Food and Energy Security Important in the Northwest

Food and Energy Security Important in the Northwest

Last week, ACEP’s Amanda Byrd visited the northwestern coastal community of Kotzebue, located about 25 miles above the Arctic Circle. Kotzebue has a population of 3,201 (2010 U.S. Census).

Kotzebue was the first community to install wind turbines above the Arctic Circle. It also was the first in Alaska to successfully connect wind power, generated from Kotzebue Electric Association’s wind farm, to a utility microgrid.

In addition to working toward energy security, local programs are teaching kids and adults to grow and process food, in a step towards food security. A Maniilaq Association program grows vegetable starts and distributes them to eight communities in the NANA region. The University of Alaska Fairbanks Chukchi Campus developed a demonstration food garden.

In addition to wind power, a solar photovoltaic system is being designed for integration into the KEA utility microgrid.

Maniilaq Association’s Seth Kantner teaches Johnson Black and JD Norton to pickle herring. Photo by Amanda Byrd/ACEP.