Led by the DOE Office of Indian Energy, in partnership with the Denali Commission, the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) Initiative for Rural Alaska Native Community Energy Planning and Projects will support activities of Alaska Native communities and entities that are focused on community-based energy planning, energy awareness and training programs, and identification and implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency opportunities.
Through the START, each Alaska Native community will receive technical assistance focused on community-based energy planning, energy awareness and training programs, and clean energy deployment and financing opportunities. Additionally, each village selected in 2013 was eligible for up to $250,000 in financial assistance to deploy a renewable energy or energy efficiency project, supported by the Department’s Tribal Energy grant program.
The following Alaska Native entities were selected for the 2013 START Program in May 2013 and received technical assistance over the next nine to 12 months:
- Native Village of Kongiganak received assistance to strengthen existing wind energy infrastructure, efficiency measures, and smart grid technology development.
- Native Village of Koyukuk received assistance with upgrades to its energy infrastructure and identification of energy efficiency and biomass opportunities.
- Native Village of Minto received assistance to identify energy efficiency, biomass, and solar energy opportunities.
- Native Village of Shishmaref received assistance with efforts to build capacity and increase sustainability within the village to mitigate energy and community relocation challenges.
- Yakutat T’lingit Tribe received assistance with prioritizing renewable energy projects, evaluating feasibility studies, fostering community support, and identifying next steps to move projects forward, including biomass, ocean energy, and efficiency measures.