Alaska’s Microgrids Offer a Prototype for Powering the World

Alaska’s most remote villages may have a thing or two to teach the rest of the United States and the world about keeping the lights on.

State agencies, private companies and the federal government are increasingly looking to the remote electrical “microgrids” that power rural Alaska in places where roads and long-distance electric transmission lines don’t go.

Energy experts and advocates in the state are hoping that what they’ve learned about producing power in a difficult climate could be useful — and profitable — to share, helping get the world’s remote islands and parts of sub-Saharan Africa powered. But not just remote places: Violent storms, terrorist attacks and an increasing awareness of the vulnerability of the electrical grid are causing many to doubt the wisdom of relying solely on a utility-centric model for power distribution. 

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaska Dispatch News

Donlin Gold Mine At a Glance

An Army Corps of Engineers environmental review of the proposed Donlin Gold mine is underway. An opportunity for public comment runs through April 30, though residents have asked for that to be extended. More information, including the entire draft environmental impact statement, a schedule of public meetings, and opportunities for comment, is at

Here are project highlights:

What: Proposed open pit gold mine

Where: 10 miles from the Kuskokwim River village of Crooked Creek, 150 miles northeast of Bethel and 280 miles west of Anchorage

Mine owner: Canadian companies Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest mining operator, and new player NovaGold Resources Inc.

Cost: $6.7 billion to build the mine including $1 billion natural gas pipeline

Workforce: 3,000 during construction and 800 to 1,400 during operation


Source: Donlin Gold mine at a glance | Alaska Dispatch News

Workforce Wednesday: Careers in Logistics

In Alaska, logistics is more than just working for FedEx or UPS. It means everything from food to fuel, cars and clothes coming through the Port of Anchorage.

More than 85 percent of all Alaskans receive goods through the port. In short, logistics is the art and science of time, space and location.

Jana Lage, deputy director of Alaska Process Industry Career Consortium, joined Daybreak for Workforce Wednesday to talk about the field and jobs available across the state.

One of the companies currently hiring is Lynden International.

“They’re looking for everyone from warehouse people to pilots and it’s a great career. Once you get your foot in then you can diversify a little bit,” Lage said.

Salaries in logistics can range anywhere from $15 to $40 an hour.

To learn how you can get started, watch the video here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Careers in Logistics | KTVA Anchorage CBS 11

Commercial Seaweed Hatchery Coming to Southeast and Southcentral Alaska


UAS is working with Premium Oceanic (PO) on getting a permit from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) for a commercial seaweed hatchery. The hatchery is planned for the first floor of the Anderson Building (on Auke Bay across from the main Juneau campus) to promote a seaweed aquaculture business enterprise for coastal Alaska communities, especially in southeast and southcentral Alaska. Experimental out plantings are underway at a site just outside Auke Bay off Coughlan Island. PO has recently been working with oyster growers in coastal Alaska from Ketchikan to Kodiak Island for setting up commercial production of seaweeds. UAS will perform basic and applied research on the propagation and culture of several seaweed species that might be usable as commercial products and create a commercial seaweed hatchery which will provide “seed” for the individual “farmers.” PO will be underwriting most of the UAS effort as part of its investment toward the goal of making seaweed aquaculture a viable and profitable new business in Alaska.

Source: UA System Highlights 1-22-16

UAF Restarts Future Educators of Alaska with Clubs in Nome and BSSD

About 16 percent of teachers in Nome turn over every decade. In the Bering Strait School District (BSSD), the turnover rate is even higher: 28 percent.

According to Nome Superintendent Shawn Arnold, part of the problem is that so few rural educators are homegrown.

“A disproportionate number of teachers trained outside Alaska are hired to teach in Alaska’s rural schools,” he said. “These are the teachers coming up from the Lower 48. Many are new to the teaching profession, they’re just starting out their careers, and they’re unprepared for the cultural competence for living in a rural Alaska Native village.”

That’s why Nome Public Schools is helping to restart the Future Educators of Alaska. The program died five years ago, due to lack of funding, but the University of Alaska Fairbanks is bringing it back with a new federal grant. Read the full article here.

Source: KNOM Radio Mission