The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has secured a funding opportunity from the Department of Energy.  The funding is specifically and solely available for state commissions to hire and train staff to handle an anticipated increase in utility applications for commission approval of electricity related projects.  The Regulatory Commission of Alaska’s (RCA) share is up to $767,493.  This money is grant money and the grant application deadline is AUGUST 31, 2009. 

You are invited to attend a workshop at the RCA on JULY 9, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. in its East Hearing Room, 701 W. 8th Avenue, Suite 300, Anchorage, Alaska.  The purpose of the workshop is to gather as much information as is available at this time about upcoming federal stimulus funded electricity projects that may require RCA participation and aid us in completing the grant application. 

  The funding opportunity reads as follows:

The primary purposes of this initiative are to:  1) increase the capacity of state PUCs to manage a significant increase in dockets and other regulatory actions resulting from ARRA electricity-related activities; 2) facilitate timely consideration by PUCs of ARRA electricity-related investments; and 3) create jobs.  Electricity-related ARRA activities include, but are not necessarily limited to: energy efficiency, electricity-based renewable energy, energy storage, smart grid, electric and hybrid-electric vehicles, demand response equipment, coal with carbon capture and storage, and transmission.

Funding Opportunity Number DE-FOA-0000100.  Additional information is available through this link: FOA

Given the short time frames generally associated with federal stimulus money and also that our commission is subject to tight statutory deadlines, we believe it essential to have an adequate number of well-trained staff in the near term to handle applications in a timely and effective manner, making us eligible for this grant funding.  However, in order to present the best grant application possible, we would like to have some idea as to the size, scope, and number of potential qualifying projects that may be filed with us over the next 2-4 years.

This workshop may be your only opportunity prior to our grant application submittal to advise us on whether and to what extent we should “staff up” to handle an influx of projects.  If you wish to participate telephonically, please contact Lael Henry at 263-2142.  If your utility cannot participate in the workshop, please consider advising us of your project plans by sending an email to james.keen@alaska.gov.

Please note that a specific level of detail or a specific level of commitment to a project is not at issue.  We are not looking for firm commitments to projects; we are only trying to gage the possible level of staffing that may be required by taking measure of the potential number and types of applications we should anticipate receiving.  Please also note that this workshop will not be transcribed.

Date Issued: 6/30/2009