On Tuesday, the Denali Commission and Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) announced the award of $5 million for alternative/renewable energy projects. Five of the projects are slated for the Homer area.
The City of Homer was granted $31,000 to study how waterflow along two transmission lines from Skyline Drive might generate energy, said Homer Public Works Director Carey Meyer.
“The technology has advanced to the point where it might be feasible,” Meyer said.
Homer Electric Association also is in line to receive funding for hydro electric studies. In the application, HEA presented requests to help toward projects at Ptarmigan Lake, Grant Lake, Falls Creek and Cresent Lake for a total of about $200,000.
These are among 33 state projects in the areas of wind, hydro, biomass, solar and geothermal power including a Fort Yukon community wood heating project by Gwitchyaa Zhee Corporation and a
Manley Hot Springs geothermal plant by TDX Power.
Funding for the projects includes $4 million from the Denali Commission and $1 million from AEA for alternative energy solutions. In addition, five projects will be offered funding under the Commission’s energy cost reduction program.
“Rising energy costs have created urgency for these projects,” stated Steven Haagenson, AEA Executive Director and State Energy Coordinator. “This funding will help develop projects that could annually displace millions of gallons of diesel fuel and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.”
George Cannelos, Federal Co-Chair at the Denali Commission said despite being an oil producing state, Alaska, “as we all know, has some of the highest per capita electric power and fuel costs in the U.S., particularly in our rural, isolated villages.”
The Denali Commission and AEA issued requests for proposals that garnered alternative/renewable and energy cost reduction projects. This solicitation brought in 96 proposals from around Alaska for funding projects totaling over $130 million.
“The Denali Commission’s goal through this process is to play an active role with our partners to find cost-effective energy solutions for the people of rural Alaska,” stated Cannelos. “Another important component of this process includes the development of an inventory of projects that focus on alternative solutions. Commissioners are designating funds solely for the purpose of providing alternative energy solutions that will alleviate our reliance on diesel fuel.”
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