A multimillion dollar dam in Kake would make it easier to bring renewable energy to the village. But the definition of “renewable” isn’t the same in everyone’s book.
Since 2008, the state has set aside a pot of money for renewable energy projects like small dams and wind turbines. Called the Renewable Energy Fund, the projects it’s backed have replaced tens of millions of gallons of expensive diesel in communities from Skagway to Nome. But with the current budget crisis, that money has disappeared.
So far this year, the state budget includes no money for the fund. But a bill passed by the Senate this week would try to replace some of that funding in years to come.