we would be paying much more for power today. Hydropower investment returns long-term benefits and insures lower-cost clean energy into the future. Now, is the time to increase our conversions to lower cost and local sustainable power for heating, transportation and industry in Juneau, and to do so we must now increase our hydropower generation capacity. The community and our next generation need this local investment to keep Juneau a strong and vibrant place to live and work. Now is the time to put people to work constructing the facilities to increase sustainable energy production for Juneau.
For the past 10 years, Juneau Hydropower has invested in planning district heating and in licensing the Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric facilities to add nearly 20% more energy capacity to Juneau with private money and is ready to construct with AEL&P’s help in connecting to the Juneau power system. This investment reduces the cost and risk to the citizens and AEL&P shareholders while growing the supply of available energy to Juneau. Juneau Hydropower supports the energy goals of City and Borough of Juneau to lead the way to clean lower-cost energy reducing the hydrocarbon use in our community. Good for business, good for government, good for all, let’s start to build now. We are ready to participate in a constructive dialogue.
• Kriss Hart is president for Juneau Hydropower Inc. Hart is also president of Wester Marine Construction and resides in Tenakee.