Gov. Sarah Palin's goal for Alaska to receive 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025 is reviving long-held dreams of the state building a giant hydro project like the Susitna dam. It's also inspiring skeptical questions about realism and expense.
"On the Railbelt in particular, we have a number of opportunities, be it Susitna, Chakachamna, Mount Spurr," said Joe Balash, the governor's special assistant for energy.
The governor is also pushing to restart an idled Healy coal plant and get an in-state natural gas pipeline built within five years. Mark Foster, an independent energy consultant and former member of Alaska utilities commission, said it's a stretch to think an in-state pipeline and big hydro project could both have enough financing and customers.
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