Kodiak Wind Turbines

Beneficial and Equitable Electrification (BEE)

Focusing on cold regions and microgrid environments, the Beneficial and Equitable Electrification (BEE) Initiative seeks to understand the electrification of non-electrified energy loads, such as transportation and heating, in order to harness local, sustainable and cost-effective energy resources for all.

We work to accomplish this mission by:

  • Improving our understanding of applications and approaches in microgrid and cold regions;
  • Improving our understanding of the costs and performance of existing systems;
  • Investigating behavioral and socio-economic factors affecting adoption of BEE; and
  • Maintaining and growing diverse stakeholder relationships through outreach and engagement.

BEE Research Priorities

Tom Marisk inspecting a heat pump
Electric Heating Research

We investigate the potential of electric building heating to offset harmful emissions or high-priced heating fuels while providing services to the electric grid through the use of thermal storage or heat pumps. Our interests include the technical aspects of integrating electric heating with another heating source and with the electrical grid, strategies to lower costs for the homeowner and the utility, and support for decarbonization efforts and renewable integration. We strive to learn about social acceptance, user experience, as well as the technological limitations of air source heat pumps in very cold climates.

Iris and Henry with an EV in Kotzebue
Electric Vehicle (EV) Data Collection and Analysis

We work to understand the costs and benefits of EVs in the energy transition in cold climates, both to users and to the electric grid, by collecting data from commercially available EVs in Alaska, including trucks and buses. We also investigate unique barriers to electrified transportation in rural Alaska communities and what is needed to ensure the transition is equitable and beneficial to all.

Fishing vessels in the harbor
Marine Decarbonization

Alaska boasts a vibrant coastline served by fishers, ferries and cargo ships. Decarbonizing these industries poses unique challenges. We measure energy demands for fishing vessels and evaluate decarbonization pathways for ferries. We also develop pilot projects to bring novel low emission technologies to marine industries.


Graphic image of house with green car parked outside

Beneficial and Equitable Electrification Home Energy Innovation Experiment (BEEHIvE)

The BEE Home Innovation Experiment (BEEHIvE) investigates how electrification can be applied to reduce emissions and energy costs and support integration of higher levels of renewable energy without hurting the overall stability of the grid. The BEEHIvE is designed to provide real-life data on cold climate performance of EVs and heat pumps. It also provides a test bed for control strategies and assessing grid interactions. A variety of dispatch strategies could be configured, tested and used for modeling without the negative impacts on people and higher costs that rural deployment could incur in the early stages.

BEE Team