June 5, 2009
Naknek Electric Association, banking on a decade of geothermal research and planning, is preparing to drill an exploration well near King Salmon, in a multi-million dollar project with potential to provide power to 28 villages in Southwest Alaska.
The project would be the first utility-grade geothermal development in Alaska. The initial cost estimate for the generation plant and 450 miles of transmission line interconnecting regional villages is $200 million, NEA officials said. The initial load would be 18 megawatts, with full potential to use 25 megawatts within two years. Estimates are that use of geothermal power could cut the cost of power production by 70 percent.