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Weekly Highlight for Aug 21, 2017


The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) Board of Directors is seeking a new Executive Director. The successful candidate will serve as the chief executive officer responsible for leading all business and operations of AEA, a public corporation of the state with the mission to reduce the cost of energy in Alaska.


“The cost of energy continues to be a critical issue for Alaska’s families, businesses and communities,” said AEA Board Chairman Russell Dick. “The unique circumstances of Alaska’s diverse energy landscape mean the AEA Executive Director must be a forward thinking and experienced executive grounded by professional integrity, with a proven record of proactive leadership, executive management, business development and public policy.”  


At the August 10 Board meeting, AEA’s Board of Directors appointed Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Executive Director John Springsteen as AEA Acting Executive Director while the search for a full time AEA Executive Director is underway.


Michael Lamb, AEA’s outgoing Executive Director, retired on August 15 after a distinguished public service career spanning nearly three decades.


A full description of AEA’s Executive Director position and the application for employment can be found at The position is open until filled.

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Utilities pitch expansion at Bradley Lake hydroplant

By: Elwood Brehmer 
Post date: Wed, 07/12/2017

Railbelt utility leaders want the Alaska Energy Authority to approve a $46.4 million expansion of the Bradley Lake hydroelectric plant.

AEA management is on board with the proposal, but during the June 29 AEA board meeting, members questioned both as to why they should approve the project when transmission line constraints already prevent what is the lowest cost power source in the region from being used to its full potential.

The Battle Creek diversion project would add about 37,300 megawatt hours per year to Bradley Lake’s current power production, which is nearly 10 percent of its average annual output. That would supply enough additional hydropower to meet the needs of about 5,200 households in the region, according to AEA Owned Assets Manager Bryan Carey.  more....

Inspired by Trump’s infrastructure initiative, Copper Valley dusts off plans to tie into railbelt utilities

Author: Alex DeMarban  Published July 17

Hoping to cash in on President Donald Trump's $1 trillion infrastructure initiative, Copper Valley power officials are dusting off old plans to tie the region to the electric grid along the Alaska railbelt between Anchorage and Fairbanks.

Supporters say the idea would allow utilities to sideline diesel-fueled power plants that now support small communities. That would reduce air-polluting fumes, lower power costs and create new economic opportunities.  more....

King Cove's new hydro plant is now online

July 14th | Jim Paulin


Falling water is holding down electric rates in the southern Alaska Peninsula community of King Cove. The local city government announced that its new Waterfall Creek hydroelectric facility went online in June, according to the Aleutians East Borough newsletter, "In the loop."

The new hydro facility has been performing very well and producing up to 400 kilowatts. Waterfall Creek is the community's second run-of-the-river facility. King Cove's first hydro facility, Delta Creek, went online in 1994 and is about twice the size of Waterfall Creek. Together, these two renewable energy sources are expected to produce about 75 percent of the city's annual power demand of 4.5 megawatts, according to the borough newsletter. more.....

Another Year of Renewable Energy Growth

Alaska remains a bastion for renewable and alternative energy


Alaska is a bastion for renewable and alternative energy sources statewide, and 2017 is set to meet or even surpass last year in terms of new project financing and construction.

Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) Executive Director Chris Rose says that his organization is focused on how to finance and maintain renewable energy projects in rural Alaska.

“The $257 million in grants the state made through the Renewable Energy Fund really jumpstarted the industry here in Alaska and made the state a world leader in putting renewable energy into remote diesel systems. Now we’re looking at how to keep the momentum created by the fund going,” says Rose.

According to the Alaska Energy Authority, the sixty-six projects built in part through fund money saved an estimated 30 million gallons of diesel fuel in 2016. Since state grant funds have been drastically diminished by the state’s revenue problems, Rose says Alaskans must find ways involve the private sector in financing renewable energy and energy efficiency across the state. One of the paths REAP is exploring is a state “green bank.”. more....

HEA exploring solar power

Peninsula Clarion

Posted June 15, 2017 by BEN BOETTGER

Homer Electric Association is “in the exploratory phase” of planning a solar power installation that may be funded by voluntary member investments, according to HEA Director of Power, Fuels and Dispatch Larry Jorgensen.

Under one possible funding method the proposed community solar facility — which would likely be built on HEA property in Homer — could be paid for by contributions from members who would receive a proportional output of its energy.

Jim Levine, an HEA director from the Homer district, said he initiated the community solar project during his first term as an HEA director between 2009 and 2014 after seeing an article in a utility trade magazine about a similar community solar project in Sacramento, California. Levine was elected to his third term as an HEA director in May, and has said in past Clarion interviews that increasing HEA’s renewable energy use was his reason for seeking the position.more....

Final Railbelt electric plan cost estimate nears $900M

New Alaska handbook provides how-to on heated greenhouses

by: RACHEL D\'ORO, Associated Press Updated:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Cold-climate greenhouses have long been an option for increasing the limited growing season in Alaska, where fresh produce is a rarity in a harsh environment. But for many remote communities that rely on costly imported diesel fuel for their power source, they're too expensive to operate.

Now, the state has released a handbook that shows schools and community groups how to build greenhouses heated with a plentiful local resource: wood.

The 98-page guide comes as greenhouses gain popularity in the vast state for several reasons, including improved technology and heightened awareness, according to officials who worked on the handbook.

Thousands of schools in the continental U.S. have gardens and some have greenhouses where students learn to grow food. But Alaska's situation is unique given the lack of fresh produce from local sources in remote parts of the state.

"There's nobody that comes close," says Bob Deering, renewable energy coordinator for the Alaska region of the U.S. Forest Service, the handbook's main funding source.more....

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