skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Rural Alaska

The state of Alaska recognizes the challenges these rural communities face and provides financial support via the Power Cost Equalization (PCE) program. The PCE subsidizes the electricity prices paid by customers of these high-cost utilities. The PCE program is designed to spread the benefits of Alaska’s natural resources more evenly throughout the state. Yet even with this subsidy, electricity is still much more expensive for these rural customers. And beyond the PCE, other forms of assistance to rural utilities are becoming scarce given the state’s current fiscal environment. Nearly 90 percent of Alaska’s unrestricted budget funds in recent years have been tied to oil royalties—a sector experiencing significant declines in production and oil prices. Consequently, as Alaska looks to tighten budgets, the challenge of lowering rural utility costs, while encouraging self-sufficiency, has become more urgent.This study examines reliability, capital and strategic planning, management, workforce development, governance, financial performance and system efficiency in the various communities visited by the research team. Using those attributes, a tier system was developed to categorize rural Alaska utilities into Leading and Innovating Systems (Tier I), Advanced Diesel Systems (Tier II), Basic Systems (Tier III), and Underperforming Systems (Tier IV). The tier approach is not meantmore » to label specific utilities, but rather to provide a general set of benchmarks and guideposts for improvement.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Regulatory Assistance Project, Montpelier, VT (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Environmental Energy Technologies Division
Country of Publication:
United States