Gambling on hydro in Eagle
June 22, 2010
By Joshua Saul at Alaska Dispatch: Eagle, a community of 200 far up the Yukon River and just a short snowmachine ride from the Canadian border, faces an issue that affects many remote Alaska communities: Electricity generated by burning diesel fuel, which has to be shipped in on small barges that travel during the ice-free months, is very expensive. So expensive, in fact, that across the state, high fuel costs are being blamed for outmigration to larger communities like Fairbanks and Anchorage.
A new experiment could help. With the help of federal funds, Alaska Power and Telephone is working to install a floating turbine in the silty waters of the Yukon River near Eagle, which is still recovering from last year’s devastating floods. If the turbine works, it could provide power that would cut the community’s fuel bills while providing a blueprint for electricity that could be used by rural river villages around the world. Read more