Anchorage utility offers proposal for Fire Island wind power
March 24, 2011
From the Anchorage Daily News: The Anchorage Municipal Light and Power board met today and decided to forward a proposal to a company that wants to develop and sell power from a wind turbine farm on Fire Island.
But ML&P, a city-owned power company, did not release any information about the offer, saying only that it will not put customers at risk. Details will be made public later this week after the company behind the wind farm, Cook Inlet Region Inc., receives the proposal, said MaryAnn Hanson, ML&P public relations director.
Cook Inlet Region wants to develop wind power on the island off Anchorage to supply electricity to railbelt utilities, but has been stymied so far because no utilities have signed power purchase agreements, CIRI spokesman Jim Jager said this week.
“Realistically the project isn’t going forward until we have power purchase agreements,” he said.
Chugach Electric Association, also based in Anchorage, has been in discussions with CIRI, but they have not signed on, Jager said. The Anchorage Assembly in February approved a resolution asking ML&P, the city’s electric utility, to negotiate an agreement to buy some of the wind power.
CIRI is looking at a couple of alternatives for how much power it might generate in a first phase, Jager said. One option is to produce a maximum of 35 megawatts at any time, an amount projected to be enough to meet electrical needs of 12,000 households. A bigger version of the project, at 52 megawatts, would take care of 17,000 households, he said.