The Department of Energy awarded $1 million in federal funding to install panels in Kotzebue, Buckland, and Deering. Construction on the new solar panels is set to begin in the spring of 2018.
Energy costs are notoriously high in rural Alaska, where diesel is often barged up to remote communities. The price of diesel has dropped in recent years, but climate change has made fuel deliveries more expensive. Solar energy will not completely replace diesel for some time, but at least we can start to be less dependent on it.
The Northwest Arctic Borough has recently completed installing solar PV on the water/sewer systems in villages through the region. Data is currently being collected to demonstrate the cost savings and environmental benefits that result in using this alternative energy.
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