Peltola celebrates her ‘L’ with a mini-grant for solar, as Biden slams Alaska mining, energy jobs – Must Read Alaska

2 minutes, 54 seconds Read

To celebrate Earth Day, Rep. Mary Peltola touted Alaska getting $125 million out of a $7 billion grant package from the federal government for solar energy development. It was an infinitesimal win in a sea of losses handed to her and Alaska from the Biden Administration.

“Investing in energy projects across the board–solar, wind, hydro and more–lowers utility bills for Alaska families and creates new jobs!” said Peltola. “I’m proud to have advocated for this funding and to be able to bring it home to our Alaska.”

The amount Alaska is getting is 1.78% of the entire solar federal grant award, which will be used to put solar panels on low-income government-subsidized housing and to add solar capabilities to villages for spring, summer, and fall seasons, when the sun is available to them.

That comes down to a benefit of about $170 in federal grants per Alaskan, but the project is going to Alaskans who, by and large, do not pay taxes. The money is going to rural Alaska and government housing projects, but coming out of the pockets who work and pay federal taxes.

The solar grants were announced just a few days after the Biden Administration took final action to shut down 13 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, and after Joe Biden also announced his administration will not allow a right-of-way through federal land to access state mining claims near Ambler.

If this was the show “Let’s Make A Deal,” then Alaskans would the proud owner of a toaster instead of a new Camaro.

The Ambler Mining District is an area rich in the minerals needed to make clean energy products such as solar panels.

The mine construction alone would have provided 2,777 direct jobs and $286 million in wages annually, with another 2,034 indirect jobs with $108 million in wages annually. Once operating, the mine would provide 495 direct jobs with $72 million in wages annually and another 3,434 indirect jobs with $228 million in wages annually.

The right-of-way construction would have provide 360 direct jobs and 81 jobs for road operations for the operations and maintenance of the road.

The solar panel project that Peltola is heralding will provide tens of jobs and most of them out of state.

The panels will be constructed out of state, shipped to the state and installed by experts from out of state or from Anchorage. Maintenance on these rural projects will be provided by out-of-state or Anchorage-based contractors, but will depend on villages having the funds to repair the panels, should they malfunction.

Most solar panels have warranties for 25 years. The average break even point for solar panel energy savings occurs six to 10 years after installation in urban areas.

At the end of their lifespan, which sometimes comes after a hailstorm destroys them, solar panels can be recycled at glass recycling facilities, where their glass and metal frames can be recycled. On March 15, thousands of solar panels in Texas were destroyed in a hailstorm.

But in rural Alaska, shipping glass panels back to Anchorage for recycling is another cost that will be a factor within just a few years. The disposal of the associated batteries will be another matter in rural Alaska.

Sunlight is a seasonal commodity in Alaska. Anchorage has an average annual solar radiation value of 3.65 kilowatt hours per square meter per day. The month with the highest historical solar radition values in Anchorage is June with an average of 6.21 kWh/m2/day, followed by May at 6.16 kWh/m2/day and July at 5.68 kWh/m2/day.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts