Alaska Energy Authority

Rashah McChesney/Alaska Energy Desk

The Alaska Industrial Development and Energy Authority, or AIDEA, is a state-owned corporation that focuses on economic projects meant to create jobs and diversify the state’s economy. It uses its own revolving fund to generate loans and fund projects, meaning it doesn’t draw funding out of the state unrestricted general fund, which the Legislature allocates for the budget every year.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

There could be a chain of electric vehicle chargers along the Railbelt by 2022. The Alaska Energy Authority is building out its plan to make the 600-mile stretch of highway friendlier to electric vehicles.

But advocates say the state needs to change regulations before that plan is feasible. Earlier this month, a coalition of Railbelt utilities proposed some of those changes to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, the body that manages public utilities in the state.

Econ 919 — EV update

May 21, 2021
Photo: Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Alaska Energy Authority was scouting spots along the Railbelt this spring to place 10 to 14 electric vehicle charging stations — covering the 600-mile-long stretch of highway between Homer and Fairbanks.

It was one of the first steps in the corporation’s plan to make the Railbelt friendlier to electric vehicles. The project is funded in part from Alaska’s share of a 2017 settlement with Volkswagen over a Diesel emissions scandal.

Sabine Poux/KDLL

The Alaska Energy Authority plans to install between 10 and 14 electric chargers along the Railbelt, from Homer and Seward to Fairbanks.

The corporation is looking for companies to make those charging stations and sites to host them. It has about $1 million to put toward the project, part of Alaska’s share of a 2017 settlement with Volkswagen over a Diesel emissions scandal.