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April 26, 2016
Village of Chefornak, Alaska. Photo from Lovina Tunuchuk, flickr
Thirteen Alaska Community Efficiency Champions Selected to Receive Technical Assistance from the Energy Department

Today, at the 2016 Alaska Rural Energy Conference in Fairbanks, I had the pleasure of announcing 13 communities selected to receive technical assistance as part of the Remote Alaska Communities Energy Efficiency (RACEE) Competition. The RACEE Competition is a $4 million joint effort between the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Indian Energy and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy focused on significantly accelerating efforts by remote Alaskan communities to adopt sustainable energy strategies.

April 26, 2016
Alaska Energy Champion: Jed Drolet

Change doesn’t happen on its own. It’s led by dedicated and passionate people who are championing innovative solutions to Alaska’s energy challenges. Alaska Energy Champions is a regular feature spotlighting pioneers of Alaska’s new energy frontier.

April 19, 2016
Film Tells the Story of Indian Country’s Energy Development from the Native Perspective

On April 13, the documentary “Red Power Energy” made its debut as the first film in the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management’s 2016 Indigenous Film Series. Shown on the oversized screen at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Phipps Theater, the film delivered an impactful, larger-than-life portrait of renewable and nonrenewable energy development in Indian Country today. Among the tribes featured were the Crow Nation (Montana); Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation (North Dakota); Northern Cheyenne (Montana); Oglala Lakota Nation (South Dakota); Rosebud Sioux (South Dakota); Shoshone and Arapaho Tribes of the Wind River Reservation (North Dakota); and Southern Ute (Colorado).

March 29, 2016
Touring First Solar's 250-megawatt Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project located on the Moapa River Reservation. From left to right: Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene, Office of Indian Energy Senior Policy Advisor Doug MacCourt, National Renewable Energy Laboratory Engineer Sherry Stout, Moapa Band of Paiutes Vice Chairman Greg Anderson, and Office of Indian Energy 48 Contiguous States Program Manager Sarai Geary. Photo from Sam Scucci, First Solar
Solar Project Provides Jobs and Training for Moapa Band of Paiute Indians

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy hosted a two-day energy track and booth at the National Reservation Economic Summit (RES) in Las Vegas. After a busy few days at the conference, I had the opportunity to join Office of Indian Energy Director Chris Deschene, Senior Policy Advisor Doug MacCourt, and Program Manager Sarai Geary on a visit to a solar project on the Moapa River Reservation.

March 24, 2016
Insulation is a key element of weatherization because it provides resistance to heat flow which lowers a family’s heating and cooling costs. Insulation is especially important for homes in arctic climates, like this home in Alaska. The Energy Department's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and its network of Alaskan service providers are working to improve the condition of the state’s affordable housing stock, while reducing utility bills for low-income Alaskans.
Energy Department Supports Efficiency Upgrades in Alaska’s Lake and Peninsula Borough

Effective insulation can result in big savings in heating and cooling costs, especially in arctic climates such as Alaska. The Energy Department's Weatherization Assistance Program is helping cold-weather families reduce their utility bills while improving the health of their homes.

March 10, 2016
Kodiak Island, Alaska. Photo by Andrew Petersen.
Workshop Explores Energy Project Financing Options for Southwest Alaska

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy hosted a Project Development and Finance workshop in conjunction with the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference (SWAMC) Annual Economic Summit in Anchorage, Alaska.

March 9, 2016
Energy Department financial support for Alaska is helping remote facilities like the Toksook Bay Well House to identify critical savings opportunities with energy monitoring software. Toksook Bay has a population of about 600.
Building Energy Monitoring Software Aids Native Alaskan Villages

Energy Department financial aid to improve energy efficiency and renewable energy is especially critical in Alaska because harsh climate and the enormity of the state complicates fuel and electricity distribution, resulting in some of the highest energy prices in the country. A portion of Energy Department aid to Alaska is helping with the development and testing of building energy monitoring software to increase a building efficiency and performance. The software is already being widely applied in Alaskan Native villages, cutting energy costs and providing other vital services.

March 1, 2016
Concept drawing of the Agua Caliente Band’s Heritage Plaza Parking Lot Project, which involves installing solar arrays, partly funded by a DOE grant, on carport shade structures. Photo from Larry Fossum, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
Agua Caliente Band's Pursuit of Energy Self-Sufficiency Gains Momentum

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in the Palm Springs area of California is a shining example of the type of leadership tribes can provide on the clean energy development front.

February 18, 2016
Energy Department Secretary Ernest Moniz visited Alaska this week and recognized the Community Efficiency Champions who have pledged to improve energy efficiency and lower energy costs through the Remote Alaskan Communities Energy Efficiency Competition.
Community Efficiency Champions Designated in Alaska

As part of the Energy Department's Remote Alaskan Communities Energy Efficiency Competition, 64 communities ranging in population from 34 to 3,200 were recognized as Community Efficiency Champions this week during a visit by Energy Department Secretary Ernest Moniz. All of the communities have pledged to reduce per capita energy use by 15 percent by 2020 and are competing to be one of five communities awarded up to $3.1 million to achieve energy goals that help mitigate Alaska's high energy costs.

February 12, 2016
The Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council replaced the village store's existing forced-air furnace with high-efficiency boilers and retrofitted the lighting.
Sustaining a Vision: DOE Funding Boosts Building Energy Efficiency in Yukon River Basin

The Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council (YRITWC) is a coalition of sovereign tribal and First Nations governments founded in 1997 to increase indigenous communities' resiliency in the Yukon River Basin. In 2009, the YRITWC partnered with the Cold Climate Housing Research Center to integrate renewable energy into innovative arctic housing design in the community of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska.