Alaska pushes for geothermal, exempts renewables from regulation

Alaska passed legislation yesterday designed to make geothermal power projects in the state more economically viable and support the production of more electric power from geothermal sources. The legislation supports safe exploration of Alaska’s geothermal energy resources and moves the permit process from the Department of Natural Resources to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.

The bill will also cut the royalties derived from geothermal leases on state land from 10-15% of gross revenue to 1.75% gross revenue for the first 10 years increasing to 3.5% after ten years have passed.

In addition, the Governor signed a separate bill that would exempt facilities that generate electricity entirely from renewable energy resources from regulations currently governing energy production in the state. The exemption is said to be aimed at the Fire Island Wind Project being developed by CIRI.

“This legislation makes geothermal power projects economically viable and therefore more likely to produce more affordable and reliable electric power for homes and businesses,” Governor Parnell said.

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