Fire Island wind farm finds customer
June 15, 2011
Exciting news today about Fire Island Wind Project in Anchorage: Chugach Electric Association is expected to sign a Power Purchase Agreement today to buy power from the project (See story below). This wind power will cost us more in the short term, but over the long term the wind will be cheaper as natural gas prices inevitably rise. Natural gas provides 90% of our electricity in Anchorage, and is already running in short supply. By adding wind power, we stabilize our energy costs over the long term by reducing our reliance on natural gas and because the cost of wind doesn’t vary like natural gas.
Want to know more:
Wind Power in Alaska: Nearly two dozen communities from Kasigluk to Delta Junction to Kodiak are already powering up with wind. Click the link to see Alaska’s other wind projects at a glance. For a quick overview of windpower in Alaska, click here
Unalakleet: Wind power is cranking in Unalakleet. Click the link to see the stats and turbines turning in real time.
Kodiak: Kodiak has the biggest turbines in Alaska. Last year, they produced enough power to save the utility $2.3 million in avoided diesel fuel costs. See the stats on how much power they’ve produced this year.
Cook Inlet Natural Gas Supply Chart: This chart is from a 2010 study done for Enstar, and shows that in 2014, natural gas supplies in Cook Inlet will dip below demand without new, expensive investment. See the full report by Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska.
Fire Island Wind Project Finds a Customer
By Patti Epler of Alaska Dispatch
Anchorage — The proposed Fire Island wind farm in Anchorage is moving closer to reality under a deal with Chugach Electric Association that would lock in the price of power for the next 25 years.
The Chugach board of directors is expected to approve a power purchase agreement at its meeting last Wednesday that would pay Cook Inlet Region Inc., an Alaska Native corporation, 9.7 cents a kilowatt hour for power generated from the project. That’s about twice the cost of natural gas-generated power, but the cost of natural gas is going up, especially for Chugach, which relies heavily on Cook Inlet gas to supply electricity to its customers in Southcentral Alaska.
The board last week approved the terms and conditions for the deal, and was expected to approve the actual agreement this week.
CIRI’s board of directors will meet next week and is also expected to back the agreement, said CIRI spokesman Jim Jager.
It would then go before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska for approval, which might be a bit harder sell since the cost of the power is higher than consumers pay now. But Chris Rose, executive director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, said the stability of the price over the long term is a strong selling point.
“Over the long term this is a good deal for consumers,” he said. Read more