The goal of the conference is to create a forum for energy stakeholders to share ideas and information with the hope of promoting economic development, environmental sustainability and energy security for Alaskans.

Discussions and presentations will focus on exploring the technical and economic feasibility of both existing fossil fuel and renewable energy options for rural Alaska, discuss new technologies, recent success stories, and identify what the state and industry can do to help rural utilities function at the highest possible level.

Structured within Business, Technology, and Maintenance & Operations tracks, sessions will cover topics including load management, data monitoring and analysis, plant operations, federal funding and local financing, asset management, efficiency, energy storage, rate setting, renewables, heat recovery, diesel maintenance, planning, clean energy integration, bulk fuel farms, alternative fuels, power system distribution, capacity building, workforce development, and more!

AGENDA

Continue to check back for updates and information about the 2024 AK Rural Energy Conference.

Monday, September 30: Community Benefits, Jobs, and Energy Economic Forum

Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Justice & Equity, this one-day Forum aims to connect Alaskans, Alaska Native entities, and other attendees to federal, state, and local resources that will set them on a path of economic opportunity, growth, and wealth creation. Learn about community benefit plans, Justice40, and Department of Energy resources, and inform DOE processes that focus on job and business development, municipal and tribal government benefits, job quality, and community services. 

Tuesday, October 1: Preconference Sessions and Activities

All day: PCE Training – Conducted by Alaska Energy Authority

Morning: Grid Resilience – DOE Grid Deployment Office

  • The Grid Deployment Office (GDO) will host a pre-conference workshop to share GDO funding opportunities (including both formula and competitive grants) to improve grid resilience in the face of extreme weather and natural disasters. GDO will provide examples of funded projects, followed by facilitated discussions to support tribes and rural Alaska communities in improving grid resilience. Based on understanding the challenges related to climate change and severe weather events in Alaska, GDO will present information on grid resilience options that will lead to facilitated discussions on:
    • How technology deployment choices affect energy system resilience.
    • Technology deployment options that can support lasting system resilience improvements
  • The workshop will conclude by highlighting how GDO technical assistance resources and support could be valuable to help tribes and remote AK communities navigate future resilient energy system funding opportunities, with a brief introduction on how other DOE program funding could support projects that complement grid resilience (e.g. microgrids, battery storage).

Afternoon: Bulk Fuel Summit – Denali Commission

  • At the bulk fuel summit in April, there were presentations about the critical role tank farms play in rural communities, AEA’s current inventory and assessment as a source of information about the state of these facilities, and the increasing gap between funding needed to provide critical repair, rebuilds, and relocations versus the very low level of annual funding typically available. This follow-up work session will build on outcomes, including to discuss: There may be efficiencies available by aggregating tank farm administrative/management and spill prevention/response tasks under regional entities or a statewide entity, freeing up cash that could be reinvested in capital improvement projects while also extending the life of facilities and reducing the number of spills through improved management. There are financing tools that may help with the funding gap.

Visit: Safety Trailer – Alaska Power Association

  • Alaska Power Association’s Loss Control and Safety Specialist plans to conduct two safety demonstrations using the new APA Safety Trailer. Attendees will see the training opportunities for educating community members on electric utility hazards, safety concepts and how the electric system works.

 

Day 1: Wednesday, October 2
7:30 am Breakfast
8:00-8:30 am Welcome to the 2024 Rural Energy Conference
8:30-9:30 am The importance of energy security, affordability, and reliability for rural Alaska community resilience
9:30-11:00 am Renewable Integration in Rural Alaska: Four Inspirational Case Studies
11:00-11:30 am BREAK

11:30-1:00 pm

 

Lunch Plenary – Maximizing Federal Investments
1:00-1:30 pm BREAK
  Business & Utility Management Technology & Infrastructure Operations & maintenance
1:30-2:45 pm Successful projects require specific skills – cultivating a rural Alaska energy workforce Digitizing utilities: Data Monitoring and Analysis Challenges and Best Practices with Bulk Fuel (part 1) – operations, maintenance & improvement
2:45-3:15 pm BREAK
3:15-4:30 pm It’s not a grant but it might be almost as good: financing tools and strategies you can use to pay for projects Renewable Integration: Evaluating Technical and Economic Feasibility Challenges and Best Practices with Bulk Fuel (part 2) – ownership & business models
4:30-4:45 pm Adjourn for the day/Shuttles begin at 4:45
5:00-7:00 pm Reception hosted by the Alaska Center for energy and Power, UAF Campus
Day 2: Thursday, October 3
7:30 am Breakfast
8:00-8:45 am PLENARY: Delivering Statewide Projects and Investments
8:45-9:00 am Break and Networking
  Business & Utility Management Technology & Infrastructure Operations & Maintenance
9:00-10:15 am Efficiency is still first: how you can improve plant operations and save $ Energy Storage Smart Building Energy Solutions for Rural Homes and Communities
10:15-10:45 am Break and Networking
10:45-11:30 am The Benefits of Regionalization Managing Allocation of Excess Renewables and Beneficiaries Diesel Genset O&M & Heat Recovery    
Noon to 1:00 pm PLENARY – State and Federal Policy and Funding Priorities
1:00-1:30 pm Break and Networking
  Business & Utility Management Technology & Infrastructure Operations & maintenance
1:30-2:45 pm Rural Utility Management – Getting the Fundamentals Right Power System Bulk Fuel, Powerhouse, and Distribution Surveys Demonstration: How is this information used, and how can it help you? Fuel Testing                      
2:45-3:15 pm Break and Networking
3:15-4:30 pm Plenary – AEA Energy Dashboard and Statewide Survey
5:00-7:00 pm

Interest Area Affinity Gatherings – Reception with Regional Collaboration

+ Business Match Making with DOE’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

Day 3: Friday, October 4
7:30 am Breakfast
8:00-8:45 am PLENARY: Goal Setting – Coordination Across Sectors
8:45-9:00 am Break and Networking
  Business & Utility Management Technology & Infrastructure Operations & maintenance
9:00-10:15 am Community Energy Project Management Diesels Off – Keeping Powerhouse, Heat Loops, and Gensets Warm Small Business Development – Strengthening a Local Supply Chain
10:15-10:45 am Break and Networking
10:45-11:30 am Are you down with IPPs? Emerging Technologies Utilizing Circuit Riders and Emergency Response
11:45am -1:00 pm PLENARY LUNCH- Conference Wrap-Up: What have we heard from you
  Adjourn and Break
 
Post-Conference Work Sessions
1:30-4:30pm

·        EV Deployment in Rural Alaska

·        Climate Pollution Reduction Comprehensive Planning

·        Energy Futures

·        Solar for All

·        Framework for Resilient Building Codes