Resource Development Council

RDC Comment Letter:
Fire Island Wind Farm Purchase Agreement

July 21, 2011

Regulatory Commission of Alaska
701 W. 8th Avenue, Suite 300
Anchorage, AK 99501-3496

Re: Fire Island Wind Farm Purchase Agreement

To Whom It May Concern:

The Resource Development Council (RDC) is writing to support the proposed power purchase agreement between Cook Inlet Region, Inc., (CIRI) and Chugach Electric Association. RDC urges the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to approve the agreement.

RDC is a statewide membership-funded organization founded in 1975. Our Alaskan membership is comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, timber, tourism, and fisheries industries, as well as Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to link these diverse interests together to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

RDC supports private investment in energy infrastructure such as CIRI’s Fire Island Wind Project. Such investment is necessary and an important piece of our local energy puzzle going forward. Moreover, the development of renewable energy resources, such as the wind resource at Fire Island, is complimentary to and ultimately supportive of conventional oil and gas development. Further, the CIRI wind project will help provided needed diversification to Southcentral Alaska’s energy portfolio.

Although the cost of wind-generated energy from Fire Island may be slightly higher than other sources of energy in the short term, the long-term benefits and costs will benefit the local economy and consumers. Under the purchase power agreement, the cost of energy from Fire Island will be stable over a 25-year period, which we view as a favorable factor.

CIRI needs to start construction on the project by October to qualify for federal and state grants that are critical to the development and cost of the project. Therefore, RDC urges the Regulatory Commission of Alaska to expeditiously approve the agreement.

Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.