AEA and GVEA Awarded $12.8 Million Grant to Expand Electricity to Black Rapids Training Site

Contact Information:

Alaska Energy Authority: Brandy M. Dixon, (907) 771-3078,

Golden Valley Electric Association: Meadow Bailey, (907) 451-5676,



September 27, 2022

(Anchorage) –  The Department of Defense announced Friday that the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) was awarded a $12,752,540 grant from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation under the Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program.

The grant was applied for by AEA in collaboration with Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) and will support the construction of a 34-mile electric distribution line extension along the Richardson Highway to the Black Rapids Training Site (BRTS).

“We are honored to partner with GVEA on this important infrastructure project that supports our military,” said Curtis W. Thayer, AEA Executive Director. “This extension will improve long-term sustainability and reliability for Black Rapids by tying them into GVEA’s power grid. This project fits squarely within Governor Dunleavy’s strategy of developing and implementing low-cost-reliable energy solutions for Alaskans.”

“We recognize and value the military’s vital presence in Interior Alaska,” said John Burns, GVEA President.“We are proud to expand electric service to further support the mission of our military members. This line extension will enable Black Rapids to transition from diesel generator power, which will improve resiliency, save money and benefit the environment.”

Operated by Fort Wainwright, Black Rapids is a primary site for state-of-the-art cold weather and mountain warfare tactics and techniques training for the United States military. Currently, the site is solely dependent on power supplied by diesel fuel generators. The Department of Defense estimates that the savings due to reduced operational costs and deferred capital improvements will pay for the line extension within a few years.

GVEA is a not-for-profit member-owned cooperative that has operated for 76 years in Interior Alaska. GVEA’s existing power line ends about 10 miles south of Delta Junction, and approximately 30 miles north of Black Rapids.

Design and permitting for the new distribution line will begin immediately, with construction anticipated to begin in late 2023. The project is scheduled for completion by late 2025.

The Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program is a competitive program that assists states and communities in the development of infrastructure enhancements including resiliency measures that support mission-critical military operations and quality of life benefits for local service members and their families. BRTS is a primary site for state-of-the-art cold weather and mountain warfare tactics and techniques training for the U.S. military.

Staff Sgt. Cody Stowe, Black Rapids Training Site NCOIC, straps into military skis March 1 before making a run down the BRTS ski slope. Northern Warfare Training Center instructors are experts in arctic movement techniques, training two levels above the Cold Weather Leaders Course students they are charged with teaching.

The Alaska Energy Authority supports critical projects that improve energy safety, reliability and affordability through the development, operations and financing of energy projects around the state.

Golden Valley Electric Association serves over 100,000 residents in Interior Alaska. The cooperative’s mission is to safely provide members with reliable electric service, quality customer service and innovative energy solutions at fair and reasonable prices.