Anchorage Solar Tour, 1.8MW wind near Tok, meet REAP's 2 new staff
More good news from REAP
1200 students in 3 weeks?
Why will Obama and Xi save climate and promote clean energy?
Who are REAP's new staff members?
Anchorage Solar Tour this weekend and more good news from REAP
Power Pledge Challenge 2016 Plugs In (Or unplugs, as it were)
The annual Power Pledge Challenge has kicked off! Every year for the past three years, REAP, in conjunction with Chugach Electric, Municipal Light & Power, and Alaska Energy Authority teach energy efficiency and conservation to seventh and eighth grade science classes. The students then take an online survey and pledge to do three things that reduce their energy use at home. Since August 30th the Power Pledge Challenge team as reached over 1,200 students in four schools! The Power Pledge is also being presented in Juneau by Alaska Electric Light and Power and will be starting this week in the Mat-Su and Eagle River with Matanuska Electric Association. The students who participate in the online challenge are entered to win a regional and grand prize. Each region (Mat-Su/Eagle River, Anchorage, and Juneau) will draw a winner for a power plant tour and pizza party. The grand prize winning class gets an ice cream party with a special guest. Their classroom teacher receives up to $800 towards energy efficiency curriculum. We will update REAP readers in coming months to announce the winner.
Obama’s Climate Leadership
When President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping ratified the Paris climate agreement earlier this month, some members of Congress licked their chops while others questioned Obama’s authorization to ratify.
Congressional discontent aside, analysts believe American and Chinese leadership substantially increases international velocity to authorize the global climate accord. Paris only comes into effect when countries that contribute 55% of carbon emissions ratify. Fifty-five percent of the world’s population must also be represented for the accord to proceed. This graphic illustrates the calculus. Since China + US emissions equal 38% of global carbon, experts think world’s biggest emitters’ leadership will pressure nations like Canada or Brazil to take action. The US agreed to reduce its emissions 26% (from 2005 baseline) by 2030.
And the path to these emissions reductions is what riles some members of Congress. Regulation rather than Legislation is the Obama administration’s play. However, the Clean Power Plan is currently stayed by the Supreme Court and not in effect. Scientific American raises the question, “it is unclear what tools opposition lawmakers plan to use to combat Paris…” Congress’ range of tactics could include voting against ratification; limiting appropriation for any climate related activity; preventing US contribution to the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and Paris implementation; or even outright suing the executive branch. REAP believes ratification of the full accord is critical to achieve the clean energy vision so important for global economic growth and climate stability.
Welcome new staff!
Colleen Fisk is REAP’s new Energy Education Director. She implements the AK EnergySmart and Wind for Schools curriculum. In Colleen’s first three weeks on the job, she has already visited 1200 students! Ms. Fisk grew up on a small farm in Wasilla where her parents, both science teachers, instilled a lifelong love of science. She graduated from University of Maryland, College Park in 2010 with a degree in Animal Science. She moved back to Alaska and earned her Master of Education in Secondary Education from University of Alaska, Fairbanks in 2012
Ms. Fisk worked as an educator in the Mat-Su School district for several years, mostly at the secondary level, including a year of coaching cross country skiing. She then spent two years as a state microbiologist before accepting the job at REAP. She loves all things nerd, especially science. In her spare time, she also lets her Australian Shepherd Annie run her through agility courses, her horse Jazzy carry her through back country trails, and joins her friends and family to go on other outdoor adventures. Ms. Fisk is excited about working with REAP to help educators around the State of Alaska inspire students about energy with lessons and activities in the classroom.
Henry Hundt is an Energy Conservation Fellow supporting REAP staff on a variety of projects while also completing a Sustainable Energy Occupation Endorsement from UAF Bristol Bay.
Previous to REAP, Henry spent a year working with local non-profits in Anchorage studying mental health challenges that face young Alaskans and developing programming around the new information. With a B.A. in the Humanities from Cornell College, he enjoys explaining ideas or exploring problems, regardless of what form they take. This led Mr. Hunt to work in marketing and education, where he gained experience developing curriculum and creating collateral for a wide variety of products. With just about two years of Alaska life under his belt, Mr. Hunt can be found in the kitchen, baking bread, or falling over on his skis somewhere near the Chugach Mountains.
1.8MW Wind Farm for Tok
Alaska Power and Telephone has announced plans to build a 1.8 MW wind farm near Tok, Alaska. Called 7-Mile Wind, the project is targeted for completion in late 2018 and will provide power to about 1,500 residents in the four rural Interior Alaska communities of Tok, Tetlin, Dot Lake, and Tanacross. The wind farm will be the latest addition to a growing list of 20 + communities across the state already powered by wind. The conceptual design calls for installing two 900 KW turbines on 7-Mile Ridge, which is about 10 miles south of Tok, adjacent to the Glenn Highway. Together the turbines are expected to produce enough power to reduce diesel fuel use in the four communities by 250,000 gallons a year and offset more than 66,650 metric tons of carbon annually. The cost of the project is estimated at $10 million, and will be funded in part by a $3 million High Energy Cost Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. The utility expects to finalize its financing plan over the next couple months.
The Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop (RAPID) Toolkit is a resource for project developers, regulators, investors, compliance officers, utilities and others who need one-stop shopping for assistance overcoming the necessary but at times cumbersome steps to develop a renewable project. Bulk transmission, geothermal, solar and hydropower technologies are covered by the umbrella database. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed the RAPID toolkit with funding through the Department of Energy and the Western Governors’ Association. In August, NREL staff traveled to Alaska to conduct a stakeholder meeting on hydro permitting, and learn from locals experienced with hydropower in Alaska. NREL will include participants’ responses in future and ongoing updates to the RAPID hydro database for Alaska. Highlights of the RAPID toolkit include a regulatory flowchart, reference library, NEPA database and collection of best practices. Click here to explore. Don’t forget the link!
Update on Homer Hempcrete Housing project.
REAP has followed Jack Bennett’s Rammed Earth/Hempcrete home construction in Homer this summer. This image illustrates the progress made over the past four months. Mr. Bennett presented on Hempcrete homes to Governor Walker in Homer last week, and to the Kenai Economic Development District in mid-August. Learn more here or by contacting Jack Bennett.
Energy Audit Opportunity in SE
Businesses in Southeast Alaska that would like an energy assessment of their facility to save on operating expenses, may be eligible for a cost-share of this assessment. Interested parties should contact REAP Energy Efficiency Director as soon as possible to take advantage of this funding.
New REAP members!
Gray Stassel Engineering, Inc., (GSE) is an Alaska-owned, Anchorage-based firm incorporated in 1993 specifically to provide engineering services for remote Alaska energy infrastructure, including renewables, heat recovery, microgrids, and prime power generation. GSE has performed work in over 120 remote Alaska communities, and has designed and administered construction of more than 60 heat recovery systems and 30 microgrids. GSE designs functional facilities that meet code and regulations, provide long-term reliability, and are easy to operate and maintain.
The UAA/Mat-Su College Sustainable Energy Occupational Endorsement Certificate (OEC) program provides education and training in energy efficiency and renewable energy and addresses many contemporary energy issues. The program provides the fundamental concepts, basic academic preparation, and skills necessary for students to pursue either employment or further training as sustainable energy technicians in the energy, construction, utility, and maintenance industries. It can also serve as a stepping stone into science-, engineering-, and architecture-related certificate, associate, or baccalaureate programs. Students will also be able to apply course content to personal projects, such as home retrofits and off-grid cabins.
*This Saturday Sept 17th American Solar Energy Society Solar Tour. Starts 11a at Coronado Park Village in Eagle River. Contact Andy Baker for more!
*Submit your 4 page Abstract for Round 3 of the Emerging Energy Technologies Fund by Oct 10
*Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation's Tuesday 8am "Energy for All AK" Working Group Meeting. Contact Mike Musick
*Volunteer and phone-bank for the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation? Contact Kristen Gagne
*Check out this interesting Let's Go Solar website submitted by a REAP supporter
2 Sept Other Futures for Arctic Economies in Arcticles Blog
2 Sept Alaska's Future Depends on Renewables not a Gas Line in ADN; commentary
30 Aug Which State has the most Advancement in Renewables? in Wall Street Journal
30 Aug Hybrid Airships Coming to Alaska in Yahoo Finance
29 Aug Grid Referee Could Ensure Cheaper Electricity in APM
25 Aug Alaska's DC Reps Refuse to See Causes of Climate Change in ADN; commentary
18 Aug Fire Island II Negotiations Restart in ADN
4 Aug Oil Majors Have Debt - lot's of it; Bloomberg
14 Jul Governor Shuts Down Work on Susitna Dam in ADN
Thanks Loyal Readers, and please send feedback, responses or news tips for next month!
Chris, Shaina, Colleen, Lydia, Henry and Piper
Renewable Energy Alaska Project