JUNEAU – The Alaska House yesterday unanimously endorsed Rep. Grier Hopkins’ continuing efforts to bring lower-cost energy to more Fairbanks homes and businesses. House Bill 307 extends financing options for the Interior Energy Project (IEP), a multi-year effort to expand availability of clean-burning Alaska natural gas in the Fairbanks North Star Borough at the lowest possible cost.
The IEP was launched in 2013 as a partnership between the State of Alaska, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, the Alaska Industrial Development & Export Authority (AIDEA), and the Interior Gas Utility (IGU). Through a combination of grants and bond financing, the IGU is providing clean and affordable energy to Interior Alaska families and businesses while improving local air quality.
“Fairbanks has struggled with some of the worst air quality in the nation due geography, weather conditions, and high cost of energy,” said Rep. Grier Hopkins (D-Fairbanks). “The Interior Energy Project has helped double natural gas customers in Fairbanks since its inception in 2013, driving down energy costs and improving air quality. This bill finances solutions to a complex, long-term problem that has plagued the Interior.”
The IEP has authority to finance and issue up to $150 million in AIDEA conduit revenue bonds to develop an integrated natural gas supply chain and bring gas to more homes and businesses. In 2018, the Alaska Legislature extended access to AIDEA bonding to 2023, and HB 307 extends fund availability five additional years to June 30, 2028.