Four Clean Energy Startups Selected for Launch Alaska Business Accelerator

Launch Alaska has announced the four companies to participate in its 2018 business accelerator in Anchorage, AK. Four energy companies will complete a four month intensive program and receive mentorship, business training, business services, and $75,000 in exchange for equity in their companies.

With the highest cost of electricity and some of the highest per-capita energy consumption in the U.S., Alaska is hungry for energy innovation because of the out-sized impact that energy costs have on residents’ pocketbooks. Participation in the cohort provides a unique opportunity for a company to test its technology in remote and harsh conditions.

Read about the 2018 Launch Alaska Cohort Participants here.

Source: Four Clean Energy Startups Selected for Launch Alaska Business Accelerator

Alaskans Pressing Ahead with Renewable Energy Projects

Oil prices are still low, at least compared with three years ago, but Alaskans are pressing ahead with renewable energy projects to reduce dependence on fuel oil for power generation and, in some cases, space heating.

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, which operates small utilities in 56 rural villages, has been aggressive in building wind generation and, more recently, linking projects to boilers and hot water loops to use surplus wind power for space heating.

AVEC now has 11 wind projects, operating 34 turbines, that serve 15 villages. Some communities connect with interties, so that one wind project serves two or more communities, according to Forrest Button, AVEC’s manager for project development. The co-op is now investing in more wind capacity: in Bethel in 2018 and St. Mary in 2019, and in 2020 at St. Michael and Stebbins, where one project will serve both villages, Button told Commonwealth North, an Anchorage-based business group, in a briefing on renewable energy.

Read the full article here.

Source: Alaskans pressing ahead with renewable energy projects – Frontiersman

$2.4 Million Grant to Fund Study of Renewable Energy Impacts

A team of University of Alaska researchers has received a $2.4 million federal grant to study whether the use of renewable power could help small Alaska communities provide food, energy and safe water sustainably.

The National Science Foundation-funded project will study energy use and its impacts in the remote communities of Cordova, Tanana and Igiugig. Many off-road Alaska communities rely on expensive diesel generators for electricity, but interest is growing in alternate sources like wind, water and solar. Such alternative sources hold promise for supplying energy, and potentially food and water, but could affect the stability of a rural community’s microgrid.

Read the full article here.

Source: $2.4 million grant to fund study of renewable energy impacts – Alaska Business Magazine

Cordova Hosts U.S. Senate Field Hearing on Microgrids | Alaska Public Media

When it comes to emerging energy technologies, many remote Alaska communities are on the cutting edge. That was the message from Cordova this spring, where U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski held a field hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which she chairs.

The focus of the hearing was microgridsself-contained electrical grids, which can operate unconnected to any larger transmission system. They’re a necessity for just about every Alaska community off the road system. Most of the grids are powered by diesel, but more and more communities are trying to cut costs by adding renewables like wind or expanding hydropower.

In the process, the state has become a testing ground for technologies that are increasingly interesting to the rest of the world.

Read the full article here.

 

Source: Cordova Hosts U.S. Senate Field Hearing on Microgrids | Alaska Public Media

Week of the Arctic Showcases UAF Energy Research

Hundreds of delegates from around the world were in Fairbanks for the Arctic Interchange.

For researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), the global spotlight is a chance to showcase their work on sustainable energy.

UAF research professor George Roe said right now the diesel generator is the backbone of villages around Alaska. He and his colleagues at the Alaska Center for Power and Energy (ACEP) want to change that.

“We’ve got wind, we’ve got solar,” Roe explained to a group of international journalists, as he showed them around the facility.

Engineers at ACEP can replicate wind streams, river currents and solar energy in the lab and test systems before they’re sent to rural Alaska.

Roe said renewable energy work being done in the Last Frontier can be applied all over the world.

“Alaska’s motto is: North to the future,” Roe said. “We’re required, almost mandated to share what we’re learning and to find opportunities to work with other people and learn from them as well.”

Roe points to Kodiak as a city leading the way in sustainability. Nearly 100 percent of the community’s energy needs are supplied by a combination of wind and water.

“It’s a huge knowledge export opportunity for the state. And in this time of economic diversification, taking this Alaskan know-how and sharing it with other remote communities,” Roe said.

Watch the news segment and read the full article here.

Source: Week of the Arctic showcases UAF Energy Research » KTVA 11