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Alaska Energy Pioneer Newsletter - Summer 2015



Hot Off the Press: Alaska Energy Pioneer Newsletter

June 9, 2015

Welcome to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy's quarterly newsletter for Alaska Native villages and others who are partnering with us to explore and pursue sustainable solutions to rural Alaska's energy crisis. Read on and learn about projects in action, local Energy Champions, and ways you can become engaged and access funding and technical assistance. Your feedback is welcomed and encouraged! 

Download the Alaska Energy Pioneer Newsletter.

Five Villages Win Bids for START Technical Assistance

The DOE Office of Indian Energy has selected five Alaska Native villages to receive technical assistance through the Alaska Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Program, including: 

  • Hoonah Indian Association
  • Huslia Village
  • Kokhanok Village
  • Organized Village of Kwethluk
  • Native Village of Shungnak.
Through START, DOE and the Denali Commission, along with DOE's national laboratories and other local and national experts, will assist these communities in developing strategic energy plans to help mitigate climate change, conduct energy awareness and training programs, and pursue new renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities. 

Read the full press release.

Alaska Welcomes New DOE Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene

On May 18, 2015, Christopher Clark Deschene joined DOE as Director of the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs.

A member of the Navajo Nation, Deschene has more than 20 years of management and policy experience, extensive tribal relationships, and deep expertise in business and energy development and federal Indian law. Prior to joining DOE, Deschene spent 10 years as a partner with the Law Office of Schaff & Clark-Deschene, LLC. His experience extends to business and energy development on tribal, state, and federal lands. Learn more about Deschene.

Just a week after he started, Deschene traveled to Alaska where he joined Deputy Secretary of Energy Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and DOE Office of Indian Energy Alaska Program Manager Givey Kochanowski, for a visit to the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program where DOE announced the Alaska START selections. Read more in the blog.

Resources and Opportunities: 2015 Rural Utilities Study Under Way

Among the most pressing needs in rural Alaska is tackling the high cost of energy. The 2015 DOE Rural Utilities Study (RUS) is looking at ways to meet that challenge sustainably.

Read more in the blog.

AK Energy Champion: Craig Moore

As Vice President of Planning and Development for the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority, Craig Moore knows from experience that controlling energy costs through energy efficiency is a critical first step in addressing the energy challenges Alaska Native villages face. Moore manages a department that oversees new construction, rehabs, maintenance, weatherization programs, and energy efficiency programs throughout a 400-mile archipelago in the Tongass National Forest of sourtheastern Alaska.

For Moore, the opportunity to help Tribes find solutions for creating more comfortable, cost-efficient, healthy homes is the best part of his job. 

"I love the small communities, and I want them to be sustainable," said Moore. "I realize they're struggling with the high cost of energy, so any small measure we can do to make their homes more affordable, more comfortable, and save them some energy dollars so they can invest in making a better life for the community is very rewarding." 

Read our interview with Moore on the blog

AK Energy In Action: Alaska Residents Tapping Into Technical Assistance for Energy Projects

Sometimes the impact that happens at key points of contact creates a ripple effect. The DOE Office of Indian Energy saw that in Alaska after a series of regional energy workshops in March sparked a flurry of technical assistance requests. Read more in the blog.

Learn more about on-demand technical assistance in Alaska.

Building Bridges: Regional Workshops Focus on Sustainable Energy Solutions

Nearly 150 Alaska residents took the opportunity to attend regional workshops on Alaska Native Village Renewable Energy Project Development held in Bethel, Dillingham, and Juneau between March 23 and April 1.

“The workshops were held in response to requests from tribal leadership, tribal organizations, and other entities interested or involved in energy development in Alaska,” said DOE Office of Indian Energy’s Alaska Program Manager Givey Kochanowski, who is based in Anchorage.

Led by Kochanowski and technical experts from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the interactive workshops focused on practical ways to address rising energy costs, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and reduce reliance on imported fuel.  Representatives of Alaska Energy Authority, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and a variety of local and regional tribal energy champions were also on hand to support DOE’s efforts.

In addition to using a new educational curriculum tailored specifically to Alaska to guide participants through strategic energy planning and a five-step process for developing renewable energy projects on tribal lands, presenters also provided one-on-one technical assistance on technology-specific challenges, project financing, and energy efficiency.

“I was pleased with the outcome and think this was a good beginning—with a lot of valuable information presented," said Robert Venables, Energy Coordinator for the Southeast Conference.

Read more about the workshops on the blog
Download the workshop presentations

Copyright © 2015 U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Office of Indian Energy
Policy and Programs

1000 Independence Ave. SW
Washington DC 20585

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