Pebble wants to share affordable power
Seeks entity to craft framework for delivery to Bristol Bay North of 60 Mining News – July 3, 2020
Last updated 9/26/2020 at 2:55pm
Nearing the end of the federal permitting process, Pebble Limited Partnership is now taking a harder look at how residents and businesses in the Bristol Bay region can benefit from low-cost energy that will be available at a future Pebble copper-gold mine.
When the proposed mine was designed for the Pebble Partnership, engineers built in more natural gas and electricity capacity than the Pebble operation would need with the idea that the excess could be delivered to the wider region.
"Our plan is to bring in enough capacity so that there will be power available to be distributed to the villages in the region," Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier said during a 2017 presentation in Anchorage, Alaska.
Fueled by natural gas delivered via a 12-inch pipeline running from Cook Inlet, the power plant currently being considered would generate 270 megawatts of electricity. This is more than enough to power the copper-gold operation and deliver low-cost electricity to the wider region.
On June 25, Pebble sent out a request for proposals for an entity that could facilitate discussions with local government, local utilities, tribal organizations, interested Bristol Bay residents, appropriate state and federal entities, and other regional organizations about the range of issues and opportunities related to Pebble's power sharing concept.
The company or organization that won the bid could then craft a framework for how to ensure low-cost power is delivered from the Pebble Mine to Bristol Bay communities.
"Our core business is focused on mining and we know we will need help advancing the power conversation in the region from an idea to a realistic plan," said Collier. "Thus, what we really need is a strategic framework to guide decisions and to pull together a plan of action for how best to share affordable energy with local communities."
The Pebble Partnership CEO further noted that federal permitting is nearing conclusion with a Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expected this summer.