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  • Two researchers stand in the winter sun on the frozen Yukon river.

    Innovating below the ice

    April 16, 2024

    In mid-February, the frozen Yukon river appeared still and foreboding - large chunks of jumble ice jutting out from its surface. But underneath the ice, the water flowed. Stephanie Fisher and Leo Azizi from the Alaska Center for Energy and Power were there to measure the under-ice flow rate, the first step in determining whether locals could use this seemingly frozen river to generate electricity.

  • Nighttime view of Cordova in winter, 1912.

    Telling the story of Alaska's electrification

    April 01, 2024

    As an energy and environmental historian at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, much of my research has focused on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and its historical influence in Alaska and beyond. While conducting this research I kept finding fascinating and remarkable stories of Alaska's electrification. This book provided me the opportunity to offer a narrative of Alaska's electrical history and contemplate possibilities of electric futures.

  • A view of North America with Alaska filled in red.

    Alaska's data center opportunity: A reality check and possible next steps

    February 09, 2024

    The role of data centers continues to increase in the lives of ordinary citizens, large corporations and other electricity consumers across the globe. From the surge in interest and application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to the more localized needs of remote communities in Alaska, access to the Internet and cloud computing are transforming the economy and the electricity infrastructure that underpins it. Could a large data center like those seen in Iceland make sense in Alaska?

  • AlexAnna Salmon of Igiugig, Alaska

    Inspiring tales of energy innovation from the top of the world

    January 19, 2024

    As glaciers melt and permafrost thaws, treasured species of fish such as salmon and crab decline, oil reserves wane and consumer energy bills continue to rise, Alaska is re-evaluating its energy future. The good news is that many rural Alaska communities are already leading the way towards a new energy future for the state.

  • Tesla with doors open in the winter. License plate reads

    A look at the math: Will growing EV adoption increase consumer rates as Cook Inlet's natural gas production dwindles?

    January 03, 2024

    As EV technology continues to improve and market demand grows in the U.S., the adoption of EVs will undoubtedly increase in Alaska. We see evidence of this trend already. What will this increase in electric demand mean for overall consumer rates as we work to address the gas conundrum over the next 5 to 10 years?

  • Students work together to retrofit a condo with window film. Photo by George Reising/ACEP

    ARCTIC Toolkit: Students pave the way towards energy resiliency in rural Alaska

    November 10, 2023

    Sometimes to get a job done in rural Alaska, you have to learn how to do it yourself. Equipped with thermometers, hair dryers, and infrared cameras, Alaska Teaching Through Technology students learned how to assess a home's energy efficiency, make recommendations and weatherize buildings with accessible materials.

  • Computer generated visual of the Aurora microreactor, Oklo, Inc. Oklo was selected as the vendor for the Eielson AFB microreactor. Credit: Oklo, Inc.

    Demystifying nuclear energy

    September 15, 2023

    Public opinion about nuclear energy is often shaped by big events and popular culture, with many people not feeling they fully understand the topic

  • Image Michelle

    Ready or not, electric vehicles are coming

    August 03, 2023

    The transition to electric vehicles is happening—rapidly in some places and more slowly in others. Are we ready for EVs in Alaska?

  • Ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new UAF coal power plant in 2018. Courtesy of Gwen Holdmann

    Does Coal have a Role in Alaska's Energy Future

    July 07, 2023

    Coal has become a dirty word, and not without good reason. But when it comes to coal, Alaskans have to be pragmatic and open-minded about the realities of our state's needs and available resources. We need to think holistically about our energy options and how we can do the absolute best with ALL of the energy sources and technologies we have access to.

  • Wind turbines and basketball court in Kongiginak, AK. Photo by Amanda Byrd, Alaska Center for Energy and Power

    Innovation at the Margins – Lessons Learned from Rural Alaska

    June 29, 2023

    Technology transitions don't happen uniformly all at once. There are pockets of early adopters, or niche markets, where technology uptake is much faster than the norm. In Alaska, those niche markets have been our rural communities. The Railbelt should look to its counterparts in rural Alaska to understand what strategies and approaches have worked, where, and why.

  • ACEP nuclear town hall co-hosted by ACEP and the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in September 2022.

    Nuclear Power and the Perils of Pioneering

    June 22, 2023

    One day in 2004, Marvin Yoder, the City Manager of Galena, AK, received an unusual e-mail that would change his life and the course of an industry. The email was an inquiry from Toshiba Corporation, asking if Galena might be interested in hosting a demonstration deployment of a small nuclear microreactor "battery" that was under development in Japan.

  • Sundance - the Böers celebrating the first steps into a Solar Future – 1973. Photo credit Erika Holdmann.

    Seven Tomorrows - the perils of predicting the future

    June 15, 2023

    Predicting the future is hard - really hard. What can we learn from researchers who scientifically tried to predict the 1980s and 90s, but got things very, very wrong?

  • Author Gwen Holdmann visiting the Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant outside of Reykjavik, Iceland

    Cheaper by the Dozen: Reducing Alaska's Electricity Costs

    June 08, 2023

    Next week, we will explore a cautionary tale about our ability to predict or forecast the future, and why maintaining flexibility in the face of uncertainty is a smart strategy.

  • Power Creek run-of-river hydroelectric project, Cordova, Alaska. Used with permission from Cordova Electric Cooperative

    Embarking on a Quest for Cheap Energy

    June 02, 2023

    Could Alaska generate power for electricity and heat on par with the most competitive markets in the world? A look at the places in the world with the cheapest power to consumers reveals some valuable insights (as well as cautionary tales) to consider as the trend toward deregulation and the opening of energy markets continues to rise.

  • Generators in Ireland

    Alaska's Energy Future: A view from my hot tub

    May 23, 2023

    From vast fossil energy resources to every possible flavor of renewable energy, Alaska has the resources and assets to produce some of the cheapest energy in the world. However, our current reality boasts the highest energy cost burden of any state in the U.S. Can investments we make today leave an intergenerational legacy of cheap and reliable energy in Alaska?

  • View of Kotzebue’s wind and solar farm. Photo by Amanda Byrd, ACEP

    Energy awareness app earns two ACEP students prestigious award

    April 19, 2023

    The Dr. Alex Hills Engineering and Civic Engagement Award doesn't typically go to software engineering projects, but the app designed by UAA computer science students Nicole Mah and Tuva Granøien had both the engineering acumen and strong focus on civic engagement worthy of the prestigious award.

  • A sunset in Galena

    Collect, Validate, Trust

    March 24, 2023

    The idea of making a difference in the energy sector for rural Alaskan communities had always intrigued Logan Borger. When he stumbled upon a flier for ACEP's summer internship program in 2019, he knew he had found the perfect chance to explore this passion firsthand.

  • The Onslow microgrid in Western Australia. Courtesy of Horizon Power.

    What Australia Can Teach Alaska About the Energy Transition

    March 15, 2023

    Australia and Alaska share much in common when it comes to microgrids, but there are some important differences on energy strategies for managing not only transmission networks but also approaches to developing the new hydrogen economy.

  • An electric vehicle driver adjusts control settings on the vehicle control screen. Photo Credit Tim Leach.

    Postcards From The Data Edge

    February 17, 2023

    Often what lies behind a dataset is a story, or a set of stories. Sometimes, it's an epic saga complete with heroes, foes, trials and tribulations.

  • Kotzebue Electric Association's wind farm, photo by Amanda Byrd

    What's in a Name? Survey Respondents Agree that Definitions Matter for Energy Terms

    January 19, 2023

    Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) conducted surveys to gain an understanding of how people define terminology in the energy sector worldwide, focusing on microgrids, the dominant infrastructure platform in Alaska.

  • Dock where the wood is dropped on for pickup

    Dropping in for Dry Wood

    November 23, 2022

    We are here for the "wood drop" program organized by Aurora Energy Solutions, a subsidiary of Aurora Energy -- the company that owns the 27.5-megawatt coal-fired power plant.

  • Gwen Holmann

    Nuclear Energy and the Role of UAF in Raising Awareness through Public Engagement

    October 20, 2022

    UAF can play an important role as a conduit for accurate, science-based information about this emerging microreactor technology, and exploring potential use cases in Alaska.

  • Meeting community leader Anita Smyke on the coastline near her home. Left to right, Anita Smyke, Adam Low, Asma Alomari, Savannah Crichton, Ashley Guernsey, Cailin Yaeger, Petie Deever, Sarah Burch, and Gracie Farnham. Photo by Dana Smyke.

    Education, Innovation and Leadership: Field Notes from Cordova

    October 13, 2022

    In communities as small as Cordova, with a winter population of around 2,500, each community member has the capacity to bring real change and guide the direction of the city.

  • Gwen Holdmann, Alaska Center for Energy and Power founder and associate vice chancellor for research, innovation and industry partnerships at the University of Alaska Fairbanks holding a town meeting.

    Leaning in to Difficult Discussions: Nuclear in Alaska

    October 12, 2022

    As concerns regarding the impacts of carbon emissions continue to rise, more and more people are exploring a new breed of advanced nuclear reactors that are smaller, safer and more flexible as part of a cleaner future energy portfolio. Could these systems be beneficial for Alaska?

  • City of Cordova

    Lessons Learned from Cordova

    September 15, 2022

    With a century worth of experience in renewable energy generation and microgrids, Cordova provided a rich setting for IPS attendees to learn about the resiliency and reinvention paramount to ground-up energy transitions.

  • Hummer EV parked on the river bed

    North to the Future

    August 19, 2022

    We were the first. We were the first people to drive electric vehicles to Oliktok Point.

  • What's All The Hype about Hydrogen?

    July 29, 2022

    So, why hydrogen, why now, and what is its relevance to microgrids and Alaska?

  • Microgrid capacity graph showing Alaska also has one of the highest adoption rates of microgrids in the world.

    How Alaska Fits into the Global Microgrid Movement

    July 29, 2022

    Alaska is home to many paradoxes. It is a region of harsh climate and extreme cold, but it is also a global hotspot for microgrids.

  • Kongiganak on Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta is not connected to any other community’s water or energy generation or distribution systems. Photo by Amanda Byrd.

    Food-Energy-Water Nexus Factors that are Different in Alaska

    July 15, 2022

    FEW, short for the food-energy-water nexus, is one of those buzzwords that you see floating around in a lot of research literature.

  • Children running with wind turbines in the background

    Why Alaska? Why Now?

    May 09, 2022

    This land of the Midnight Sun is also a pioneer in remote power systems or microgrids, some being in operation in the last frontier for nearly a century.

  • Two men working on solar panels

    Solarizing Alaska

    June 05, 2020

    Investing in solar power in Alaska may be a better bet than the stock market.

  • Arctic mountains with two skiers

    Frequency Regulation and Skiing in the Backcountry

    March 27, 2020

    You peek out from the damp cocoon of a down sleeping bag. Squished up against another large shivering man in a tiny tent, flapping in the wind.

  • Two men near a power system

    Hooray for reliable electricity!

    March 18, 2020

    We rarely think about all the things that happen behind the scenes to get that power to our light switches and our appliance outlets at the exact moment we need it.

  • Illustration by Gwen Holdmann

    Why solar PV isn't always the simple solution

    March 09, 2020

    Globally, there has been a proliferation of solar photovoltaic (PV) technology installed by customers to offset their own home electric power consumption.