As Puerto Rico continues to experience massive power outages in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, experts are pointing to Alaska as an example of how to rebuild a stronger more resilient grid. While not an island, Alaska contains many remote communities, and for years has been leading the country in developing resilient clean energy microgrids to provide power to these “islanded” communities. Articles in The Chicago Tribune, CleanTechnica, and NPR propose “the Alaska model” as the best path forward as Puerto Rico rebuilds. "When we are facing the sort of infrastructure destruction we have seen this hurricane season, it only makes sense to give some pause before reinvesting in the exact same system that proved so vulnerable," said Gwen Holdmann, who directs the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. “If the system were redesigned around microgrids incorporating local power production, there would still be losses, but the number and duration of outages due to severe weather events would decrease."

Alaskan community that has emerged as a leader is the 99% renewable community of Kodiak. The Alaska Energy Authority received a 2014 State Leadership in Clean Energy (SLICE) Award for its 7+ years of supporting clean, resilient power in the remote town of Kodiak. As KTO News reports in a recent article, Kodiak is “a model with lessons for remote communities from the Arctic to the equator — and for cities on the big grids of the Lower 48, from New York to Houston.”

Alaska Pillar Mountian Wind Project Larger View

Photo: Pillar Mountain in Kodiak, Alaska