Bethany and I traveled together for the week through Kake and Hoonah, and met Bob in Hoonah for a few days. Currently dependent on diesel for heating and electricity, Kake and Hoonah are both paying very high electricity ($0.62/kWh) and heating (~$4/gal) prices. Adam and John have been terrific leaders in identifying energy efficiency and alternative energy opportunities in their communities. I’m excited to work with both of them. I enjoyed traveling with Bethany, and look forward to working with her on a few energy-related stories.
In Kake, Adam showed us around to the proposed Gunnuk Creek Dam and the Wastewater Treatment Plant and current dam that is not running due to energy costs. It is exciting that Adam and Bob are able to use their new knowledge and skills from the micro-hydro workshop in Colorado last month. I’m excited to help move that project forward. We also discussed multiple non-residential buildings that are in need of energy efficiency measures.
In Hoonah there was a lot of interest in biomass boilers. The model being discussed strikes me as an effective way to address some of the inconvenient aspects of heating with wood. With the ability to store wood for proper seasoning and deliver it daily, Hoonah Indian Association would be the supplier to at least one of the boiler projects, and possibly multiple. I’d like to see efficiency become more of a priority in this community, but am excited about the possibility for displacing imported fuel oil with local, sustainable wood.