Alaska Communities Selected for Clean Energy Solutions Pilot Project

Resources and Support for Development of Resilient Energy Systems

Today U.S. Senator Murkowski (R-AK) announced the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is partnering with four Alaskan communities to help address high energy costs and vulnerable energy infrastructure by transitioning to clean energy solutions. The communities of Dillingham, Ouzinkie, Wainwright, Sitka, as well as Sitka’s Alaska Longline Fisherman’s Association were chosen by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as part of the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP), a partnership that utilizes National Laboratories and community-based organizations by providing resources and access to on-the-ground support for remote and islanded communities in the United States looking to transform their energy systems and lower their vulnerability to energy disruptions. 

Specifically, the ETIPP works alongside these communities to bolster energy infrastructure and improve their future energy and economic outlook, such as lowering energy costs. The Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) and Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) were selected as community-based partner organizations for this initiative. Senator Murkowski, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, worked to secure funding for the program in the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee funding bills.

“Through my role on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I’ve worked hard to focus on clean energy solutions and promote innovation. Too many Alaskans, especially in rural Alaska, continue to pay some of the highest energy prices in the country. The remoteness and lack of infrastructure play into whether or not communities have reliable energy they can depend on. And add to the list of challenges the fact that many of our rural communities are also on the front lines of climate change. Innovation will be a major factor in addressing those challenges. I’m excited about the opportunities these projects present for these Alaskan communities to transition to resilience, clean energy solutions,” said Senator Murkowski. “As an appropriator, I know this funding is critically important for communities throughout Alaska, and I look forward to ensuring these programs have the necessary funding in the future.”  

Project Details (provided by DOE):

  • Alaska Longline Fisherman’s Association (ALFA), Sitka, Alaska – ALFA’s fishing fleet is reliant on diesel fuel imports, the cost of which makes up most of the fishers’ earned income. With ETIPP, they will investigate the possibility of developing a hybrid fuel or electrified fishing fleet to reduce diesel reliance and increase the earning potential of their members.
  • Dillingham, Alaska – Barge shipments containing the fossil fuels needed to power Dillingham’s islanded grid are a significant expense to the community. Through ETIPP, Dillingham and neighboring communities will explore the impact and benefits of the Nuyakuk River Hydroelectric Project. 
  • Ouzinkie, Alaska – Ouzinkie currently relies on diesel generators and an aging hydroelectric system to power their community but is looking to understand how they can optimize their use of renewables and storage.
  • Sitka, Alaska – To build up their renewable energy generation to support a growing community with changing needs, Sitka would like to assess the available renewable resources in and around their community while planning for a more modern grid control system.
  • Wainwright, Alaska – Located in the Arctic Circle, Wainwright is a fully diesel-fired, islanded power grid looking to employ energy efficiency measures and renewable power where possible to decrease its reliance on diesel and increase its community resilience.

Related Issues: Energy