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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, June 23, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund Thursday announced that nine grant applications from Alaska scored sufficiently high enough to move to the final level of review. The grant requests were to USDA’s High Energy Cost Grant (HECG) program which was designed to help families and individuals in areas with extremely high per household energy costs.
“Alaska has extrodinarily high costs for energy, especially in rural areas, and this funding will help lower these expenses,” Nordlund said. “These projects advance the Obama Administration’s ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy to make domestic energy use and production affordable and self-sustaining.”
USDA is awarding $16 million through the High Energy Cost Grant program. Through this program, grants are awarded to states, communities, Tribal organizations, nonprofits and other entities where per household energy costs are 275 percent of the national average or higher. The funds may be used to acquire, construct, extend, upgrade or otherwise improve energy generation, transmission or distribution facilities.
Extremely high energy costs in rural and remote communities typically result from a combination of factors, including extremely high fuel prices, limited availability of energy sources, extreme climate conditions and housing that is not energy efficient.
The following are the nine Alaska projects that have scored well enough to advance as well as the value of the USDA award should the final step be completed. The funding is contingent upon the designated applicant successfully completing an environmental review and meeting the terms of a grant agreement. Projects unable to complete the final level of review will not be funded.
Alaska Power & Telephone Company
Alaska Village Electric Co-Op
City of Grayling
City of Pilot Point
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
NANA Regional Corporation
New Koliganek Village Council
Naterkaq Light Plant
USDA Rural Development has invested more than $2 billion in housing, community facilities, businesses, energy, water and sewer and telecommunications projects in 226 rural Alaskan communities since 2009. These investments have helped to grow rural Alaska’s economy and enhance the quality of life for its residents.