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

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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.

46 COMMENTS

  1. I can’t wait to get power from snow covered solar panels with a short sun day.
    Should work great she should give up fossil fuels and use wind as she is full of it.

  2. Ah the smell of pork cooking…

    Solar in a state under cloud cover 1/2 the time. Stupid.

  3. Many of us live in Alaska because we want to be left alone. Peltola and Murkowski are making sure that that won’t happen.

  4. She stated that these programs would lower utility rates and create jobs. This has never been true, so what has changed? The only alternative source of power that has proven to do this is hydro power and little seems to be done in this state to encourage it. And who cares about the Chinese jobs created by producing windmills and solar panels only to be installed by out of state contractors, especially when they increase our rates both short and long term. Does she think that we are all stupid?

  5. Suzanne. You chide Peltola for what you see as her bringing a small percentage to Alaska yet in every other article about the Feds, you and commenters complain about federal overreach. Which is it?

  6. Hurry back, Trump. SOS.
    We are in an emergency with zero-brained idiots running our country.
    NB3, we need you too.

  7. All solar and windmill junk in need of disposal needs to be divided up between Peltola’s property, McCabe’s, Dunleavy’s, Murcowski’s, Sullivan’s, Hoffman’s and every other RINO/democrat that has destroyed our state.

  8. Hey Suzanne, how about an article on the amount of US taxpayers money going to subsidize oil companies? In FY22 this amounted to $760 billion. You render your journalistic garments at $7 billion for solar energy so I would assume you and all the other naysayers here on MRAK would be even more enraged by this obscene largesse, yes?

    • As long as we’re offering wish lists,
      How about:
      -Grandpa Bloodstains is encouraging violent anti Semitism to get re-elected.
      -Grandpa Bloodstains ongoing attack on Christianity. You should approve of that one.
      -Grandpa Bloodstains is robbing blue collar workers to pay the debts of unemployable college graduates with useless degrees.
      -Grandpa Bloodstains using tax dollars to fly in illegals.
      -Grandpa Bloodstains ongoing attack on women.

      I could go on, and on, and on nearly endlessly.

      See how easy it is to derail a thread with superfluous requests?

      • I made a comment directly related to the claims of wasteful spending in the article by showing how miniscule the taxpayer output is for this solar initiative compared to the obscene propping up of the oil industry that is a yearly event for US taxpayers.

        Thanks for your lovely non-sequitur. All too predictable. As you like to say, hush child, adults are talking.

        • And yet, you keep talking.

          You are nowhere near as clever as you think yourself. So, again hush child. Adults are talking. Focus and try to learn something.

          • Cman is not in the smart league.
            I challenge him to put the government on his bank accounts so they can take what they want Spence he supports communism.

            • And just for your own reference Mark, insults are not a sufficient replacement for an argument. If you would like to refute anything I actually said, however, please feel free to do so.

  9. The same old narrative that we hear over and over. It will bring jobs, lower costs, and save consumers money. No, just the opposite occurs. When people are unable to heat their homes by conventional means they are going to burn trees, furniture, what ever ignites to stay warm. It happened in Texas.

  10. And all her ads brag about the high paying jobs she is bringing to Alaska and how she is protecting fishing the backbone of the Alaska economy don’t get me wrong fishing is important but oil and mining resources play a more critical role in Alaska. At the end of these adds it states that these are the reasons that more is our voice instead of recognizing that the only chance she has was our super flawed ranked choice voting

  11. Alaska’s population makes up less than a half of a percent of the US population. Yet they received 1.78% of the grant. Suzanne, this is you playing with numbers.

  12. So solar panels in remote Alaska will be toxic waste in a couple decades. The cleanup cost will be more… much more

    • Then the wasteful DC trio will get Fed money & create “more” jobs throwing that toxic Chinese crap away.
      Try to keep up man, they are “saving” the planet!

    • There is not enough smarts to keep the solar systems running in the bush.
      In a year they will be broke and mothballed.

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