Slana community energy plan

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September 2012

High-energy costs for heating, electricity and transportation are an economic burden on the residents, businesses and organizations of Slana. While fossil fuels play a key role in meeting current energy demands, renewable resources are likely to meet future demands. This plan provides an overview of Slana’s energy issues, needs, projects and priorities. It will serve as a guide for future energy projects in the community and incorporated into the broader Copper River Basin Regional Energy Plan.


Location: Slana stretches along the Nabesna Road, which runs south of the Tok Cutoff at mile 63. It lies at the junction of the Slana and Copper Rivers, 53 miles southwest of Tok.

Climate: Slana experiences a continental climate, with long, cold winters and relatively warm summers. Temperature extremes range from -62 to 91 °F. Annual snowfall averages 61 inches, with 13 inches of precipitation.

Legal Entities

  • Regional: The Copper River Basin is classified as an “Unorganized Borough” thus; there is no regional or municipal government in the region.

  • Local: Slana Community Corporation – Slana League

Population & Growth Rates: 147  (2011 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate) According to US Census data, the population of Slana has been increasing over the past 3 decades: 2010 = 147 - 2000 = 124 1990 = 63
Economy: A roadside lodge provides groceries, gas, liquor, an auto mechanic, and RV parking. Other local businesses include a general store, art gallery, canoe rental, bed & breakfast, snow machine sales, and solar panel sales. A Park Ranger Station and state highway maintenance camp are located nearby. Subsistence activities supplement income.

  • Number Employed: 54

  • Unemployment Rate: 48.1%

  • Not in Labor Force: 43.2%

  • Private Sector Employment:

  • Public Sector Employed: 33.3%

  • Subsistence: The majority of the residents participate in subsistence activities year-round.

  • Average Median Household Income: $40,489

  • Per Capita Income: $15,916

  • Below Poverty Level: 50.2%

Transportation: Slana has road access to the statewide system via Glenn and Richardson Highways. The nearest public airstrip is to the south at Chistochina, but a 1,200' by 100' private gravel airstrip exists.
Housing: Households - types of housing – heating fuel used

  • 2010: 77 households – 66 owner-occupied – 11 renter-occupied

  • 2000: 62 households – 55 owner-occupied – 7 renter-occupied

  • 1990: 25 households – 16 owner-occupied – 9 renter-occupied


  • Water/Sewer: Individual wells are the primary source of water in Slana; others draw water from Rufus Creek. The schools operate individual wells. Outhouses, honeybuckets, and septic systems are used for sewage disposal. Approximately one-third of the homes have complete plumbing.

  • Solid Waste: The landfill was closed in 1990.

  • Electricity: Alaska Power Company

  • Home Heating: Oil/wood

  • Gasoline/Diesel: A gasoline station is located in the community

Public Facilities

Renewable Energy Resources
Biomass: The Copper River Basin contains abundant biomass resources that could displace expensive heating oil for homes and community facilities to reduce costs and potentially create local jobs in the community.

Wind: Site-specific tests and feasibility studies need to be conducted to determine the potential of this resource.

Hydro: Reconnaissance studies are currently underway on Carlson Creek

Solar: Long daylight hours from spring until fall would indicate that solar energy may be a viable resource to reduce energy costs.

  • Solar Thermal: Hot water typically represents a significant percentage of residential energy costs and most homes and facilities in Slana require small amounts of heat at night that is currently provided by oil or wood. Solar thermal may provide a viable resource to replace oil and/or wood.

  • Solar Electric: According to most experts, the technology for solar electricity is not yet developed to make it financially feasible for Alaska. Studies are needed to determine the feasibility solar thermal.

Geothermal: Although geothermal is believed to exist in this region, cost would be prohibitive for a small community to conduct reconnaissance studies or develop the resource.

Current Energy Projects

  • Carlson Creek Hydro:

  • Contractor: Alaska Power Company

  • Funding Source: AEA - $40,001

Plans and Priorities:

1) Reduce energy consumption

  • Plan: Conduct energy efficiency studies on home and businesses to identify conservation measures that can reduce consumption

  • Priority:

2) Assess the availability of renewable energy resources

  • Plan: Conduct reconnaissance studies to assess the potential availability of solar, wind, biomass and other renewable resources.

  • Priority:

3) Assess the feasibility of utilizing renewable resources that are available in sufficient quantities to develop to reduce energy costs with homes, businesses and organizations

4) Human Resources: Slana has limited staffing to work on energy projects. Given the importance of reducing energy costs to the community there is need to create adequate staffing to address energy issues identified in this plan.

  • Plan(s): Form an Energy Committee to address energy issues – prioritize energy issues with exiting staff/programs where appropriate - seek additional funding for human resources to address energy issues

  • Priority:

Participation in Regional and Statewide Energy Planning: Regional and statewide energy projects can potentially reduce energy costs for Slana and the community needs to ensure they have a voice in the decisions that are made.

  • Plan: Participate in regional and statewide energy planning

  • Priority:



Demographics and Energy Data Sheet


Legal Entities:


Population: 147 (2011)

Composition: 122 white – 19 Alaska Native – 6 Other

Growth rates: 1990 = 63 - 2000 = 124 – 2010 = 147


# Employed: 54 – Unemployment Rate: 48.1% – Not in Labor Force: 48.2% Public Sector Employment: 33.3% - Median Income: $40,489 – Per Capita Income: $15,916 – Below Poverty: 50.2%

Primary Employers: Government - Small Businesses

Licensed businesses: 13


Households: 77 Owner-occupied: 66 – Renter-occupied: 11


Slana League Building – School – National Park Service -


Water: Individual wells – no piped water system

Sewer: Individual sewer systems – no piped community system

Solid Waste: Garbage pickup service



Provider: Alaska Power & Telephone

Power Plant: diesel generators

2012 Rates: $ .7231 cents per KWH (August 11, 2012)

2011 Rates: $ .69.9 cents per KWH

Power Cost Equalization: 49.99 cents kWh

Total Generated 2011: 974,458 kWh

Average Residential Rate: 19.87 cents/kWh

Heating Fuels

Community Facilities: Fuel Oil

Residential: Fuel oil/wood

Fuel Oil Price: $4.15 per gallon (under 200 gal.) - $4.00 per gallon (over 200 gal.)

Cordwood Price: $200 - $250 per cord when available - Bulk Fuel: None


Primary Source: Motor vehicle

Gasoline Price:


Bulk Fuel: None

Energy Projects

Hydro: Recon Study

Potential Projects

Energy conservation – recon studies of renewable energy resources – feasibility studies for renewable energy systems – participation in regional and statewide energy planning

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