Alaska's electricity prices average slightly less than $0.23/kWh, well above the national average of $0.14/kWh. and some of the highest electricity prices in the US. The figure is skewed because prices Alaska's rural areas can be up to five times higher than urban rates. Often the state provides financial assistance to help cover power costs in rural communities.
Alaska is the largest state in the US, with 1/5 the surface area of the contiguous, or "Lower 48" states. Thanks to the Aleutian Islands Alaska as wide from East to West as the contiguous US. Much of the state remains largely uninhabited, with just under half of all Alaskans living in Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. The rest of the state averages a population density of less than one resident per square mile.
One could easily be forgiven for assuming that with Alaska's high latitudes and long winter nights, solar is not very prominent here. However, with an abundance of remote off-grid structures, solar power has come to play a vital role in life in the taiga and tundra. Solar thermal technologies are particularly popular. As solar technology rapidly improves photovoltaic panels get less expensive and more efficient, and inverters and micro-inverters get more sophisticated. All things considered, it's no surprise that rooftop off-grid and grid-tie solar has been growing rapidly in recent years. Recently Alaska's PV energy generated by residential solar overtook commercial solar generation and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) began building a more detailed database of solar installations in the state.
The average cost of a 5kW (equivalent to saving almost 100 trees a year) solar power system starts around $10,000 in Alaska. That system would pay for itself through energy savings within 6-7.5 years. System life can span well over 25 years, and savings will improve with inflation. Because rural energy prices are so high, solar can be a little less efficient than in the Lower 48 and still prove incredibly profitable outside of Alaska's metropolitan areas.
Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/
|Name||Implementing Sector||Program Type||Administrator||DSIRE ID|
|Solar Easements||State||Solar/Wind Access Policy||6|
|Renewable Energy Grant Program||State||Grant Program||Alaska Energy Authority||3080|
|Net Metering||State||Net Metering||3734|
|Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems||State||Property Tax Incentive||4449|
|Alternative Energy Conservation Loan Fund||State||Loan Program||The Division of Economic Development, Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development||5443|
|test||Utility||Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards||5456|
|Weatherization Program||State||Grant Program||Alaska Housing Finance Corporation||5618|
|Alaska Housing Finance Corporation - Research Information Center||State||Energy Analysis||Alaska Housing Finance Corporation||15997|
|Alaska Electric Light & Power Company (AEL&P) - Energy Saving Tips||Other||Training and Information||Alaska Electric Light & Power Company (AEL&P)||21942|
|Chugach Electric Association, Inc. - Net Metering||Utility||Other||Chugach Electric Association, Inc.||21944|
|Chugach Electric Association, Inc. - Energy Saving Tips||Utility||Training and Information||Chugach Electric Association, Inc.||21945|
|Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) - SNAP Renewable Energy and Net Metering Program||Utility||Energy Analysis||Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA)||21948|
|Matanuska Electric Association - Net Metering||Utility||Other||Matanuska Electric Association||21950|
|Municipal Light & Power (ML&P) - Positive ENERGY||Utility||Training and Information||Municipal Light & Power (ML&P)||21951|