|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||2||$326,576|
Alaska has a long history of dependence on diesel-fired energy generation, which employs expensive heating fuel and leads to high pollution. Hydroelectricity, on the other hand, provides a cheap and clean alternative to diesel-fired energy generation, allowing residents access to affordable energy enabling the creation and expansion of businesses. Hydroelectricity is currently the largest renewable energy source in the State, providing about 24 percent of the State’s energy consumption.
In February 2016, EDA invested $242,676 to the City of Pelican in Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to support improvements to the Pelican Hydroelectric Facility that are necessary to protect the hydroelectric facility from damage that occurs following heavy rainfall events. The Pelican Hydroelectric Facility serves as the area’s only source of water and renewable energy. Without access to affordable energy, business operations would be cost prohibitive, making this project critical to the area’s economic resiliency.
The investment in the hydroelectric facility stimulated economic growth in the fishing, tourism, and restaurant industries. For example, the City of Pelican worked diligently to attract operators for its newly installed 700-ton ice machines, fish processing and cold storage facilities. The charter fleet is growing, a new lodge is under construction and the local eateries anticipate expanding. The city estimates that this project will create 12 new jobs, retain 30 jobs and attract approximately $1.45 million in private investment.