Energy Program

The SWAMC Energy Project started in December 2005 and was developed as a means to document energy costs, increase energy conservation and efficiency efforts, and facilitate alternative energy development within the SWAMC region. With the conclusion of SWAMC's Vista Energy Volunteer program, SWAMC has shifted focus to assisting AEA in completing the Rural Energy Planning Projects within Southwest Alaska. The goal of this project is to assist southwestern Alaskan communities in lowering energy costs by focusing on energy conservation, investment in renewable energy, and cooperative purchasing agreements.

With the close of the Vista Volunteer's Energy Program, this page will receive fewer updates, and will be redesigned to reflect current energy efforts by SWAMC.

Past Energy News and Events

Senate Passes Omnibus Energy Bill

April 2010-The Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 220 today, the Alaska Sustainable Energy Act, which paves the way for lower energy costs, greater energy efficiency, and increased use of renewable energy in Alaska. Having passed the Senate, the bill now moves to the House for its consideration. For More Information click here.

Obama Administration announces Off-shore drilling plans but excludes Bristol Bay

April 2010- Last Wednesday, the Obama Administration announced the support of development of some oil and gas leases in Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast but that they will not allow drilling in the federal waters near Bristol Bay. However, opinions differ across the region. Disappointed by the drilling ban there was Stanley Mack, Aleutians East Borough mayor, who remains upset about Salazar's visit to Dillingham last year to gather public input about drilling, rather than the peninsula towns."It would have been very beneficial for the secretary to hear from the residents closest to the lease sale. They are almost all in favor of responsible gas and oil development," Mack said. But Dillingham-based tribal chief Tommy Tilden said he was overjoyed when he heard the Obama announcement on the radio Wednesday."It's been a long hard fight," Tilden said. "This is our breadbasket out there. ... It has all of the food we depend on." SWAMC will continue to monitor and update you on further developments in offshore drilling in the region. To read full article and details click here.

AEA Announces Update on Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants

March 2010- The Alaska Energy Authority has received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding that will be made available through an application process to qualifying local governments. The local sub-grant funding totals $5,180,490 and is part of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program from the US Department of Energy (US DOE). In addition, all Tribal Governments will receive direct EECBG funding from the US DOE.

House Passes State Energy Policy

March 2010- Energy efficiency, economic development, research and a coordinated state approach underpin an Alaska energy policy that passed the House unanimously on March 17. The policy is intended to give an overall direction to lawmakers and state officials deciding where to focus Alaska's financial resources and political backing. The bill moves next to the Senate, which has been crafting an omnibus energy bill packed with a variety of measures, most of which came to lawmakers' attention during the 2009 session.  The Senate bill is currently waiting to be heard in the Finance Committee.


 

Energy Project Funding Opportunities and Resources - This page contains financial and technical resources for consumers, businesses, local, tribal, and regional governments, and non-profit organizations seeking funding to reduce their energy costs through renewable or alternative energy projects and improved efficiency. This page is updated regularly.

2008 SWAMC Energy Cost Survey Results - SWAMC now has its fuel and electricity costs for summer 2008 posted on the site by sub-region, as well as the larger, Southwest spread sheet. Along with this survey, a renewable energy component was done. That can be found by following this link or right beneath this posting.

Existing and Potential Renewable Energy Projects - These charts show the current projects and recommended projects to be funded by AEA's Renewable Energy Grant Fund.  If you see any projects that are missing or have further updates or any further questions about the fund, please e-mail the energy coordinator at vista@swamc.org.

The SWAMC Comprehensive Energy Policy (FINAL)-in light of current energy conditions within the region, has revisited their energy policy to make sure that it clearly addresses the issues and challenges that the Southwest region faces. SWAMC staff and members from the SWAMC Energy Taskforce have been working on redrafting the policy over the past few months to create a more comprehensive and inclusive policy that is sensitive to the current conditions within the region.

The SWAMC Energy Taskforce works to serve as an advisory board for this project. The task force members, representing local utilities, non-profits, alternate energy projects and educators, are currently working with larger efforts to support a statewide energy policy. The overall objective of the project is to bring stable and affordable energy costs into the SWAMC region in order to spur economic growth.

Official SWAMC Energy Documents

Data on Energy Conditions in Southwest Alaska: