WASHINGTON, D.C. –Tuesday, Alaska Congressman Don Young announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded over $5 million in funding to help Alaska Native communities pursuing projects that will reduce energy costs and increase energy security and resiliency. These Alaskan grant recipients were among the first to receive awards from the DOE Office of Indian Energy this year. Selected projects will power homes and communities, make buildings more energy-efficient, and assist in installing microgrids for essential services and resiliency.
Since 2010, DOE’s Office of Indian Energy has invested over $100 million in more than 190 tribal energy projects across the contiguous 48 states and Alaska, valued at over $180 million. Through these grants, the Office of Indian Energy continues its efforts, in partnership with Native communities, to maximize the deployment of clean energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives.
“I am very pleased to see these investments in our Alaska Native communities by the Department of Energy. Alaska is unique; our often unforgiving terrain and environment present many challenges for our remote villages. Energy is a critical need, and serves as the basis for economic opportunity and prosperity. I have long believed that our Native communities should be entrusted to develop their own lands. This funding will go a long way toward increasing energy efficiency, harnessing natural resources, reducing long-term energy costs, and improving air quality. I want to thank Secretary Granholm for recognizing the great potential that lies within our state and our Native people. I sincerely congratulate Alaska’s grant recipients and look forward to seeing how the implementation of this funding will move their communities forward,” said Congressman Don Young.
Alaska’s Grant Recipients:
The Akiachak Native Community (Akiachak, AK) will receive $123,220 install energy-efficient retrofits, including furnaces in the laundry building, as well as an LED lighting upgrade and installation of setback thermostats, in five essential multi-use buildings in the Akiachak Village.
The Kipnuk Light Plant, a tribally owned utility of the Native Village of Kipnuk (Kipnuk, AK), will receive $855,978 to purchase, install, and integrate a battery energy storage system into its standalone community wind diesel grid which will displace over 34,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
The Metlakatla Indian Community (Annette Island Reserve, AK) will receive $1,031,110 to complete the electrical intertie between its islanded community and the mainland community of Ketchikan, Alaska.
The Native Village of Diomede (Diomede, AK) will receive $222,848 to install energy efficiency measures in the new store in the Village, Alaska’s most remote community situated on an island in the Bering Straits.
The Native Village of Noatak and the Northwest Arctic Borough (Kotzebue, AK) will receive $1,997,265 to deploy a high-penetration solar PV and battery energy storage hybrid system to integrate with the Village’s diesel electric grid, estimated to save the community more than $178,000 each year.
The Village of Aniak (Aniak, AK) will receive $167,948 to install energy retrofits on four essential multi-use buildings and the Village’s Community Center.
The Village of Chefornak (Chefornak, AK), will receive $854,964 and in cooperation with its community utility Naterkag Light Plant purchase, install, and integrate a battery storage system into its standalone community wind diesel grid.