ARENA Program Welcomes 2022 Participants to Fairbanks

ARENA Program Welcomes 2022 Participants to Fairbanks

The Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy returns to Alaska this week after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, with a “bursting at the seams” itinerary sure to leave a lasting impression on an international cohort.

ARENA is a unique circumpolar knowledge sharing program about isolated power systems integration held in partnership with Canada, Gwich’in Council International, the United States. and Iceland. ARENA is designed specifically for community energy champions living and working in remote circumpolar Arctic communities.

Eleven participants representing three Arctic nations are convening to explore innovative, diverse and proven remote Alaska energy projects while having invaluable face to face time with the energy professionals behind them. During the week, participants will build lasting relationships with their cohort and build a knowledge base that they can then bring back and apply to their own Arctic communities.

For the first half of the week, participants will meet in Fairbanks where they will hear from a wide range of northern energy experts, including ACEP researchers, Northwest Arctic Borough energy manager Ingemar Mathiasson, Yukon University’s Industrial Research Chair in Northern Energy Innovation Michael Ross, and Cold Climate Housing Research Center’s Bruno Gruno and Jack Hébert.

. Their Fairbanks experience will include a tour of ACEP’s Energy Technology Facility, the Cold Climate Housing Research Center and a trip out to Chena Hot Springs Resort where they will tour the only geothermal power plant in Alaska.

On Wednesday, participants will travel to Kotzebue for the second half of the program where they’ll tour Kotzebue Electric Association’s powerhouse and wind and solar farms, the new city water treatment facility commissioning this summer,  and the UAF Chukchi Campus Crop Box.

The goal of the ARENA program is to help build a cooperative international cohort of energy champions who are dedicated to creating a sustainable energy future for arctic communities. Stay tuned for a recap of their experience!

The ARENA program is generously funded by the U.S. Department of Energy the U.S. Arctic Energy Office and ACEP.

For more information on the ARENA program please email them at

2022 ARENA participants listen to Gwen Holdmann on the design and evolution of the geothermal power plant at Chena Hot Springs. Holdmann was the project engineer on the original power plant. Photo by Amanda Byrd.