Akiachak Native Community – 2017 Project

Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs

You are here

Project Overview

Tribe/Awardee
Akiachak Native Community

Location

Akiachak, AK

Project Title

Akiachak Energy Efficiency Project

Type of Application

First Steps toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands

DOE Grant Number

DE-IE0000061

Project Amounts

DOE: $130,793

Awardee: $15,227

Total: $146,020

Project Status

See project status

Project Period of Performance

Start: September 2017

End: August 2019

Summary

The Akiachak Energy Efficiency project will reduce and stabilize energy costs in tribal buildings by setting energy efficiency improvement goals. This project will result in an Energy Action Plan that will lead to the development and deployment of strategic energy solutions that will build knowledge and the skills necessary to implement a successful energy solution in Akiachak. This plan will emphasize energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits that will reduce energy usage and will increase building safety and occupant comfort. The plan will also include funding options, training opportunities for Akiachak Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) Council and maintenance staff as necessary, and a maintenance plan for new building systems.

Project Description

Background

Akiachak Native Community (ANC) is a remote and traditional Yup’ik Alaska Native Village of 696 people located off the road system in western Alaska. The river is part of the daily fishing and subsistence lifestyle; in the summer the people fish for Chinook salmon and in the winter they set nets under the ice.

Akiachak was the first city in Alaska to dissolve its city in favor of a tribal government. The IRA Council consists of five hard-working and involved members. ANC has been committed to adopting the best ecological practices for its community for hundreds of years. Energy efficiency and conservation are a priority that is reflected in ANC's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy. In 2009, ANC created a comprehensive community-wide residential and commercial energy efficiency retrofit program to maximize and leverage federal and state energy assistance programs. In 2011, the Akiachak Wind Project was a joint venture between the Tribe and Akiachak Limited to determine and document the feasibility and conceptual design of a wind-diesel turbine facility.

The Akiachak Energy Efficiency Project fits well with the community goals and objectives for sustainable practices and behaviors.

Project Objectives and Scope

The goal for Akiachak Native Community is to reduce energy usage in existing tribal facilities by reducing and stabilizing energy costs in tribal buildings by setting energy efficiency improvement goals. It is important to Akiachak that any energy efficiency improvements are a good fit with the community. This project will produce an Energy Action Plan that will develop and implement solutions to minimize energy use and maximize energy savings, which will fit well with the long-term goals of Akiachak Native Community.

This project will establish baseline energy use in tribal community buildings for setting energy efficiency improvement goals as well as providing a comparison point for evaluating future efforts. It will measure energy use and energy intensity at a determined level of detail and will establish a benchmark for future comparison.

The project objectives are:

  1. Initiate building monitoring and onsite assessment
  2. Develop a data plan
  3. Establish an initial meeting between Akiachak Native Community IRA Council and the project manager and energy auditor
  4. Select a baseline year
  5. Collect baseline energy data
  6. Survey energy use and identify significant energy users
  7. Develop an energy action plan, maintenance plan, and training opportunities
  8. Attend a final meeting between Akiachak Native Community IRA Council and the project manager and energy auditor.

The steps to achieve these objectives will include selecting tribal buildings for this project; establishing a baseline year; gathering baseline energy data; surveying energy use and identifying significant energy users; and developing an energy, action plan, and training opportunities.

Leading by example through sustainable practices and behaviors is an important outcome that sends a message to the entire community that this is important and worth the effort. The primary outcome is the Akiachak Native Community Energy Action Plan, which prioritizes actions to be taken and establishes a timeline for implementation. The completed energy audit process, done in conjunction with the Tribe, will empower the Akiachak Native Community with energy efficient, safe, and comfortable buildings. The buildings can showcase to the Village how an energy efficiency retrofit works and inspire others to make changes to their homes.

Project Location

Akiachak Native Community is a remote and traditional Yup’ik Alaska Native Village of 696 people located off the road system in western Alaska, 400 miles west of Anchorage and 60 miles from the Bering Sea, along the Kuskokwim River. Akiachak is strongly influenced by storms and patterns in the Bering Sea. The weather is often windy and unpredictable. All travel is by small plane or snow machine or, in the short, ice-free part of summer, travel is possible by boat.

Project Status

The project is complete. For additional details, see the final report.

The project was competitively selected under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Fiscal Year 2016 funding opportunity announcement “First Steps Toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency on Tribal Lands – 2016” (DE-FOA-0001621) and started in September 2017.

The November 2017 and December 2018 project status report provides more information.