Kake checks out wind, solar, wood options 

By Ed Schoenfeld|Coast Alaska News: The Southeast village of Kake is taking a serious look at alternative energy. It’s one of five Alaska communities in a federal program providing technical assistance to speed clean energy development.

Kake, on northwest Kupreanof Island, has searched for energy solutions for decades.

Much of the focus has been on a powerline to Petersburg, which could substantially reduce the price of electricity. But that will cost tens of millions of dollars, and could take years to complete.

So, the village of 500 to 600 is considering alternatives, such as solar, wind, woody biomass and small hydro.

“We’re certainly going to look at all of the above,” says Gary Williams, executive director of the Organized Village of Kake.

The tribal government was recently selected for research and planning support by the U.S. Energy Department’s Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team.

“We’re working with others in the community to look at our energy picture, not only for electricity but overall energy. So that we can hopefully either reduce our use or the cost of energy and, of course, increase our local capacity,” he says.

Kake is already looking at wind power.

The tribal government and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council installed a 110-foot-tall test tower about two years ago. It measured speed and duration to determine whether a wind plant would work. Read more

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