Rural Alaska Communities to Receive $4 Million for Energy Efficiency
U.S. Department of Energy partners with rural Alaska communities to improve energy efficiency
Anchorage-The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it intends to make available four million dollars to the Remote Alaska Communities Energy Efficiency (RACEE) Competition for small Alaska communities to develop and implement energy efficiency projects.
The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) is assisting DOE with outreach to communities in support of this initiative. The DOE will partner with Alaska stakeholders and other technical providers to provide technical assistance for later phases of the project.
“Energy efficiency is the most effective way of reducing energy costs, especially in high-cost rural Alaska communities,” said Sara Fisher-Goad AEA executive director. “This collaboration with DOE allows AEA to use our experience working with rural Alaska communities to provide reliable, affordable and efficient power to Alaskans.”
Rural Alaska communities are asked to become Community Energy Champions by pledging to reduce energy use by at least 15 percent. During the coming months, communities who make this pledge are eligible to compete to receive technical assistance and to apply for grants to do energy efficiency projects in their community. The Community Energy Champion pledges are due by Jan. 26, 2016 and pledge forms and additional information about the Rural Alaska Community Energy Efficiency competition are available at Energy.gov/AlaskaCompetition.
“The Department of Energy is committed to helping remote Alaskan communities deploy sustainable solutions tailored to the state’s unique energy profile,” Deputy Secretary of Energy Liz Sherwood-Randall said. “Climate change effects near the Arctic Circle can be gradual and quiet like changes in fisheries, and they can be seismic and sudden, like the calving of a glacier. The RACEE Competition is an integral part of DOE’s enduring partnership with Alaska.”
DOE intends to make up to $600 thousand available for technical assistance for up to twenty communities who pledge to reduce energy use. This can include conducting building audits and energy use benchmarking; holding community energy fairs; assisting with business plan development, project financing opportunities and risk assessment.
The final phase of the competition plans to award up to $3.3 million in competitive grants to up to five communities for implementation of the community energy efficiency plans.
The Alaska Energy Authority is a public corporation of the state with a mission to reduce the cost of energy in Alaska. This mission is achieved by investing in Alaska’s infrastructure; diversifying Alaska’s energy portfolio; investing in energy efficiency; energy planning and policy; and training and technical assistance. AKEnergyAuthority.org