Alaska requests renewable energy

Alaska is looking for a few good renewable energy projects.

The Alaska Energy Authority has put out a solicitation for "competitive grant applications from qualified applicants" for projects that would include hydro power and be paid for by the state. The application period opens July 21 and proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m. Sept. 15.

The Energy Authority lists one of its missions as "assisting in the development of safe, reliable, and efficient energy systems throughout Alaska, which are sustainable and environmentally sound." For those of us who grew up in the state, we would love to embrace solar. But the reality is it gets a bit chilly up there (some more than others), so other opportunities must be sought.

The state's last solicitation for projects gives a little insight into what officials are looking for. The top recommended picks included hydropower in remote sites that included Copper River (the source of the finest red salmon), Yukon/Koyukuk/Upper Tanana rivers and Kodiak. Others were wind/diesel generation in Bristol Bay (another salmon power house), the North Slope and northwest Alaska. There was also a biomass plant in the Yukon and geothermal in the Railbelt, which is the region served by the Alaska Railroad between Seward and Fairbanks.

The Alaska Legislature established its Renewable Energy Fund in 2008, which authorized the Energy Authority to seek out and pay for the projects. So far, the Legislature has approved 129 renewable energy projects from the first three rounds, amounting to $150 million.

Seven projects across the state are done, and 20 more are scheduled to be completed this year.

Should you be interested, go to or contact Renewable Energy Fund Grants Administrator Butch White at or (907) 771-3048.
Photo: Blue Lake near Sitka in Southeast Alaska.