Assembly is called on to seek seat at the table on electric utility sale

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Assembly Committee of the Whole conducts a work session Monday evening where it will discuss the proposed sale of Avista, the parent company of Alaska Electric Light and Power, to Hydro One of Toronto Canada.

    The question before the Assembly is if  it should intervene in the Regulatory Commission of Alaska proceedings on the proposal.
    That question was explored on Action Line Wednesday with two parties.

    Danielle Redmond is with Renewable Juneau.  "We think its really important that Juneau have a seat at the table during negotiation of this sale.  Right now A-E-L&P is owned by Avista and Avista's being swallowed up by Hydro One which is one of the largest utility companies in Canada.  So Avista isn't going away.  We're just adding a new layer of shareholders."

    Duff Mitchell is with Juneau Hydropower, the developer of the Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric dam.  "If you're not at the table, you get dog scraps, pretty simple."  He added that if only one side shows up at the RCA proceedings, it pretty much goes their way.  "So its kind of important for the CBJ to protect the public interest," he said.

    In the meantime, Mitchell says the Sweetheart Lake project is shovel ready.  He has all the necessary permits and easements.  All he needs to proceed is an inter connection agreement which he says is a non-discriminatory tariff with the utility in order to tap into the Snettisham Line to carry his power to town.   He talked to company officials when they were in town to seek a commitment for the agreement.  "They listened to me, but I didn't get the commitment."

    Both Mitchell and Redmond believe the Snettisham hydro project should remain in public ownership with the State of Alaska.

    Monday's Assembly work session is scheduled to convene at 5 p.m. in Assembly Chambers at City Hall.


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