Environmental Protection

DOE’s START Program Grants Aid to Native Alaskan Villages

Five villages have received technology and funding to improve local energy efficiency efforts.

In Alaska, rural communities will soon receive assistance in the form of technology to improve and promote clean energy development. This aid is part of the Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team (START) program, utilized by the Energy Department and Denali Commission to strive for a sustainable future.

Five native Alaskan communities will be given aid in community energy planning, education, and training. Also, one rural village will be selected to receive $250,000 of federal funding for a sustainability project of the village’s choice.

“Through the START program, we are helping Native American and Alaska Native communities increase local generation capacity, enhance energy efficiency measures and create job opportunities in the new clean energy economy,” said Tracey A. LeBeau, director of Energy Department’s Office of Indian Energy, on the DOE website. “The technical assistance awards for clean energy tribal projects announced today will help advance sustainable rural resources, while addressing the unique energy challenges facing Alaskan communities.”

These awards through the START program will build on technical assistance award that the villages received last year. Thus, the further assistance will allow villages to enhance local energy efficiency.

According to the DOE, these are the villages receiving aid for their respective projects:

The following Alaska Native entities were selected for the 2013 START Program and will receive technical assistance over the next six to nine months:

  • Native Village of Kongiganak — Strengthen existing wind energy infrastructure, efficiency measures, and smart grid technology development.
  • Native Village of Koyukuk — Upgrade its energy infrastructure and identification of energy efficiency and biomass opportunities.
  • Native Village of Minto — Identify energy efficiency, biomass, and solar energy opportunities.
  • Native Village of Shishmaref — Build capacity and increase sustainability within the village to mitigate current energy and community relocation challenges.
  • Yakutat T’lingit Tribe — Prioritize renewable energy projects, evaluating feasibility studies, fostering community support, and identifying next steps to move projects forward, including biomass, ocean energy, and efficiency measures.

More information on the START program and the future of these grants can be found on the DOE website. 

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