Lake and Pen Borough moves to lower power costs 

From the Bristol Bay Times: Grant money garnered from the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund will fund wood boilers for community buildings in Igiugig, Iliamna, Kokhanok and Port Alsworth, plus a wind turbine for Port Heiden, Lake and Peninsula Borough officials say.

In the latest round of energy fund grants, the borough received $369,000 for installation of wood boilers in the community buildings, and $250,000 for design and construction of Port Heiden’s wind turbine, said Borough Mayor Glen Alsworth Sr.

“The wood boilers and wind turbine are merely the latest efforts by the borough to implement alternative energy projects across the communities,” Alsworth said. “Our previous efforts, such as the Kokhanok wind turbine, have demonstrated to the state and other granting agencies that we are taking productive steps to address rising fuel costs in our borough,

“The borough has promised at least a 20 percent match for the two projects using borough funds, which shows that we are very serious about these projects and believe they are right moves at this time.”

For the wood boilers in Igiugig, Iliamna, Kokhanok and Port Alsworth, plans are to use locally and regionally sourced beetle kill spruce and other trees from the Lake Iliamna area, with the goal of sharply reducing the amount or even eliminating use of fuel oil to heat the buildings.

“The locally sourced wood is a key component of this project,” said Lamar Cotten, borough manager. Instead of using local funds to purchase imported fuel oil, residents and land owners now have the opportunity to keep that money in the community by harvesting local trees, he said. Read more

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