Solar Incentives and Rebates in Alaska

Peak Sun Hours (PSH): 2.4-2.9
Cost of Grid Power: $0.23/kWh
Number Of Installations: 1,415

What’s the Cost of Solar in Alaska?

Cost of Grid Power

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.

Does Solar Power Work in Alaska?

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.

Cost of a Solar Install

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.

What Incentives are Available in Alaska?

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
Interconnection Guidelines State Interconnection 4824
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
TEST State Corporate Depreciation 5736
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


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