ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE
JOINT PRESS RELEASE
Aurora Energy project is part of broader efforts to improve harmful emissions
FAIRBANKS – A company that provides electricity and heat to thousands of Interior Alaska residents recently finalized plans to construct a wood kiln that will significantly reduce PM2.5 pollution by providing a large source of dry wood for home heating.
Aurora Energy Solutions LLC, a new company owned by Usibelli Investments, which also owns the cogeneration coal plant in Downtown Fairbanks, has acquired Superior Pellet Fuels. The company is investing in upgrades that will direct district heat to the operation of a state-of-the-art wood kiln that reduces the burning of wet, unseasoned wood – a major cause of harmful emissions in the region.
The wood kiln project is among broader efforts to improve local air quality and follows the passage of House Bill 232. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Grier Hopkins (D-Fairbanks), enables local governments across the state to create and utilize property tax credits to improve efficiency and local air quality.
Members of the House of Representatives who represent Interior Alaska released the following statements on this development:
“The Interior has long been plagued by high energy prices and air quality issues. This community-based, private sector solution by Usibelli and Aurora Energy, along with clean-burning natural gas will be essential elements in bringing our community into attainment.”
– Rep. Bart LeBon, House District 1, R-Fairbanks
“This means more jobs for Fairbanks, more options for heating our homes, and improving air quality.”
– Rep. Steve Thompson, House District 2, R-Fairbanks
“I am very glad that Aurora Energy has stepped forward to make more dry firewood available to the Interior market. This will play a significant role in keeping heating costs affordable while reducing fine particulate emissions and it will help keep the Interior firewood industry moving. I wish them every success.”
– Rep. Mike Prax, House District 3, R-North Pole
“House Bill 232 will make this project even more economical because it allows the city and borough to create tax credits to improve our local air quality. This partnership between state and local governments and the private sector will create new permanent jobs, right where we need them – solving local problems at the local level.”
– Rep. Grier Hopkins, House District 4, D-Fairbanks
“I think it’s a very creative use of Aurora Energy’s waste heat that can help reduce emissions into the Fairbanks community. The PM 2.5 problem is a big issue and this could help Interior residents burn properly dried wood.”
– Rep. Adam Wool, House District 5, D-Fairbanks
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