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  6.  | Alaska Gets $125 Million for Five Rural Energy Projects

Alaska Gets $125 Million for Five Rural Energy Projects

Mar 6, 2024 | Alaska Native, Energy, News

Five Alaska projects and twelve others around the US are set to receive a total of $366 in funding for energy projects.


Alaska’s share of federal funds aimed at lowering energy costs totals $125 million. The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected five Alaska projects among seventeen nationwide funded through the Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program.

Funding for Solar, Hydro Microgrids

The projects receiving funding include:

  • Clean Energy in the Northwest Arctic: $54.8 million to help ensure reliable access to energy and heating for eleven federally recognized Alaska Native villages in the Northwest Arctic Borough through the planned installation of solar, battery storage, and heat pump systems.
  • Thayer Creek Hydroelectric Project: $26.9 million for Kootznoowoo village corporation to build a run-of-river hydroelectric project in Angoon that could supply three times the community’s current electricity needs, providing additional power for heating, fish processing, electric vehicle charging, and tourism.
  • Alaskan Tribal Energy Sovereignty: $26.1 million for solar and battery storage systems in Nulato and seven other Interior communities aimed at improving the reliability and resilience for communities inaccessible by road and only seasonally accessible by boat or small airplane.
  • Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project: $10 million for the Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor to build a run-of-river hydroelectric facility to enable a year-round reliable energy source and offset diesel fuel usage.
  • Chignik Hydroelectric Dam and Water Source Project: $7.3 million to the Lake and Peninsula Borough for a new run-of-river hydroelectric facility in Chignik Bay aimed at bolstering the community’s energy security and protecting the community’s drinking water.
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Alaska Business April 2024 Cover

April 2024

The largest chunk of Alaska’s funding goes to the Northwest Arctic Borough to install 850 residential heat pumps, or practically one for every home in Ambler, Buckland, Deering, Kiana, Kivalina, Kobuk, Noatak, Noorvik, Selawik, and Shungnak, according to the borough’s application.

NANA Regional Corporation is adding $5 million in matching funds. The Northwest Arctic project builds on previous energy diversification efforts, such as a $2.2 million solar farm at Shungnak and dozens of heat pumps already installed in Ambler.

Multiple villages throughout the Interior are covered by the Alaskan Tribal Energy Sovereignty project led by Tanana Chiefs Conference. Instead of relying solely on diesel generators, solar panels and battery storage would be integrated into microgrids in Minto, Huslia, Nulato, Kaltag, Grayling, Anvik, Shageluk, and Holy Cross. TCC expects installation will take about five years.

Alaska’s Congressional delegation welcomed the announcement of the state’s allotment of $1 billion in ERA funds.

“For too long, rural Alaskan communities have needed to fly in heat oil and diesel to keep homes warm and lights on,” said US Representative Mary Peltola. “We’re making a once-in-a-generation investment in renewable energy to all Alaska, and these grants show our commitment to energy that’s better for the climate and for Alaskans’ pocketbooks.” 

US Senator Lisa Murkowski noted that DOE awarded more ERA funding to Alaska than any other state. “I see the opportunities we have to utilize more of our local resources, the hardships that high energy costs cause across our state,” Murkowski said. “These investments will create jobs, reduce emissions, and increase the use of renewable resources while decreasing electricity bills.”

Calling Alaska an “all-of-the-above energy powerhouse,” US Senator Dan Sullivan added, “This major investment—a result of our work in the Infrastructure, Investment & Jobs Act—will fund hydroelectric facilities, battery storage, transmission lines, and other energy infrastructure that will ultimately reduce costs and increase resiliency for Alaskans.”

Alaska Business April 2024 cover
In This Issue
The 2024 Corporate 100
April 2024

In their company kitchens, the Corporate 100 blend wholesome ingredients with exquisite utensils to create the scrumptious ambrosia that keeps employees gratified and contented. Meet the top Alaska employers ranked by number of Alaskans on their payroll, and learn the recipe for success. This issue also includes a focus on economic development initiatives in Anchorage and Kodiak.

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