University of Alaska Fairbanks logo bear University of Alaska Fairbanks

News

  • Monday, June 20, 2022
  • Twelve Projects Selected for ETIPP Include Four Alaska Communities

Alaska Center for Energy and Power, the Coastal Studies Institute, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, Island Institute, Renewable Energy Alaska Project, and Spark Northwest will help 12 competitively selected remote and islanded communities through Department of Energy’sEnergy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project to prioritize their energy resilience needs and communicate results throughout their projects.

In addition to the research institutions, experts from four U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories will work alongside communities to conduct technical activities that help decision-makers plan resilient upgrades to their energy systems.  

In 2021, 11 communities were selected to work with the ETIPP partner network to navigate their options for transitioning to clean, resilient energy systems. Roughly midway into their ETIPP journeys, these pioneers are making headway. The Alaska communities include Ouzinkie, Sitka, Wainwright and Dillingham. The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association is also participating.

ETIPP’s goal is to help communities strengthen their energy infrastructure, reduce the risk of outages, and improve their future energy and economic outlook. Due to their geographic isolation, these communities often face high energy costs and vulnerable energy infrastructure due to their increased risk of natural disasters and climate change. ETIPP further supports the Biden-Administration's goal of ensuring an equitable transition to a carbon-pollution free future. Watch this video to learn more about the ETIPP program.  

The next 12 selected communities are: 

  • Igiugig, Alaska —The Igiugig community is receiving assistance to analyze electricity distribution efficiency, energy conservation and impacts to the grid from increased renewables. The project will work with the tribal council to also increase communication and community engagement for energy transition issues.
  • McGrath, Alaska — With ETIPP technical assistance, McGrath (in landlocked central Alaska) aims to increase its energy independence and resilience while reducing the cost of energy. This project will assess the potential for renewable energy in the area, including hydrokinetic, wind, solar, green hydrogen and micro-nuclear resources.
  • Nikolski and St. George, Alaska — In Nikolski (on Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutians) and in St. George (an island a few hundred miles north), assistance will go toward assessing the condition of existing wind turbines and plans to reconfigure them with a new mix of renewable energy resources. In addition to helping reduce each community’s reliance on costly imported diesel, this project will train local staff in equipment maintenance and assess the viability of battery storage.
  • Aquinnah and Chilmark, Massachusetts — The neighboring towns of Aquinnah and Chilmark on the island of Martha’s Vineyard will work together on technical assistance in three areas to help them achieve 100% renewable energy by 2040 with retrofits for municipal buildings, distributed energy resources and microgrids.
  • Bainbridge Island, Washington — On Bainbridge Island, a commuter island to Seattle, ETIPP will assist in analyzing the feasibility of renewable energy options like solar and water power to move the city toward its goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2040.
  • Beaver Island, Michigan — Beaver Island will use its assistance to identify opportunities for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to improve energy security through local production and storage, while reducing the cost of energy and bolstering economic opportunities.
  • Guam Power Authority, Guam — The Guam Power Authority is seeking assistance with renewable energy resource integration, improved utility planning and energy security, and establishment of a performance management system for its Clean Energy Master Plan.
  • Hui o Hau'ula, Hawaii — Hui o Hau’ula, a community organization of Oahu, is coordinating the planning and development of a Community Resilience Hub, which will include the generation and storage of power for the surrounding Koolauloa District. To achieve this, Hui o Hau’ula is seeking assistance to assess energy needs and evaluate a portfolio of renewable energy technologies for the Resilience Hub.
  • Makah Tribe, Neah Bay, Washington — ETIPP assistance to the Makah Tribe will go toward assessing the opportunities and challenges associated with integrating renewable energy into critical infrastructure relocation planning and increasing their ability to generate their own power.
  • Microgrid of the Mountain, Puerto Rico — A hydroelectric cooperative in Puerto Rico will employ ETIPP assistance to refine its intermunicipal microgrid plan, and develop and design specifications for batteries, distribution and other improvements. The project will also support the cooperative’s technical review data related to implementation of the new system.
  • Mount Desert Island, Maine — Mount Desert Island’s goal for its technical assistance is understanding optimal approaches to transition its grid to clean energy while increasing energy resilience and community capacity. The project will assess opportunities for renewable energy integration, energy storage and efficiency, and the viability of a microgrid to make the island resilient during extreme weather events.
  • University of Hawaii, Hawaii — The University of Hawaii’s project plans include analyzing the potential for geothermal cooling in buildings across its 10 campuses. The project will model shallow geologic conditions and building heating and cooling loads at each campus to recommend geothermal technologies, materials and design approaches that improve energy efficiency and significantly increase sustainability across campus communities.

For more information on the ETIPP program in Alaska, please contact Patty Eagan at pmeagan@alaska.edu.

 

Igiugig is one of four Alaska communities selected to receive technical assistance from the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project. Photo by Amanda Byrd.