Sullivan, Murkowski Welcome $125 Million for Rural Energy in Alaska

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski (both R-Alaska) today welcomed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement of up to $125.1 million for five energy development projects in Alaska. DOE awarded the funds under its Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program, which Murkowski helped author as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-58).  

“Alaska is an all-of-the-above energy power house,” said Senator Sullivan. “I’ve long advocated for taking advantage of Alaska’s untapped renewable energy potential to meet our communities’ energy needs, especially in our rural areas where Alaskans bear the exorbitant cost of diesel fuel to heat their homes and keep the lights on. This major investment—a result of our work in the Infrastructure, Investment & Jobs Act—will fund hydroelectric facilities, battery storage, transmission lines, and other energy infrastructure that will ultimately reduce costs and increase resiliency for Alaskans in Chignik Bay, Old Harbor, Nulato, Huslia, Kaltag, Grayling, Anvik, Shageluk, Holy Cross, Angoon, and villages across the Northwest Arctic Borough.”

“One of my priorities when crafting the bipartisan infrastructure law was cleaner and more affordable energy for Alaska,” Senator Murkowski said. “I see the opportunities we have to utilize more of our local resources, the hardships that high energy costs cause across our state, and pushed this innovative program as a way to tackle both. I thank Secretary Granholm and her team for recognizing this need, and for choosing more projects and awarding more funding to Alaska than any other state. These investments will create jobs, reduce emissions, and increase the use of renewable resources while decreasing electricity bills.”

The bipartisan infrastructure law allocated $1 billion to the new ERA program to “improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people.” The Alaska projects selected for funding today include:

  • Chignik Hydroelectric Dam and Water Source Project led by the Lake and Peninsula Borough (Chignik Bay)—up to $7.3 million.
  • Clean Energy in the Northwest Arctic led by the Northwest Arctic Borough—up to $54.8 million.

  • Clean Energy on the Yukon led by the Tanana Chiefs Conference (Nulato and seven other interior Alaska communities)—up to $26.1 million.

  • Old Harbor Hydroelectric Project led by the Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor (Old Harbor)—up to $10 million.
  • Thayer Creek Hydroelectric Project led by Kootznoowoo, Inc. (Angoon)—up to $26.9 million.

These projects will facilitate the development of more of Alaska’s abundant hydropower resources, solar energy, battery storage systems, heat pumps, electric interconnection, and more. More information about the awards is available on DOE’s website.

Murkowski, the former Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led development of much of the energy title within the bipartisan infrastructure law, including the ERA program.

To date, roughly $7.4 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law has been announced for Alaska, with over 1,600 projects identified for funding and investment around the state.

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