Port of Anchorage, Alaska.

Sandia and Port of Alaska sign agreement on renewable-energy and resilience research 

May 23, 2022 11:15 am Published by

A new memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Sandia National Laboratories and the Port of Alaska was announced on Monday, May 23, at the ArcticX Summit. This collaboration demonstrates both Sandia’s and the Port of Alaska’s commitment to increasing energy reliability and resilience, as well as transitioning to a clean-energy economy in the Arctic.

The agreement between Sandia and the Port of Alaska launches a joint evaluation of the potential for renewable-energy resources and markets for improving power systems within Alaska’s Upper Cook Inlet.

The Port of Alaska, located on Upper Cook Inlet, handles half of all Alaska inbound freight. Infrastructure failures at the Port increase costs and delay shipping schedules. Such failures can also lead to statewide disruptions in the distribution of fuel and freight, including food. The Port is interested in renewable-energy and grid-modernization technologies as a pathway for improving the efficiency and resiliency of its operations, as well as for supporting new business development opportunities.

“We look forward to working with the Port of Alaska to better understand the technical, regulatory, and financial challenges to improving the Port’s power systems and the value of exploring different renewable-energy scenarios,” said Andy McIlroy, the associate labs director for Integrated Security Solutions at Sandia. “Our goal is to provide reliable, actionable assessments that will allow this region to thrive as both Arctic and global conditions continue to evolve in response to climate change.”

Sandia will draw on a unique set of capabilities in renewable-energy technologies, microgrids, technology and lifecycle assessment, and market analysis to identify and assess different renewable-energy deployment scenarios. This work will also build on the knowledge and experiences Sandia has gained from over 25 years of research and development in the Arctic.  

Andy added, “The Arctic is critical for understanding and advancing climate science and security. Sandia sees partnerships as key for addressing the complicated issues facing this important region.”   

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