Nenana School District awarded $100,000 grant from U.S. Dept. of Energy

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 11:24 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The U.S. Department of Energy has granted the Nenana School District a $100,000 federal grant.

The purpose of the grant is to support implementation and advancement of sustainable energy projects. The funds will be used to develop projects that will lower energy costs and enhance energy sustainability.

$4.5 million dollars was allocated to these grants, and was shared among districts across the nation who applied. 19 states were each awarded $100,000 grants. Of all the winners, Nenana is the only district in the state of Alaska to receive the grant.

The winners all partake in the first phase of the prize. Recipients will have to develop plans to lower energy costs, improve indoor air quality, and enhance the learning environments in their communities.

The goal by the end of this phase is for districts to have a plan of implementation of long term energy management and sustainability. Phase one winners will showcase their dedication to the financing and managing of projects and the establishment of plans for long-term operations and maintenance.

Phase one winners will take part in up to 160 hours of coursework, coaching, and skills development through the Energy Champions Leading the Advancement of Sustainable School Prize CLASS Prize Training Network.

Going forward, they will then head into phase two, which is expected to open this month and conclude in May of 2024 with the opportunity to be awarded an additional $50,000.

Pat Manning, Superintendent of the Nenana School District explains, “Basically there’s two phases to the grant. The first one is the training and development and getting everything in place and then at that point, I’m assuming it’s an application process to apply for the additional $50,000 once they see you’re engaged in doing what you need to do with the grant”

Nenana School District is working to plan their energy saving projects and will have to showcase both dedication to, and establishment of those projects in order to be eligible for the additional funding.

Stephen Calkin, Curriculum Grants Director for the Nenana School District gave a general overview of the grant phase processes in an over-the-phone interview.

Calkin explained more in depth what the planning and implementation will look like and mentioned another campaign they’re taking part in.

In hopes of passing on knowledge and skills about energy sustainability to younger generations, Calkin left us with these final comments.