Alaska awarded a total of $5,195,000 in High Energy Cost Grants
Funding to Help Reduce Energy Costs in Remote, Rural Areas
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, December 20, 2012 – USDA-RD Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund today announced that USDA-RD's Rural Utilities Service has approved High Energy Cost Grants (HECG) for three Alaska entities.
“This funding is available for upgrading and furnishing energy generation, transmission and distribution facilities that serve rural communities with average home energy costs exceeding 275% of the national average. Rural Alaska communities face extremely high energy costs and this program assists them with more efficient electrical generation and renewable energy," said Nordlund.
Grant funds may be used for on-grid and off-grid renewable energy projects, energy efficiency and energy conservation projects serving eligible rural communities. Applications for competitive grant awards are accepted only during the application period, which is announced in a published Notice of Funding Availability.
The City of Coffman Cove was awarded $175,000 in HECG funds to provide a renewable energy intertie to part of their city, which presently is self-generating electricity because it is not on the Island's micro-grid.
The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Inc. was awarded $2,520,000 in HECG funds that will be used to provide an electrical intertie between the two neighboring rural Alaskan communities of New Stuyahok and Ekwok. The proposed eight-mile electrical interties will provide energy cost stability for both eligible communities with a total population of 625.
The Denali Commission was awarded $2,500,000 in HECG funds that will support the Denali Commission’s assistance to the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, as it constructs an electrical intertie between the communities of Stebbins and Saint Michael.
For additional information on RD projects, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map featuring program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009 – 2011. The data can be found at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.
USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $176 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA press release