“[Alaska] ï»¿Governor Sarah Palin today introduced legislation designed to change the way Railbelt electric utilities plan for, pay for, and manage the generation and transmission assets that deliver power to residents from Delta Junction to Homer” (Railbelt, 2009, Â¶1).
The Railbelt is any land through which the Alaska Railroad runs. Currently, the area is served by numerous utilities, each heading in its own direction in addressing electricity generation, transmission and distribution, resulting in higher energy costs (Railbelt, 2009, Â¶2).
The legislation Governor Palin introduced would consolidate the generation and transmission assets of the six utilities serving the region, resulting in a $40 million annual savings to consumers (Railbelt, 2009, Â¶3). “ï»¿The legislation has been developed following the completion of a regional study of options for structuring the utilities. The Railbelt Energy Grid Authority (REGA) study relied on an advisory committee comprised of dozens of Alaskans as well as the input of the utilities themselves” (Railbelt, 2009, Â¶3).
The legislation, if adopted by the Legislature, would establish the Greater Railbelt Energy and Transmission Corporation (GRETC) made up of representatives from the member owned and municipal utilities in the Greater Railbelt region. The corporate structure and mission: to provide safe, reliable, and sustainable electric power to the Greater Railbelt electric utilities at the lowest feasible long-term cost. Each of the six utilities will have two seats on the board, with one public member appointed by the Governor (Railbelt, 2009, Â¶4).
ï»¿Ultimately, a single system-wide rate will allow the corporation to focus generation placement at the most efficient locations. Generating power at its most efficient location will require reliable and robust transmission capacity throughout the region. Each of the six utilities will need an individualized transition plan to transfer their assets to the GRETC. They will also need individualized plans to begin purchasing power from the regional organization. Any new infrastructure is expected to be built by the GRETC (Railbelt, 2009, Â¶5).
ï»¿The utilities will have until July of next year to determine whether or not they want to commit to the regional organization. If they choose to opt out, they lose their two seats on the corporation’s board of directors. Utilities that opt in will jointly assume generation and transmission assets currently owned by the Alaska Energy Authority (Railbelt, 2009, Â¶7).
The introduction of this legislation is a major executive experience accomplishment for Governor Palin. Succinctly, the legislation will consolidate the six utilities that serve a region of land touched by the Alaska Railroad resulting in a single, cheaper electricity rate for consumers.
Governor Palin’s energy expertise is on clear display, but also we see her methodology of government and private sector partnerships and joint ventures at work. This methodology recognizes that government cannot be the solution to every problem; simultaneously, it also recognizes that the private sector also does not have all the answers. Her methodology regarding the government and private sector is based neither strictly on conservative nor liberal ideology. Rather, it is rooted in problem-solving .
We see that Governor Palin consistently lives the words, “working with a servant’s heart.” She is working towards real solutions to real problems. Governor Palin is providing the voltage to keep the Railbelt electrified at a fair cost.
[Alaska] House GRETC Bill. State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/pdf/0041_GRETC-Bill-(House).pdf
ï»¿Legislation for assets of Railbelt utilities
to be restructured was introduced today. (2009, March 6). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 5, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1692
[Alaska] Senate GRETC Bill. State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/pdf/004_GRETC-Bill-(Senate).pdf