Mark Your Calendar for September 5 – Sitka’s $300,000 Transformation Awaits!


september 5 sitka news

Unlocking Sitka’s Green Revolution on September 5: Are You Ready for a Sustainable Energy Transformation?

Sitka’s Sustainability Commission has struck gold with a whopping $300,000 in federal aid for the upcoming year to draft a renewable energy game plan. But here’s the twist – they’re now on the hunt for your thoughts on this exciting project!

Teaming up with the National Renewable Energy Lab for their Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project is their ace in the hole. What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means they’ve got a direct line to energy whizzes while they cook up this masterplan. Let’s dive into the view of Sustainability Coordinator Bri Gabel and Commission Chair Katie Riley to break it down:

Gabel spills the beans on their secret hero – data from the city’s electric department, collected in a study last year.

How’d they get their hands on it? The Department of Energy had their back, that’s how. Now, Sitka’s got something unique going for it – their utility is owned by the town itself. This sets them apart because most places in the country have privately-owned utilities. And because of this golden combo, they’ve got nearly two years of rock-solid data in their arsenal. So, where’s all this data leading them? Gabel puts it simply, “We need direction. We don’t want to generate just for the sake of it. What’s the point? So, where should we steer our ship for the benefit of our community?”

Their grand plan kicks off with what they call the “scoping process” at a meeting on September 5. Now, Chair Katie Riley tells this is just the beginning. Brace yourselves, folks; there are more chances than you can shake a stick at for you to join in and toss your questions into the mix.

One question that pops up often is, “Hey, we recently spruced up the dam, and we’ve got power to spare. Why the chatter about more power? Why the energy talk?” Riley takes a moment to school us, “This is your chance to get schooled on why we’re having these chats, why we’re exploring the idea of adding more power to the mix, and why that might be a good move. But it’s not just a one-way conversation – we want to know what you’d like to do with that extra juice.”

Back in 2020, a temporary climate task force laid the groundwork for this Sustainability Commission, which became official last year. While they’re all gung-ho about crafting an energy strategy, they’re also mulling over ideas like diverting waste stream and switching the city’s wheels to electric mode.

Mark your calendars because the commission is hosting a meetup at Harrigan Centennial Hall, and it’s all going down at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5. Don’t miss i


Q: So, what’s this Sustainability Commission all about in Sitka, really?

Answer: You bet, the Sustainability Commission is like the rudder of a ship, guiding Sitka towards a brighter, eco-friendly future. They wear many hats – think energy plans, trash wrangling, and going electric.

Q: Hold on a minute, why talking about more power after upgrading the dam?

Answer: Great question! It’s not about immediate needs but the long game. The Sustainability Commission is thinking ahead, ensuring we make the most of this extra juice for the community’s benefit.

Q: What’s the endgame with renewable energy strategy?

Answer: Picture this – a Sitka with power from the sun and wind, less waste, and everyone doing their bit for nature. The goal? A strong, eco-smart for generations to come.

Q: Tell me, what’s the scoop on switching wheels to electric?

Answer: Buckle up, it’s a green ride! Electric vehicles mean less pollution, cheaper rides, and a nod to Mother Nature. It’s our ticket to a cleaner, greener way of getting around.


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