Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA)

  • Overview
  • 2017/2018 Projects
  • 2016 Projects
  • 2015 Projects

The Clean Diesel Program provides support for projects that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines. This program includes grants and rebates funded under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).

Alaska Energy Authority participates in the State DERA program. Pending yearly funding from Congress, states can apply for DERA funds based on population. In addition to the state program, EPA also a tribal DERA program that awards funds competitively nationwide. Please contact AEA for information on this program.

DERA can cover a number of project types – from school bus replacement to railroad engines. The State of Alaska, through AEA, uses DERA funds exclusively to replace prime power diesel engines in rural Alaska. These engines typically run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and make the largest impact on air quality for a rural community. 

Communities throughout most of rural Alaska are not connected to one another by a larger electric grid. Electricity must be generated locally. Small diesel power plants are used in small rural communities across the state; these are Alaska’s islanded grids. Emissions from these diesel engines can be problematic. Inefficient engines drive up fuel consumption and power costs. Installing newer certified, more efficient engines will both reduce the emissions per quantity of fuel combusted, as well as produce electricity more efficiently further reducing emissions, as well as saving money. Specific estimates for each community are included in AEA’s annual DERA work plan.

AEA selects communities for engine replacement through the DERA program based on current engine condition, redundancy, efficiency and engine eligibility. AEA works within the purpose and restrictions of the DERA program to serve communities most in need of new diesel engines. AEA selects communities for engine replacement based on available data on current engine condition, number of operational engines, reported generation efficiency and factors affecting the eligibility of engines. AEA then works with the individual utilities to ensure their interest in participating in the program and determine the full scope of the project.

EPA approved a request by DEC for AEA to be the lead granting authority for Alaska to administer funds from the DERA program starting fiscal year 2016.  DEC will continuing to provide assistance to AEA on the air quality measures associated with any DERA funding, and any other assistance they may need to manage these funds.

2017/2018 projects are in the planning stage; the number of engines removed/replaced is assumed, not final.

Federal Fiscal Year

Community

Engines Removed/Replaced

2015

Chuathbaluk

One/One

2015

Crooked Creek

One/One

2015

Stoney River

One/One

2015

Sleetmute

One/One

2016

Hughes

Three/Two

2016

Kokhanok

Two/Two

2016

Chignik Lagoon

One/One

2017/2018

Takotna

Three/Three

2017/2018

Tuluksak

One/One

2017/2018

Circle

Two/Two

2017/2018

Chignik Lake

Two/Two

Rebecca Garrett, Project Manager
Tel. (907) 771-3042
Fax (907) 771-3044 

2018 DERA

On April 30, 2018 Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) submitted the Notice of Intent to Continue with additional funds from the EPA under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program.  AEA portion is $411,150 of new federal funding with AEA contributing $137,050 from the Rural Power System Upgrade Program, and the Volkswagen Settlement $274,100 (pending approval) for a total additional budget of $822,300.  This project, expanded with the FY17 funds, is expected to replace eight diesel engines and generators (where needed) in four rural powerhouses.

 

2017 DERA

On October 1, 2017 Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) received $335,024 from the EPA under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) and AEA is contributing $362,942 from the Rural Power System Upgrade Program as well as an additional contribution from the Denali Commission of $53,234 for a total project budget of $751,200.  This project is expected to replace four to six generators in rural powerhouses.  The community determination is on-going.

 

2017 DERA Project: Hughes

In 2016, Alaska Energy Authority received $286,241 from the EPA under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) for rural powerhouse engine replacements. AEA contributed $310,094 from the Rural Power System Upgrade (RPSU) program and received a contribution from the Denali Commission of $152,874 for a total project budget of $749,209. Local cash match, value engineering, and additional state funding was leveraged for an expanded scope that ultimately led to the replacement of six diesel engines with five efficient, cleaner engines in Hughes.

Remove the box around the Hughes DERA project photos. Remove the title “Hughes DERA Project.” Instead add a caption to each photo (“Hughes powerhouse 2017” and “Hughes powerhouse gensets 2017” respectively). List the photos up and down instead of left and right. Left justify the photos. Keep the photos the same size as current (relative to the text).

The scope of the 2017 Hughes DERA project consisted of:

  1. Replacement of one existing 78kW non-Tier diesel engine with a new 100kW Tier 3 marine diesel engine.
  2. Replacement of two existing 37kW non-Tier diesel engines with a new 165kW Tier 2 marine diesel engine along with a new generator and skid (complete genset).
  3. Permanently disabling the three old engines by cutting a minimum 3” hole in the block to prevent future operation.
  4. Modification of existing exhaust, coolant, fuel, and other related systems as required to ensure proper operation of the new engines.
  5. Installation of new power and control wiring for the new engines and generators.
  6. Revisions to the generation controls and SCADA to ensure proper control and monitoring of engine and generator function. (Note that modifications were set up to allow future conversion from single phase to three-phase operation by others under a separate project.)

The Hughes project was completed 9/30/2017.

 

In 2016 Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) received $286,241 from the EPA under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) and AEA is contributing $310,094 from the Rural Power System Upgrade Program as well as an additional contribution from the Denali Commission of $152,874  for a total project budget of $749,209.  This project is expected to replace five generators with four generators in Hughes, Chignik Lagoon and Kokhanok. 


In the spring of 2016 AEA replaced four diesel engines in the power plants of four Alaskan rural communities: Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Sleetmute and Stony River.  With support of this DERA grant, these non-certified, mechanically controlled engines were upgraded to marine certified Tier 2 and Tier 3 electronically controlled engines, improving efficiency and lowering emissions.  The project was completed with the final installations and testing completed in September 2016.


Chuathbaluk Replacement Engines            
   
   

In 2015 AEA partnered with the Division of Environmental Conservation (DEC). DEC received $248,212 from EPA under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) and AEA is contributing $235,652, for a total project budget of $483,864 to replace four diesel generators in four rural communities: Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Sleetmute, and Stony River.