The rainforest of Southeast Alaska might seem like an unlikely place to find solar energy taking off. But that’s exactly what’s happening in Kake, and its causing complications for the town’s utility.
Like many isolated towns, Kake gets power from diesel generators, and it’s not cheap. Dawn Jackson, Executive Director of the Organized Village of Kake, said high energy costs affect all aspects of the community’s day-to-day life.
“We’re so used to having one light bulb on,” Jackson said. “We’re so used to having a wood stove. We’re so used to having colder houses because the stoves are on low. And that’s how we raise our children and that’s how our children are raising our grandchildren.”
But even this deeply ingrained emphasis on energy efficiency isn’t always enough to keep the bills down.