The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is having its rounds with Kodiak this month. Last week Energy Secretary Rick Perry visited and toured Kodiak Island, which has a star reputation in Alaska of being almost 100% renewable. As a whole, with hydro and wind projects that have been invested into the island it relies on very little diesel for electrical production. Some communities like Old Harbor, with its location, still are reliant on diesel yet have been trying for some time to connect into hydro.
In the past the size of the population has been supported by the Coast Guard base, ranching and fish processing. The latter is incredibly energy intensive, yet only for a season. So balancing loads is a normal (for Alaska) challenge yet not an easy balancing act when less than an hour flight from Anchorage incentivizes out migration to where there are jobs other times of the year (or all year around).
Next week DOE will be running workshops as a part of their annual series on ideas and assistance to tribes who are wanting to pursue projects themselves. There will be several of the communities coming together to share their experiences as well as receive technical assistance, and though it is a compounded flight in and out from Fairbanks, I expect it will be worth the time up front.