Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

04/17/2016 10:00 AM House LABOR & COMMERCE

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
10:03:06 AM Start
10:03:22 AM SB193
10:11:41 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Continued from 4/16/16 Meeting --
Moved HCS CSSB 193(L&C) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
         SB 193-EXTEND EXEMPTION FOR SMALL POWER PLANTS                                                                     
10:03:22 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR OLSON  announced that the  only order of business  would be                                                               
CS FOR SENATE BILL NO.  193(L&C), "An Act extending the exemption                                                               
from  regulation  by  the Regulatory  Commission  of  Alaska  for                                                               
certain  facilities or  plants generating  energy from  renewable                                                               
energy resources."                                                                                                              
10:03:25 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR LESIL MCGUIRE, Alaska State  Legislature, speaking as the                                                               
sponsor,  explained  that CSSB  193(L&C)  is  an extension  of  a                                                               
policy  the legislature  put  in place  in 2010,  as  part of  an                                                               
energy package.   She  reminded the committee  that there  was an                                                               
effort to  expand and incentivize renewable  energy, particularly                                                               
in small communities that currently  depend on diesel fuel, which                                                               
is a  very high-priced commodity.   Senator McGuire  advised that                                                               
the proposed bill would extend  the sunset on an already existing                                                               
exemption  in  state  law  which allows  for  power  plants  that                                                               
generate  less than  65 megawatts  of electricity,  entirely from                                                               
renewable energy resources,  to be exempt from  regulation by the                                                               
Regulatory  Commission  of  Alaska  (RCA).   The  affected  power                                                               
plants had  to have been  placed into commercial operation  on or                                                               
after August 31,  2010, could not have received  any state grants                                                               
or  tax credits,  and have  to be  selling power  on a  wholesale                                                               
basis  to  regulated utilities,  which  distribute  the power  to                                                               
local  customers.   She  pointed  out  that distribution  through                                                               
regulated utilities  means that  RCA has  ensured that  the rates                                                               
are fair  and reasonable to  Alaskans.   She noted that  even the                                                               
federal government does not regulate  similar facilities under 80                                                               
megawatts,  and  that  Alaska  was  one  of  the  few  which  did                                                               
regulate.   Senator  McGuire  said extending  this  policy is  an                                                               
opportunity to  continue to incentivize  this source of  power by                                                               
reducing  government  regulation;  in fact,  the  current  budget                                                               
shortfall will  inspire more creative  ideas to help  the private                                                               
sector  by reducing  government  costs, as  opposed  to the  past                                                               
policy of funding state grants.                                                                                                 
10:06:18 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES moved  to adopt  Amendment 1,  labeled 29-                                                               
LS1513\H.1, Nauman, 4/15/16, which read:                                                                                        
     Page 1, line 10:                                                                                                           
          Delete "[, AND BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2016]"                                                                               
         Insert ", and before July 1, 2021 [JANUARY 1,                                                                      
CHAIR OLSON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                   
10:06:26 AM                                                                                                                   
JESSE  LOGAN,   Staff,  Senator   Lesil  McGuire,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, informed  the committee that Amendment  1 places the                                                               
sunset  extension  to   July  1,  2021,  which   is  a  five-year                                                               
extension.   He  stated that  the previous  sunset scheduled  for                                                               
January would have allowed for  "a few months of questionable de-                                                               
regulation."  Further, a five-year  sunset is a reasonable amount                                                               
of time  for the program to  continue, and to allow  for a review                                                               
by the legislature to ensure the programs are working properly.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES  expressed   her  understanding  that  the                                                               
Alaska Power Association (APA) sought  a sunset date of 2020, and                                                               
asked whether APA is in support of this new sunset date.                                                                        
MR.  LOGAN replied  that the  original sunset  date had  been for                                                               
2026, and  he directed attention  to a letter dated  2/29/16 from                                                               
APA included  in the committee  packet, in which APA  stated they                                                               
would not  oppose the bill.   He noted  that the sunset  date was                                                               
previously changed  by another committee;  however, "To  the best                                                               
of my knowledge, 2021 is satisfactory to them," he said.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE KITO surmised that  the original authorization had                                                               
been from 2010 to 2016.                                                                                                         
MR. LOGAN said correct.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE KITO  observed this is  a similar amount  of time,                                                               
and there have not been any issues in that regard.                                                                              
MR. LOGAN said correct.                                                                                                         
10:08:15 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  OLSON  removed his  objection.    There being  no  further                                                               
objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
10:08:28 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR OLSON opened  public testimony.  After  ascertaining no one                                                               
wished to testify, public testimony was closed.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES asked  whether  there has  been growth  in                                                               
small power plants since the original period of 2010 to 2016.                                                                   
SENATOR MCGUIRE  reported that  Fire Island  Wind and  Delta Wind                                                               
Farm are  power plants  that have come  online during  that time,                                                               
although  there are  many  others underway.    She reported  that                                                               
there is a lot of interest,  and she has been asked whether there                                                               
was any  consideration of expansion  beyond the  current megawatt                                                               
limitation,  although   currently  there  appeared  to   be  some                                                               
discomfort  with this.   Senator  McGuire explained  that "nobody                                                               
wants to be regulated by the  RCA," although RCA seeks to shorten                                                               
its response  time.   She opined sometimes  the interests  of the                                                               
consumer are  met by RCA,  and sometimes not.   Her hope  is that                                                               
there will  be more independent  renewable power plants  to lower                                                               
electricity costs for consumers.                                                                                                
10:11:14 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  HUGHES moved  to report  [CSSB 193(L&C),  Version                                                               
29-LS1513\H],  as  amended,  out  of  committee  with  individual                                                               
recommendations and  the accompanying fiscal notes.   There being                                                               
no objection,  HCS CSSB  193(L&C) was reported  out of  the House                                                               
Labor and Commerce Standing Committee.                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB193 ver H.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Fiscal Note-DCCED-RCA-03-11-16.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Summary of Changes Ver A to Ver H.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Draft Proposed Amendment ver H.1.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Supporting Document-Letter FRE 4-4-16.PDF HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Supporting Documents Letter CIRI Response to APA letter 3-19-10.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Supporting Documents-Leg Research Report on Regulation SB277 3-5-10.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB 277
SB193 Supporting Document-Letter AIPPA 3-4-16.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Supporting Document-Letter APA 2-29-16.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Supporting Document-Letter APT LOS 3-11-16.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Supporting Document-Letter CIRI 3-4-16.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193
SB193 Opposing Document- Letter APA 4-11-16.pdf HL&C 4/17/2016 10:00:00 AM
SB 193