Homer Electric in line to get $7 million for wind project 

By Dante Petri at the Peninsula Clarion: The winds blew favorably for Homer Electric Association as the legislative session came to a close last week but the utility coop will have to hope for more of the same if it is to be granted the $7 million that state lawmakers allotted it for construction of a wind farm in Nikiski. Within the state capital budget is money for the project, aimed at placing wind turbines along the bluff adjacent to the closed Agrium fertilizer plant. Gov. Sean Parnell still has line-item veto power, however, and has said he plans to trim the budget.

Should the funds be granted, HEA will be a figurative guinea pig for testing the incorporation of what are referred to as “non-firm” power sources into the Railbelt energy grid that serves Southcentral and the Interior. According to Joe Gallagher, spokesman for Homer Electric, the company is negotiating with an independent power producer on a project called Kenai Winds that could generate as much as 14.4 megawatts of electricity, depending on how the winds blow. Read more

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