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Delegation Welcomes Over $5 Million for Rural Alaska Communities

Alaska’s Congressional delegation today welcomed news that rural Alaska communities New Stuyahok, Ekwok, Stebbins, Saint Michael and Coffman Cove will receive over $5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to alleviate energy costs.

The goals of the USDA’s High Energy Cost Program, which provides the funding, are to improve energy efficiency and lower ratepayer costs through investments in generation, transmission or distribution facilities. Only communities where energy costs are more than 275 percent of the national average may receive funds. The program is administered by the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Mark Begich and Rep. Don Young said:

“These grants for Alaska are welcome news for rural towns in our state, especially Alaska Native communities like New Stuyahok and Ekwok, which are miles from the nearest neighboring town. The new interties will go a long way in keeping costs down for families and reducing the money headed out of state in remote areas during our dark winter months.”

Recipients in Alaska include:

  • Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Inc.; $2,520,000 – Funding will enable construction of an electrical connection between New Stuyahok and Ekwok. The eight-mile electrical intertie will stabilize energy costs.
  • Denali Commission, $2,500,000 – Funding will support Denali Commission assistance to the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative as it constructs an electrical intertie between the communities of Stebbins and Saint Michael, improving reliability and lowering costs.
  • City of Coffman Cove, $175,000 – Funding will be used to provide connection to a renewable generation source for part of the City of Coffman Cove that currently generates its own electricity because it is not connected to the grid. 

The funding announced today totals more than $9.3 million for remote and rural communities across the country. Funding for individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.

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