100% Renewable

Victory: Renewable Energy Grant Fund extended permanently

Late last week, Governor Dunleavy signed HB 62, legislation extending the Renewable Energy Grant Fund, into law.

Wind turbines at sunset
Werner Slocum, National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Public Domain
Wind turbines at sunset

The Renewable Energy Grant Fund bill was sponsored by Rep. Bryce Edgmon who is an independent representing much of southwest Alaska. The fund was first created in 2008.  Over the last fifteen years, it has directed approximately $300 million to over 100 completed renewable energy projects in the state. More are in progress.  The fund helps directly fund projects and secure matching private and federal funds. A few years ago, the Alaska Energy Authority estimated that projects awarded funding through the Renewable Energy Grant Fund are responsible for saving the equivalent of 30 million gallons of diesel every year. That number will only have gone up since then, and continue to climb with this permanent extension. 

If you’re curious, you can flip through some of the projects here. Funds have gone towards run-of-river fish safe hydroelectric projects, wind projects, heat recovery, solar projects, and more.

 The fund was initially set to sunset this year, and Rep. Edgmon started by asking for a 10 year extension. After legislators learned more about the fund, they decided to eliminate any expiration date. The bill had broad bipartisan support in both the house and the senate.

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