In Hydaburg and Kasaan I met with community leaders to discuss opportunities for reducing energy consumption with efficiency and weatherization as well as multiple renewable energy prospects. Community Catalyst Minnie Kadake, Mayor Tony Christianson and I met at Hydaburg Cooperative Association. Hydaburg is excited about biomass opportunities in the area, including a system at the school and a separate district heating system for a few community buildings. However, the school biomass project is just a few projects shy of the top priority projects for funding through the Renewable Energy Grant Fund recommendations at this time. We also talked a lot about which buildings could benefit from efficiency measures. Minnie and I decided to keep discussion ways to engage the public in energy efficiency information and programs. I then met the City Administrator and City Clerk and offered help in doing outreach or assisting with efficiency implementation in city facilities. There is a lot of opportunity to implement energy efficiency measures in the larger public facilities in Hydaburg.
In Kasaan I met with Carrie Sykes and Stormy Hamar, as well as John, Fred, Carol and Marina at the Organized Village of Kasaan. We walked around the community, following Linkum Creek up to the old and new water treatment facility. The Creek has been identified as a potential micro hydro source for the community. We then met with the Mayor and the school principal, who is interested in learning more about AK EnergySmart curriculum. Stormy showed us the Carving shed, a fairly new building that now offers residents an opportunity to learn a new skill using local resources. Fred gave us a tour of the Whale House, which was moved from Old Kasaan and is now being renovated for the second time.
With the help of Stormy and Carrie, we’ve decided to prioritize 1) Weatherization and efficiency efforts; 2) Linkum Creek run-of-the-river hydropower; 3) Energy education through AK EnergySmart curriculum; 4) Supporting local, sustainable wood harvest for biomass boiler system at school; and 5) Connecting energy and local food efforts.
I will follow up with Carrie, Minnie, and other community members to further develop community assessments and define energy priorities. Wrapped up the trip by meeting Regional Catayst Scott Harris at the airport in Klawock!