2.  | 
  3. Industry
  4.  | 
  5. Education
  6.  | Seward Heat Loop Project Includes Workforce Development Component

Seward Heat Loop Project Includes Workforce Development Component

Apr 15, 2024 | Education, Energy, News

Tomasz Wozniak | Adobe Stock

Resurrection Bay is cold, but its waters contain enough heat to keep downtown Seward warm, for those who know how to tap into it. New equipment at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) in Seward helps technicians gain that know-how.

Everything in One Box

The center recently acquired a SanCO2 residential heat pump for hands-on training on installation and maintenance. Among those present for the unit’s arrival were Bruce Jaffa, chairman of the Port & Commerce Advisory Board. Jaffa noted that the SanCO2 system employs the same carbon dioxide heat pump technology as a major project known as the Seward Heat Loop.

“Almost all of the components that are in here will be replicated on the heat loop project,” Jaffa says. “This is taking everything and putting it into a box.”

The heat pump purchase was funded through a $315,000 grant awarded last year by the US Department of Energy. As a condition of the grant, some funds had to be allocated for workforce development. That’s where AVTEC comes in.

On March 27, specialists from across the state joined AVTEC instructors at the school’s refrigeration facility to undergo training by ECO2 Systems Managing Director John Miles. A co-designer of the SanCO2 unit, Miles imparted his comprehensive knowledge through an intensive two-day course, with equipment certifications for those who attended both days.

Current Issue

Alaska Business May 2024 Cover

May 2024

Going forward, AVTEC refrigeration instructor Dan Kane will develop a curriculum around the unit.

“We train people from all over the state,” says AVTEC Director Cathy LeCompte. “Being able to weave this into our existing program and maybe pull it out as a standalone training—whatever the demand requires—is very exciting.”

Before the training began, YourCleanEnergy founder and heat loop project designer Andy Baker opened the session with a special presentation on the heating potential of Resurrection Bay waters.

“Seward has enough heat in the bay to heat the whole town easily,” Baker told attendees.

In November, after fulfilling all milestones required by last year’s grant, the Seward Heat Loop Project will be eligible to compete for a deployment grant.

Alaska Business May 2024 cover
In This Issue

Making History

May 2024

The track of oil and gas development in Alaska shows the footprints of bold companies and hard-working individuals who shaped the industry in the past and continue to innovate today. The May 2024 issue of Alaska Business explores that history while looking forward to new product development, the energy transition for the fishing fleet, and the ethics of AI tools in business.

Share This