Alaskans are known for their ingenuity in extreme conditions. Over the years, Alaskan cities and remote villages have come up with creative ways to bring electricity to communities despite extreme weather, permafrost, wildlife, climate change, and new economic pressures. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) back in December 2021 to help scale the emerging technologies needed to tackle some of our nation’s most pressing climate challenges and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
OCED received more than $25 billion dollars in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act to deliver these much-needed clean energy demonstration projects at scale and in partnership with the private sector to accelerate deployment, market adoption, and the equitable transition to a decarbonized system. OCED’s historic level of funding will help boost proven, but emerging technologies, to help de-risk ongoing private sector investments and accelerate the rate of construction for utilities, companies, and projects that will directly support energy resilience for Americans.
For Alaskans, this is a unique opportunity to apply for targeted funding for proven sustainable technologies and help strengthen community preparedness for energy challenges. DOE supports several research programs across the state, and OCED helps supplement those programs with funding opportunities specifically designed for deploying clean energy in rural or remote communities, such as those in Alaska. The Energy Improvements in Rural and Remote Areas (ERA) program received $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund projects that will improve the resilience, safety, reliability, and availability of energy in rural or remote areas. To date, this program has issued two funding opportunity announcements for a total of $350 million and plans to issue more opportunities in the future with the remaining $650 million.