Selected Communities to Receive DOE Assistance

Renewable Energy Infrastructure

In early June, the Department of Energy announced plans to work with 12 selected remote and island communities around the world to bolster their energy infrastructure. Some of the DOE’s goals of focusing on these particular communities include reducing the risk of outages and improving future energy efficiency through the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP). 

Due to geographic isolation, many remote and island communities throughout the world experience high energy costs and unsteady energy infrastructure because of climate change and the potential for natural disasters. The ETIPP initiative will be supported by the DOE and National Labs to progress clean energy solutions and promote energy independence for the selected communities. ETIPP assists in supporting these efforts financially by employing residents, organizations, and community leaders.

The 12 communities the DOE is working with are:

Aquinnah and Chilmark, MA

  • Assist in achieving the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.

Bainbridge Island, WA

  • Assist in achieving the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.

Beaver Island, MI

  • Assist in improving energy security through local production and storage.

Guam Power Authority, Guam

  • Assist with renewable energy resource integration. Working towards the goal of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045.

Hui o Hua’ula, HI

  • Assist in developing a Community Resilience Hub for energy storage for the surrounding district.

Igiugig, AK

  • Assist Tribal Council in increasing community engagement for energy transition issues.

Makah Tribe, Neah Bay, WA

  • Assist with evaluating the opportunities and challenges associated with assimilating clean energy into their current infrastructure. 

McGrath, AK

  • Assist with increasing energy independence and reducing energy costs. 

Microgrid of the Mountain, Puerto Rico

  • Assist in developing requirements for batteries, distribution, and additional improvements to elevate the current inter-municipal microgrid plan.

Mount Desert Island, ME

  • Assist in identifying opportunities for renewable energy integration, energy storage, and efficiency, and assure the island is prepared for harsh weather conditions. 

Nikolski and St. George, AK

  • Assist in determining the current position of wind turbines and future plans.

The University of Hawaii, HI

  • Assist in identifying any potential for geothermal cooling in various campus buildings. 

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the importance of this initiative due to forecasted climate changes and financial constraints. “As climate change intensifies, remote and island communities, which experience higher energy costs and may lack the financial resources and expertise to make their energy systems more resilient, are more at risk to extreme weather events,” Granholm said. Additionally, six regional organizations, including Renewable Energy Alaska Project, Coastal Studies Institute, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, Alaska Center for Energy and Power, and Spark Northwest are working collaboratively on this project. 

The DOE and National Labs will focus their efforts on strategically identifying effective clean energy solutions, promoting the Biden Administration's goal of a carbon-free future. 

As a result of Alaska’s geography, natural disasters and severe climate changes highlight a need for dependable and economical energy systems. According to US Senator Lisa Murkowski, she has seen firsthand some of the state benefits of the National Labs' research. “While we have many challenges in Alaska, we also have unique opportunities to find the next level of ingenuity, innovation, and great solutions," Murkowski said.

U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King said, “Clean energy availability is one of the keys to unlocking a future of renewable, reliable, and affordable power.” The politicians involved have expressed an urgent need to power homes and schools with clean, reliable, affordable energy.

We will continue to provide updates on the progress of these initiatives as they develop. 

10 months 1 week ago
Written by
Rachael Bichel