4-1-1 in the 5-3-3 Sep 2014

Written by Alexanna Salmon on .

This past month we conclude our fiscal year end. Luckily, we also wrapped up our very first hydrokinetic deployment project: "We are thrilled with the successful demonstration of the self-deployment and power generation features of our system and the lessons learned will be invaluable to us as we complete our commercial design of RivGen® next year," said ORPC President & CEO Chris Sauer. He added "We are indebted to our Alaska-based project team, the Village of Igiugig, and the local contractors whose professionalism, ingenuity and perseverance really paid off." In Alaska, the company has invested over $2.6 million since 2009 and has built a supply chain of over 50 partners and contractors throughout the state, including the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and Anchorage. Since 2007, ORPC has invested more than $25 million into the Maine economy and created or retained more than 100 jobs statewide. The RivGen® Power System Commercialization Project was funded in part by the Denali Commission and its partner, the Alaska Energy Authority. (ORPC Press Release, 09.23.14).

Due to all of Igiugig’s demonstration energy projects, four of us [Kannon, Dave, Betsy, and myself] attended the Rural Energy Conference, September 23-25 hosted in Fairbanks. I moderated a session called “Small Utility Innovations” and Monty Worthington provided a presentation on the RivGen® demonstration this summer. I was proud to see photos of three locals—Gilbert, Jocko, and Terek—that he included in his presentation as pillars to the success of the RISEC project.

On September 26th I attended mining related meetings in Anchorage before returning to Igiugig. I also arranged for Jiles Pourier and Renee Grounds to work in Igiugig for the next year as a candidate for the Health Aid and Grants Administrator positions. They will be renting the log cabin and beginning work on October 20th.

We have also commenced a new project: A Yup’ik Understanding of the Plants Around Us through a National Park Service Tribal Heritage Grant that Kannon wrote. Renae Zackar has been hired as a project lead and will be working over the next year to glean information from locals that are knowledgeable on the subject. We will also involve the University and the school on this collaborative project. The Igiugig Welcome sign will be re-planted with indigenous plants and placards with their Yup’ik name by next year.

Our emergency services are improving! The cement has been poured for the emergency garage and the building should be completed before the end of October. We acquired our very first search and rescue boat through a BBNA grant too. As usual, it has been another busy month in this bustling community. If you want to read more about some of our projects, please visit these press releases: (Alaska Native Fund hangar light Project) (ORPC Project) (Yup’ik Plant Project)

The highlight of September for me was a surprise Welcome Home Mavrik party that was hosted at the Hills residence. I thought I was invited to a campaign party and was shocked walking into a house full of community members hollering “Surprise!” It caught me so off guard I had to choke back a few tears—thank you everyone for the thoughtfulness. The food was incredible, great company, and gifts to treasure for a lifetime. QUYANA!