Clean Energy Programs

Emerging Energy Technology Fund (EETF)

The Emerging Energy Technology Fund was created by the Alaska State Legislature to incentives the expansion of energy sources available to Alaskans. EETF grants are for demonstration projects of technologies with a reasonable expectation of becoming commercially viable within five years. Read about the EETF Round 3 Recipients for 2017.

Renewable Energy Fund (REF)

Wind Turbine Installation

Wind Turbine Installation

Alaska’s Renewable Energy Fund (REF) was created by the Alaska Legislature in 2008 with the intent to appropriate $50 million a year for five years to develop renewable energy projects across the state, particularly in areas with the highest energy costs. In 2012 the Legislature extended the program for another 10 years, until 2023.

The REF is administered by the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and has been a major stimulus for renewable energy projects across Alaska. Since 2008, the Legislature has appropriated $259 million for 287 qualifying projects. Grants have been awarded for reconnaissance and feasibility studies, as well as design and construction projects covering a wide range of technologies and geographic areas – from wind turbines in Quinhagak to a hydroelectric project in Gustavus to a ground source heat pump system at the Juneau airport to a heat recovery system in North Pole.

In 2017, the Alaska Energy Authority is estimating that renewable projects constructed with funding from the Renewable Energy Fund will displace 30 million gallons of diesel fuel.

The program is helping communities stabilize energy prices by reducing their dependence on costly diesel fuel for power generation and space heating. In the 2015, 54 projects displaced an estimated 22 million gallons of diesel fuel worth nearly $61 million. These numbers are expected to increase again in 2016 as many more projects become operational. Newer projects include the construction of biomass boilers in the Lake and Peninsula Borough, the Blue Lake hydroelectric expansion in Sitka, the Saint Paul heat recovery upgrade, and the wind-to-heat project in Gambell.

The present value of the capital expenditures used to build the first 54 generating projects is $494 million and the present value of benefits is $1.237 billion. Based on the present value of capital costs and future benefits, these project have an overall benet-cost ratio of 2.5. The REF invested $128.3 million of total project cost to these 54 projects in order to generate the $1.237 billion of lifecycle benefits.

One completed project is Gartina Falls in Hoonah that displaces about one-third of the community’s diesel used for electricity generations. Other projects completed are Chevak and Gambell surplus wind-to-heat water, wood boilers in Kokhanok, and Packers Creek Hydroelectric in Chignik Lagoon.

With low state revenues in recent years, AEA has been working with the Renewable Energy Fund Advisory Committee (REFAC) to adapt the program to changing times. Recent years have seen additional emphasis placed on funding early-stages of development that cannot easily be financed and providing assistance to applicants to find financing options to construct feasible projects.

To qualify for funding, project developers must submit applications to AEA, which ranks them based on economic and technical feasibility, local support, matching funding and the community’s cost of energy. These rankings are submitted to the Legislature, which approves the projects and appropriates funding.

Read the Round X Status Report from Alaska Energy Authority here.

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC)

logo-AlaskaHousingFinanceCorporationAHFC’s mission is to provide Alaskans access to safe, quality, affordable housing. Since 1986, this mission has expanded from providing affordable loans to public housing programs, energy efficiency and weatherization programs, senior housing programs, and professional development opportunities. AHFC is a self-supporting public corporation with offices in 16 Alaskan communities. AHFC has contributed more than $1.9 billion to the state of Alaska in the form of direct dividends going into the General Fund (the state’s funding source for all services and programs), providing funds to the state for capital (building and equipment) improvements; bonding for projects such as university student housing; purchasing state assets, such as the Robert B. Atwood Building; and deferred maintenance of state-owned property.
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