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Remote Alaskan Communities Energy Efficiency Competition

Remote Alaskan Communities Energy Efficiency Competition

FAIRBANKS, AK:  At the Rural Energy Conference in Fairbanks, AK, April 26, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced 13 recipients of Remote Alaska Communities Energy Efficiency (RACEE) technical assistance.

The RACEE Competition is a $4 million joint effort between DOE’s offices of Indian Energy (IE) and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), focused on significantly accelerating efforts by remote Alaska communities to adopt sustainable energy strategies. During phase one, 64 communities pledged to reduce per-capita energy use by 15 percent by 2020 and were designated as Community Efficiency Champions, incorporating them into a peer network and making them eligible to apply for technical assistance to prepare implementation plans. DOE is providing $600,000 in funding to the Alaska Energy Authority to deliver technical assistance to 13 communities selected in Phase two of the RACEE Competition. Chris Deschene, Director of DOE’s Office of Indian Energy, said, “The U.S. Department of Energy is working with Alaska communities to find solutions to high energy costs. These rural community grants, and our report on sustainable energy for Rural Alaska, are part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to partner with American Tribes and Alaska Native villages to provide clean energy solutions that will save communities money and reduce carbon pollution.”

The Alaskan communities selected for this phase of the RACEE awards are: City of Akutan, Village of Chefornak, City of False Pass, City of Galena, Village of Holy Cross, Village of Kiana, Village of Klawock, City of Kotlik, City of Noorvik, City of Port Lions, City of Ruby, City of Sand Point, and the City of Shishmaref.

The 13 selected communities will work with Alaska-based technical assistance providers to develop project plans to meet or exceed their pledged 15% energy reduction. This technical assistance is intended to position the communities to successfully obtain loans or compete for funding to fully implement their plans. Later in 2016 during phase three, the communities selected to receive technical assistance will be eligible to compete for up to $1 million in funding ($3.4 million total) to implement energy saving measures. This opportunity is focused on energy efficiency; however, building integrated renewable technologies and replacing other inefficient forms of power are eligible.

About the Competition

As part of President Obama’s commitment to fight climate change and assist remote Alaskan Communities, the Energy Department (DOE) is proposing a new $4 million initiative to significantly accelerate efforts by remote Alaskan communities to adopt sustainable energy strategies. The competition is intended to empower remote Alaskan communities to develop and implement solutions that can effectively advance the use of reliable, affordable, clean-energy and energy-efficient solutions that are applicable throughout rural Alaska and potentially in other Arctic regions.

Remote Alaskan communities face a number of unique energy challenges, with the harsh climate and isolation combining to drive up energy costs. The Energy Department is keenly aware of Alaska’s climate challenges, and is committed to helping remote Alaskan communities deploy sustainable solutions.

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