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  • Monday, August 01, 2022
  • Cordova Alaska Plays Host to International Island Nations

An international group of truly islanded nations and states convened in the isolated community of Cordova last week to learn from each other about their shared interest in isolated power systems.

Conceived in 2018 at the Isolated Power Systems Connect conference held in Hobart, Australia, and hosted by University of Tasmania, the Alaska take on the Australian conference kept many of the same elements, with a slice of the North. 

The first IPS Connect conference was held on King Island, Australia, in 2015. The conference has been held annually on different microgrid islands in Australia and in Hawaii. After a two-year hiatus, the organizing committee was thankful for the event to happen in 2022.

IPS Connect is a four-day event that brings together isolated grid experts from around the world for networking and expert panel discussions. Presenters and attendees traveled from as far away as Canada, Hawaii, Australia, Pacific Islands and Greenland to take part in the conference.

This year the conference was hosted in one of Alaska’s most innovative microgrid communities by Renewable Energy Alaska Project, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, and Cordova Electric Cooperative. Canary Labs and the University of Alaska Fairbanks sponsored the event.

Energy experts from a diversity of energy partners, including Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Nukissiorfiit (Greenland), Hitachi Energy, Native Village of Eyak, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Northwest Arctic Borough, Hawaii's Natural Energy Institute, National Renewable Energy Lab, Yukon Research Centre, Pacific Power Association, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Sandia National Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab and many more. 

Each day consisted of presentations from energy experts and moderated panel discussions. Panel session topics included diesel system adaptation and optimization, enabling technologies to support renewable energy, alternative energy storage solutions, heating and cooling technologies, and capacity building within communities. The conversations were broad and deep explorations of energy solutions for remote communities in Alaska and around the world.

On Thursday, participants had the opportunity to connect with each other while taking a scenic drive to the 6-megawatt Power Creek run-of-river hydroelectric generator and the Cordova battery storage system. Those who were able to stay into the weekend were treated to a scenic boat ride through the Cordova Harbor to the 1.25-MW Humpback Creek run-of-river hydro project on Friday. 

Learn more about IPS Connect at https://www.ipsconnect.org/.