Rural Utilities, UA’s Success Celebrated at Southeast Conference

Rural Utilities, UA’s Success Celebrated at Southeast Conference

This year the Southeast Conference Annual Meeting was held in Haines and the theme was Southeast Strong.

Representatives from different businesses, trade groups, communities, and all levels of government gathered in person (masked up) and online to update the attendees on what has been going on throughout the region over the past year. ACEP’s Southeast liaison Nathan Green attended the meeting.

Highlights of the conference included Jason Custer of Alaska Power & Telephone, Jodi Mitchell of Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, and Alec Mesdag of Alaska Electric Light & Power discussing challenges of adding and selling more clean and renewable energy and how each of their respective utilities have been accomplishing that task.

Alaska Energy Authority’s Tim Sandstrom, director of rural programs, discussed programs his department operates that increase efficiency and reduce pollution of rural Alaska power plants.

Senator Lisa Murkowski spoke on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that recently made it through the Senate. Included in the bill is funding for Alaska’s roads, ferries, electric grid, wastewater treatment plant upgrades, and more.

University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney discussed the role the UA System can and does play in the region, outlining UA’s successes over the last year and goals for the future. Pitney also mentioned that UAF had joined Harvard, MIT, and 100 other institutions in the learning platform edX in 2020, offering technical courses on subjects including satellites, space physics, and comprehensive community health. ACEP is currently creating a course for the EdX platform on microgrids.

More information on the Southeast Conference Annual Meeting can be found here