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Recovery Act Awards Alaska $15 million for Geothermal Projects

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich on Oct. 29 announced the award of over $15 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for development of geothermal fields and research into new geothermal technologies for three Alaska based entities.

"Alaska already leads the nation in producing electricity from the lowest temperature geothermal waters.  However, our efforts to use this abundant energy source have barely broken the surface of potential energy production," Sen. Begich said. "The Department of Energy is right to look to our state when developing new clean energy technologies.  Alaskans have as much to gain from the development of affordable and clean energy technology as anywhere in the United States."

The awards include:

$12,376,568 to Naknek Electric Association to generate up to 25 MW of geothermal power using enhanced geothermal techniques to supply the electricity needs of three local communities.

$4,616,879 to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to test a combination of exploration techniques to assess the geothermal resource at Pilgrim Hot Springs.

$2,154,238 to Trabits Group, LLC to develop an improved cement for high temperature geothermal wells. Work to be conducted in Wasilla, Fairbanks, Arbuckle, Calif., and Reno, Nev.

According to the Department of Energy, there are $338 million being awarded nationwide to 123 projects in 39 states. Project awards were split in six categories. The grants will be matched more than one-for-one with an additional $353 million in private and non-federal cost-share funds.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is expected to bring $1.6 billion to Alaska over the next two years, creating or sustaining 8,000 jobs. Sen. Begich supported its passage in Congress. On Friday, recovery.gov will be disclosing statistics on job creation and fund distribution for the ongoing efforts to simulate the economy.

For more information on these programs, go to www.recovery.gov.

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