Newtok Planning Group

Community Power/Alternative Energy

Construction and implementation of bulk fuel and power plant facilities in Mertarvik to meet the demand of the phased community development at Mertarvik is critical to the success of the village relocation.

The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA), with funding from the Denali Commission, has developed the Newtok-Mertarvik Relocation Energy Master Plan to provide a “road map” for development of energy infrastructure in Mertarvik and will oversee the design of the new bulk fuel and power generation systems.

Mertarvik Community Power/Alternative Energy Documents

Consistent with the phased relocation approach of the Mertarvik Strategic Management Plan, the Newtok-Mertarvik Relocation Energy Master Plan describes the action required under each relocation phase to provide fuel storage, dispensing, power generation, and electrical distribution facilities to meet the anticipated demand. Special consideration has been given to incorporating fuel‐efficient power generation equipment, recovered heat, and renewable wind and solar energy into the final power plant concept. The plan also considers the actions required under each phase to decommission the existing dilapidated tank farm and power plant facilities in Newtok and incorporate reusable tanks into the new facilities in Mertarvik.

Mertarvik Community Layout showing future bulk fuel storage and power plant module 

With Phase 1: Uplluteng (Getting Ready) of the relocation effort already complete, power and fuel development at Mertarvik will take place in the following relocation phases:

Phase 2A: Upagluteng (Pioneering)

Population: 0 year‐round

During this current phase of Newtok's relocation effort, power and fuel storage in Mertarvik will be limited to what is needed to support construction.  No community power system, electrical grid, fuel storage, or dispensing will be provided under this phase.

Phase 2B: Upagluteng (Pioneering)

Population: 0 to 35 year‐round

The power plant and bulk fuel improvements constructed under this phase will include an AEA style generator module and a small electrical distribution system to supply power to the houses, washeteria, and cafeteria building. The generator module will have automated switchgear and controls, and provide recovered generator heat to the adjacent community buildings via a small district heat loop. The houses will have continuous prime power and be suitable for year‐round residence. Bulk fuel storage will consist of expanding and improving the temporary construction tank farm to accommodate usable tanks relocated from Newtok. A 10,000‐gallon double‐wall tank will be provided for the power plant intermediate tank. The power generation, distribution, and recovered heat loop systems will be designed and constructed to accommodate the future growth of the community.

Phase 3A: Nass’paluteng (Transition)

Population: 100 year‐round

Phase 3A consists of the first large‐scale mobilization of families from Newtok to Mertarvik. This phase is scheduled for fall 2019 completion, but it could be delayed due to limited funding availability. The electrical distribution system will be expanded to support new home construction and the increased population at Mertarvik. Demonstration projects may be implemented during this phase to explore new technologies for renewable and sustainable energy.

Phase 3B: Nass’paluteng (Transition)

Population: 200 year‐round

This phase may be completed by the fall of 2020, or later (depending on funding availability). The electrical distribution system will be expanded to support the construction of new homes and the increased population at Mertarvik. The recovered heat system will be expanded to serve the MEC building. Bulk fuel improvements will include a diesel and gasoline fuel dispenser tank near the village store site, and construction of a new tank farm to provide a gross capacity for 72,000 gallons of diesel and 42,000 gallons of gasoline storage. A barge header pipeline will be constructed from the barge landings to the tank farm. Additionally, above‐ground steel gasoline and diesel pipelines will be constructed from the tank farm to the generator intermediate tank and the store fuel dispenser. The tank farm will be sized to provide sufficient storage capacity to meet the near‐term need for power generation, heating fuel, and gasoline and diesel dispensing. The tank farm dikes will be oversized to accommodate installation of additional tanks for future expansion.

Phase 4: Piciurlluni (Final Move)

Population: over 400 year‐round

In the Final Move Phase, the tank farm will be expanded to provide a gross capacity of 207,000 gallons of diesel and 96,000 gallons of gasoline storage. The electrical distribution and district heating systems will be completed, and larger generators will be installed in the generator module. Wind turbines may be erected at a preferred site depending on funding availability and the quality of the wind resource. Wind energy will be integrated into the power generation and district heating systems. Additional community facilities, such as a large school and a new or relocated clinic will be completed.


For more information contact:

Sally Russell Cox

Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1640
Anchorage, AK 99501
Phone: (907) 269-4588 FAX: (907) 269-4066