Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) projects and programs support its mission by: 1) providing for the operation and maintenance of existing Authority-owned projects with maximum utility control; 2) assisting in the development of safe, reliable, and efficient energy systems throughout Alaska, which are sustainable and environmentally sound; 3) reducing the cost of electricity for residential customers and community facilities in rural Alaska; and 4) responding quickly and effectively to electrical emergencies.
The Alaska Energy Authority was created in 1976 by the Alaska Legislature. The Authority is a public corporation of the State with a separate and independent legal existence. In 1993, under comprehensive energy legislation, oversight of AEA’s existing state hydroelectric projects and the Alaska Intertie was transferred to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA). Pursuant to legislation, the members of the Board of AIDEA also serve as the members of the Board of AEA. AIDEA provides staffing and administrative overhead for AEA; however, AEA continues to exist as a separate legal entity. There is no commingling of funds, assets, or liabilities between AIDEA and AEA and there is no responsibility of one for the debts or the obligations of the other. Programs addressing the energy needs of rural communities were transferred to a newly-created Division of Energy within the Department of Community and Regional Affairs. In 1999, rural energy programs were integrated into AEA, with AIDEA oversight and management. Division of Energy staff became AIDEA employees. The integration of rural energy programs was done by the Legislature as part of a larger reorganization of state agencies. Benefits include: 1) a coordinated state energy policy encompassing rural energy programs and state-owned hydroelectric projects; 2) AIDEA oversight to foster a business-oriented attitude toward finance and development; and 3) a focused approach to work with the federal Denali Commission on rural energy issues.