“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” George Bernard Shaw

The SSP has a communications strategy that involves multiple online tools and a regular schedule for updates (such as these monthly reports) in order to build relationships, identify overlap and opportunities, avoid redundancies and operate more efficiently.  Beyond communicating with one another, it is also critical that each of us is connecting with the community leaders and relevant stakeholders as we move forward.  I have been working to connect with relevant energy experts and professionals in order to ensure we are all on the same page and I’m not operating with partial information.  This will be an ongoing effort.  I welcome any input from affected, interested, or curious folks on this project.

Research First

After meeting with all Community Catalysts during May and June and working to understand their community vision and target outcomes, I had a lot of research to do.  In order to move forward, I need to understand the previous efforts on each project, and particularly any data, challenges or fatal flaws.  For example, I learned that Alaska Energy Authority had already done some preliminary research on a few of the hydro sites, and had data available on their website.  They were very helpful with getting me up to date on renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts in Kake, Hoonah, Hydaburg and Kasaan.  I look forward to continuing this communication.

Photo Credit: Bethany Goodrich

Photo Credit: Bethany Goodrich

There are multiple funding opportunities for clean energy projects right now.  I have been spending some time trying to understand these opportunities in more detail.  I am also researching energy efficient equipment for restaurants, which are very energy intense.  I’m also optimistic about an idea brought forth by Adam Davis, Kake Community Catalyst.  He would like to compile a small fund in order to help people replace their inefficient appliances with new efficient, Energy Star models.  Here is a blog about the results of this program, which is saving Sitkans an estimated 35,000 kWh of energy use annually.

I’m excited about the many opportunities in these communities and will provide more project specifics in the near future.