Parnell signals support for large-scale hydro option

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Saturday, September 11, 2010:

Gov. Sean Parnell says that if Alaska is to meet the ambitious goal of getting half of its electricity from renewable sources some day, it will have to make a major commitment to big hydroelectric project, such as the Susitna project.

On a visit to Fairbanks today with running mate Mead Treadwell, Parnell said that he is putting a group together to see how a major hydro project could be financed. He said he wants to send a “strong signal” of his support of hydro power as a long-range option.

He also is looking for answers on ways to reduce the cost.

The Legislature and the governor approved $10 million earlier this year to update studies on Susitna and the proposed Chakachamna project.

The state now has an official policy that it will be getting 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2025, according to a law approved by the Legislature and governor earlier this year.

It may be impossible to reach that target in 15 years. It will be impossible unless decisions are made soon to get something underway.