Murkowski Announces Alaskan Communities Selected for DOE Partnership to Transform Energy Systems & Increase Resilience
Four Alaskan Towns to Receive Support to Lower Energy Costs, Stabilize Vulnerable Energy Infrastructure
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced that four Alaskan communities were selected to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help address high energy costs and vulnerable energy infrastructure. The Alaskan towns of Igiugig, McGrath, Nikolski, and St. George were among 12 communities nationwide selected by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as part of the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) to meet resilient energy goals. DOE selected communities struggling to address high energy costs and prolonged power outages due to factors such as natural disasters. The ETIPP program creates a partnership between National Laboratories, regional nonprofits, and academic organizations, providing resources and access to on-the-ground support for remote and islanded communities seeking to transform their energy systems and lower their vulnerability to energy disruptions.
Through her role in the U.S. Senate, Senator Murkowski has worked for years to advance clean energy solutions and promote innovation. Senator Murkowski, as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, has previously secured funding for the ETIPP program in Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee funding bills.
“Alaska’s geography, frequent natural disasters and harsh climate require us to be innovative as we work to deploy affordable and resilient energy systems. I’ve been a longtime supporter of our National Labs and I have seen firsthand the benefits to Alaska from their research,” said Senator Murkowski. “While we have many challenges in Alaska, we also have unique opportunities to find the next level of ingenuity, innovation, and great solutions. Today’s announcement will help us build upon those strengths and allow more resilient energy infrastructure within the communities of Igiugig, McGrath, Nikolski, and St. George. I look forward to seeing the partnerships that will be forged between Alaskans and the Department of Energy and the lasting solutions they will find to some of our state’s most pressing energy needs.”
Project Details (provided by DOE):
- Igiugig: Igiugig is receiving assistance to analyze electricity distribution efficiency, energy conservation, and impacts to the grid from increased renewables. The project will work with the Tribal Council to increase communication and community engagement for energy transition issues. Outcomes will help Igiugig move toward its goal of improving energy self-sufficiency by using local, renewable resources and its own workforce, while minimizing environmental impacts and maintaining cultural identity.
- McGrath: With ETIPP technical assistance, McGrath aims to increase its energy independence and resilience while reducing the cost of energy. This project will assess the potential for renewable energy in the area, including hydrokinetic, wind, solar, green hydrogen, and micro-nuclear resources. This project will also aim to leverage local economic opportunities through capacity-building efforts within the community.
- Nikolski and St. George: In Nikolski and St. George, assistance will go toward assessing the condition of existing wind turbines and plans to reconfigure them with a new mix of renewable energy resources. In addition to helping reduce each community’s reliance on costly imported diesel, this project will train local staff in equipment maintenance and assess the viability of battery storage.