Alaska Energy Authority is the State's Energy Office.  We are a small organization with a big mission: to reduce the cost of energy in Alaska.




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Weekly Highlight for February 4, 2019   


Bulk Fuel Upgrades (BFU) Status

      • Holy Cross:  Substantial completion has been pushed back to summer 2019.
      • Kipnuk: The project is substantially complete. The community has received their fall bulk fuel shipment and it is being stored in the new tanks. The dispensing station is functioning. Punchlist items remain to be completed.  
      • Tatitlek: Final design is nearly complete.
      • Kwigillingok:  AEA met with the Kwigillingok Village Council to discuss the Council’s concerns with its bulk fuel facility.  The Division of Energy constructed the facility in 1998, and it needs maintenance and repairs.



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A solar project in rural Alaska takes aim at sky-high electric bills

By  October 24, 2018
A new renewable energy project in the Northwest Alaska village of Buckland aims to demonstrate solar and wind power’s potential to reduce the region’s sky-high utility costs.

The village-run electric utility is set to switch on three new solar arrays this week, and a new battery system next year.

Boosters say systems like Buckland’s have huge potential to reduce the cost of power in rural Alaska, where electricity prices can be six times the national average and monthly light bills can top $1,000. But major obstacles remain, too, from the technology’s cost to the region’s remoteness. 

Buckland, which now makes most of its power with generators fueled by barged-in diesel, is a sort of test case. Once the system is fully functional and linked with preexisting wind turbines, the village expects to be able to shut off its diesel generators for hours at a time during the summer, according to the project’s designers.

“Everybody’s for it – everybody wants to get away from the fuel,” said Erik Weber, who runs the village water plant and has helped with the solar installation. “When things like an energy crisis come up and there’s not a lot of fuel to go around, we can keep going here.”  More


Solar array is welcome to Interior: Green energy will take time, let’s have patience

Oct 19, 2018

News-Miner opinion: Coal remains the cheapest form of energy in the Interior, and as such it is likely to remain king in Golden Valley Electric Association’s energy portfolio for years to come. In fact, the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ new coal-fired plant just went online in late August. The newest technologies have improved coal-fired plant efficiency.

And then on Oct. 12, Golden Valley Electric Association held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its first solar array. The 1,760 panels cover a 2 1/2 acre lot off South Cushman Street. It is capable of producing 563 kilowatts, which is enough to power 71 homes using an average of 660 kilowatt hours a month. It is the largest photovoltaic system in the state. 

It’s renewable energy. And we could certainly use every bit of it as possible in Fairbanks. Energy is expensive and our air quality is the worst in the nation at times. But the solar array only generates a fraction of 1 percent of Golden Valley’s total energy portfolio. The installation of this solar array may be small but it is encouraging.

Alaska, in many respects, is behind the Lower 48 when it comes to technology and infrastructure. The lack of fiber-optic internet cables within our borough is an example of that. Sometimes Alaskans must wait patiently while their friends and family down south enjoy new technologies. It’s always been that way.  More


State, Local Officials Celebrate Success of Waterfall Creek, King Cove's Second Hydroelectric Facility, during Dedication Ceremony

September 24, 2018

Several state and local officials traveled to King Cove to participate in the city’s dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony of Waterfall Creek, the community’s second hydroelectric facility. Since Waterfall Creek began operating in May 2017, it has produced more than 1.3 MW (megawatts) of energy and has performed remarkably well.

“We are very proud that since 1994, King Cove has been the most remote, productive micro-grid renewable energy community in Alaska,” said King Cove Mayor Henry Mack.

State and local officials who flew to King Cove for the city’s dedication ceremony included: Alaska Senator Lyman Hoffman; Rep. Bryce Edgmon; Barbara Blake, Senior Advisor to Governor Walker; and Aleutians East Borough Mayor Alvin Osterback. The group visited the city’s waterfront, school, new diesel plant, and the new Waterfall Creek hydro facility in addition to the Delta Creek hydro facility.

“What it means to King Cove is they’re moving toward electric energy independence, which is a goal I wish all Alaskans could have,” said Alaska Senator Lyman Hoffman.

“This project is a role model for other communities because every community aspires, to some extent, to have renewable energy,” said Rep. Bryce Edgmon. “I see places like King Cove, Kodiak and Cordova leading the way.”   More

New energy projects seek to lower electricity costs in Southeast Alaska

By   September 18, 2018

New projects are under development throughout the region to help reduce energy costs for Southeast Alaska residents. A panel presented some of those during last week’s Southeast Conference annual fall meeting in Ketchikan.

Jodi Mitchell is with Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, which is working on the Gunnuk Creek hydroelectric project for Kake. IPEC is a non-profit, she said, with the goal of reducing electric rates for its members.

The Gunnuk Creek project will be built at an existing dam.

“The benefits for the project will be, of course, renewable energy for Kake. And we estimate it will save about 6.2 million gallons over its 50-year life,” she said. “Although, as you heard earlier, these hydro projects last forever.”

The gallons saved are of diesel fuel, which currently is used to power generators for electricity.

IPEC operates other hydro projects in Klukwan and Hoonah. Mitchell said they’re looking into future projects, one near Angoon and another that would add capacity to the existing Hoonah project.

Mitchell said they fund much of their work through grants, which helps keep electric rates at a reasonable level.    More

Does it pay to install solar panels in Alaska?

For many home or cabin owners, solar has become a cost-effective consideration the last couple years — even in Alaska. The cost savings of installing solar as your primary energy source varies widely on conditions and locations throughout the state. 

The question of whether solar is worth the investment, or yields a quick payback time, is dependent largely on how much you now pay for a kilowatt of electricity and the cost of buying the panels. The price of the racks to mount the panels, tracking equipment if you desire to use it and batteries should also be considered in the cost.

Batteries are needed if you want to use the energy you produce. Typically, they are deep cycle and can vary in voltage; most often, several are purchased and strung together. They can be expensive, and they take a fair amount of maintenance. If you are willing to sell the energy to a local utility even though you buy your home energy from that utility, you are wisely using the electrical grid as your “battery” or storage.

In Alaska, the amount the utility pays for your solar-generated energy is going to be only a portion of what you pay for electricity per kilowatt. And that is if your local utility will buy your electricity. That may depend on the utility’s overall load it supplies for other customers.

The amount of solar power you can harness increases with snow-free, clear skies and cold weather. Solar gain decreases for about a month and a half or so before and after Christmas. Depending on the site location, terrain, standing trees, etc., it is possible to receive some solar gain for those three months, yet it will most likely be negligible due to the low arc of the sun.    More


EPA to award 1.6 million grant to Northwest, Tribal Entities including TCC


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