“Alaska is a global leader in renewable-powered microgrids,” said Gwen Holdmann at the CleanTech Alliance’s June Breakfast, sponsored by Perkins Coie.
On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, Gwen Holdmann from the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, spoke to the CleanTech Alliance about community- scale fossil and renewable/alternative energy technologies. At her presentation, Gwen emphasized specific areas such power systems integration for microgrids, hydrokinetic energy, low temperature geothermal, and diesel efficiency.
She started her presentation with a summary of Alaska’s specific energy challenges and looked at the arctic more broadly as a region. A few challenges that the arctic faces include high energy costs, a fragmented electric grid, stranded resources, and a harsh and changing climate, to name just a few.
After she addressed each of the challenges in more detail, Gwen talked about the potential for renewable energy in Alaska and emphasized that Alaska is the #1 state in the US for microgrid capacity and a global leader in microgrid development.
After a robust Q&A session with lots of interesting questions form the audience, attendees were asked what they thought the biggest challenge facing microgrid development. The three most common answers were cost, funding, and maintenance.
Afterwards, attendees were invited to join one of three breakout rooms for virtual networking with other participants. The final breakfast in the 2020-2021 Perkins Coie Breakfast Series concluded with a sneak peek at the lineup for next fall’s Breakfast Series and a reminder to register for some of the CleanTech Alliance’s upcoming events.