Governor Dunleavy creates Office of Energy Innovation to boost renewables in Alaska

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 8:14 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Efforts at expanding renewable energy in Alaska got a shot in the arm with the creation of the Office of Energy Innovation.

Governor Mike Dunleavy signed an administrative order on Friday, September 30 establishing the office which, according to a press release, is meant to increase energy independence and counter global events destabilizing energy prices.

The office is designed to develop policies to help lower energy costs and contribute to a clean energy future.

Wind, tidal, hydrogen, solar, geothermal, and micro-nuclear energy are all expected to be developed and expanded -- including in the interior.

Plans for a nuclear microreactor on Eielson Air Force Base are underway.

Gwen Holdmann, Associate Vice Chancellor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said, “This is a technology that’s been on the drawing board for quite a while. I really want to make the point to my fellow Alaskans that these advanced reactor technologies are quite different from legacy nuclear technologies. I think when people think of nuclear, everyone has some sort of an immediate reaction, positive, negative, different sorts of opinions. Right now nuclear actually does make up 20 percent of the energy supply in the U.S., electric power supply.”

The current plan is for the micro-reactor to be commissioned in 2027.