Alaska has abundant wind resources suitable for development, mostly located in the western and coastal portions of the state. The availability of wind resources in combination with the high cost of diesel electricity generation in much of rural Alaska makes wind power an economical and clean alternative to traditional fossil fuels.A typical 1000-kW wind turbine can displace about 17,800 gallons of diesel fuel per year, a savings of nearly $55,000 to an electric utility paying $3.10/gallon for diesel fuel. The largest areas of class 7 (superior) wind power in the United States are located in Alaska. Much of coastal Alaska has “good” or “excellent” wind resources.
There are now 28 wind installations operating in rural communities outside of the Railbelt.
1.8MW Wind Farm for Tok in 2018
Alaska Power and Telephone has announced plans to build a 1.8 MW wind farm near Tok, Alaska. Called 7-Mile Wind, the project is targeted for completion in late 2018 and will provide power to about 1,500 residents in the four rural Interior Alaska communities of Tok, Tetlin, Dot Lake, and Tanacross. The wind farm will be the latest addition to a growing list of 20 + communities across the state already powered by wind. The conceptual design calls for installing two 900 KW turbines on 7-Mile Ridge, which is about 10 miles south of Tok, adjacent to the Glenn Highway. Together the turbines are expected to produce enough power to reduce diesel fuel use in the four communities by 250,000 gallons a year and offset more than 66,650 metric tons of carbon annually. The cost of the project is estimated at $10 million, and will be funded in part by a $3 million High Energy Cost Grant from the United States Department of Agriculture. The utility expects to finalize its financing plan over the next couple months.