What We Do
REAP’s primary goal is to increase the production of renewable energy in Alaska and bring the benefits of clean, economic and inexhaustible renewable power to citizens in the state. REAP also promotes energy efficiency and conservation as a way to reduce residents’ energy bills and potentially avoid construction of expensive new power plants.
REAP’s current initiatives include working to improve the efficiency of the Railbelt electricity grid, advancing microgrids through the Alaska Microgrid Partnership and the Islanded Grid Resource Center; educating K-12 students statewide through the AK Energy Smart and Wind for Schools curricula; and promoting holistic community development through the Sustainable Southeast Partnership. REAP also advances clean energy business interests in the state.
Renewable Energy Atlas of Alaska
REAP, in cooperation with the state Alaska Energy Authority, published the first ever comprehensive atlas detailing Alaska’s renewable energy resources, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, biomass, and tidal. This is a valuable resource for policy makers, advocates, landowners, developers, utility companies, the public and others interested in furthering the production of electricity, heat and fuels from hydro, wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, and ocean power resources. Produced with the use of geographic information system (GIS) technology, this Atlas brings together renewable resource maps and data into a single comprehensive publicly available document. The maps contained in this Atlas do not eliminate the need for on-site resource assessment. However, they do provide an estimate of the available resources.
Renewable resources, over the long term, can provide energy at a known cost that can hedge against volatile fuel prices and dampen the effects of inflation. With some of the best renewable energy resources in the country, Alaska has an opportunity to invest locally in sustainable infrastructure, save communities millions of dollars in energy costs each year, and bring new revenue streams into the state’s economy.
As concerns about volatile fossil fuel prices, energy security, and climate change increase, renewable resources play a key role in sustaining communities with local, clean, and inexhaustible energy to supply Alaska’s growing demand for electricity, heat, and transportation fuel. Because there are limited fuel costs associated with generating electricity and heat from renewable sources, more Alaskans are looking to resources like hydropower, wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, tides, and waves. Alaskans are also increasingly saving heat and electricity through energy efficiency and conservation measures, keeping dollars in the state’s economy, creating more stable and resilient communities, and helping to achieve the state goal of 50 percent renewable energy by 2025. Download the Renewable Energy Atlas of Alaska
Biomass Heated Greenhouse Handbook
Of the 500 plus schools in Alaska, four on Prince of Wales Island are now displacing heating fuel and imported foods with local woody biomass and greenhouses. The Alaska Energy Authority and the U.S. Forest Service endeavored to share those success stories and many others statewide. While local biomass displaces heat, the greenhouse brings in a sustainable revenue source for the school, as well as nutrition, education, and economic development for the community. REAP is one of many talented collaborators of this handbook, a guiding document or community organizations wishing to implement a biomass and/or greenhouse project. View the handbook here.
Alaska has a wealth of biomass resources and a long heating season, but biomass heat does not make sense everywhere. However, with over 500 schools in the state and fewer than 10 currently heated with biomass, using a local biomass fuel source has a lot of potential.
Check out our post with the Sustainable Southeast Partnership about the new Biomass Heated Greenhouse Handbook as well as the tour of three successful projects on Prince of Wales Island in April 2017.