Two DOE awards to support remote and island communities cover hydropower

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will work with 11 remote and island communities and provide federal assistance to bolster their energy infrastructure, reduce the risk of outages, and improve their future energy and economic outlook. Of these 11, two of the projects being funded involve hydropower.

“Residents of remote and island communities face energy disruptions, natural disasters, and climate change impacts and pay some of the nation’s highest energy costs,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These 11 communities — working hand-in-hand with DOE’s network of experts — will implement resilient and secure clean energy solutions. It’s a win-win — environmentally impacted communities will benefit from cheaper, more reliable power in their homes and businesses while our country makes progress toward the Biden Administration’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.”

DOE’s Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP) will leverage the expertise of DOE and its National Labs to advance local clean energy solutions and improve resilience for these 11 communities. ETIPP employs a community-led and inclusive approach by identifying the energy challenges of each community and providing strategic assistance to help them determine and direct their energy transition.

Previous DOE initiatives helped New Orleans rebuild from Hurricane Katrina with funding for advanced microgrids to power parts of the city and trained Hawaii utilities officials on building more capacity for renewable energy sources.

The two projects that include hydropower are:

Dillingham, Alaska – Barge shipments containing the fossil fuels needed to power Dillingham’s islanded grid are a significant expense. Through ETIPP, Dillingham and neighboring communities will explore the impact and benefits of the Nuyakuk River Hydroelectric Project.

Ouzinkie, Alaska – Ouzinkie relies on diesel generators and an aging hydroelectric system to power their community but is looking to understand how they can optimize their use of renewables and storage.

These projects are funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Energy Transition Initiative, Solar Energy Technologies Office and Water Power Technologies Office and are supported by the cross-cutting expertise of DOE’s Office of Electricity. Five regional stakeholder engagement partners will help communities identify and prioritize their energy resilience needs and connect them to experts from DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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