Alaska Village Initiatives, Inc. (AVI) President Charles Parker announced that AVI, in an effort to achieve energy security, has entered into an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies to finance and install a state of the art co-generation ( aka Micro-Combined Heat and Power (MCHP) System manufactured by Yanmar Energy Systems), into AVI’s 30,000 sq.ft. C Street Plaza office building located at 1577 C Street, in Anchorage, Alaska.
MCHP Yanmar Energy System was successfully installed in the 18,000 sq.ft. TransAlaska office building in Wasilla, AK, in the fall of 2016, which has been documented and credited with reducing that building’s monthly power utility invoices by as much as 90%, this past winter.
With the ML&P announcement of a 37% rate increase in April 2018, AVI’s power utility costs increased to more than $7,000 in a single month, representing the single highest increase of AVI’s operating expenses.
AVI is Alaska’s largest and oldest community development corporation, created with the mission to promote growth and reduce barriers to economic development in Rural Alaska by President Johnson’s War on Poverty Act, in 1968. AVI’s mission is achieved by working interdependently with its membership that include Alaska’s Tribes and ANCSA Corporations.
AVI’s member Knikatnu, Inc. (KI) which owns the TransAlaska Building in Wasilla, chose to install the Yanmar MCHP after Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) announced a 23% rate increase. The savings represented by a 90% power utility invoice reduction by the Yanmar MCHP system was so impressive that KI purchased the Yanmar MCHP dealership for Alaska, managed through its wholly owned subsidiary KI Energy, LLC.
KI Energy, LLC. CEO Tom Harris shared that it was only natural for KI to share the technology behind these savings with AVI, since AVI had been instrumental in assisting KI achieve its economic development goals. Both KI and AVI are cognizant of the severe economic impacts that energy cost increases in urban Alaska inevitably have on Rural Alaskans.
Such increases as the recent ML&P 37% rate hike ultimately means a cost increase on all critical goods and services traveling through Anchorage to thousands of Rural Alaskans. Over the decades, these cost increases triggered additional economic pressures on Alaskans who already face the nation’s highest cost of living, in power, food, fuel, water and transportation. These excessive and ever increasing survival costs are the primary factor leading the growing outmigration from Rural Alaskan villages onto the streets of Anchorage and the MatSu Valley, the fastest growing area in the state.
Despite programs such as PCE, uncontrolled energy costs continue to be a primary barrier to successful economic development for Rural Alaska, and as such remain a critical area of focus in AVI’s core mission. With the assistance of Siemens, one of the world’s leading authorities on energy security, and with its member KI, AVI will utilize the Yanmar MCHP technology to help control its own energy costs. In addition, AVI will be using its own building as a testbed for evaluating this MCHP technology as a possible energy solution for the consideration of all of its member communities.
If such energy savings can be secured for AVI, in the center of Alaska’s largest city, then think of what this may achieve for Alaskan Rural communities facing the highest energy costs in the nation. AVI’s success in this effort will mean AVI members will have another path forward and another means to continue to support their own rural economic development goals and in doing so will have the means to continue to support the Anchorage economy from their own home villages. AVI wishes to express its great appreciation to the leadership of Siemens Building Technologies for its help in financing and installing this state of the art MCHP technology as well as in helping AVI and all Alaskans achieve this critical goal of energy security.