Vermont Lt. Governor tours Alaska wind farms
September 18, 2009
Vermont Public Radio talked with Vermont Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie and Alaska Village Electric Cooperative President Meera Kohler about a trip this week to tour wind projects at Gambell and Unalakleet. REAP Executive Director Chris Rose also toured the sites. In the public radio interview, Kohler notes the high cost of energy in Alaska is one of the driving forces behind wind projects here.
Consumers in the villages are paying, on average, 62 cents per kilowatt hour – that’s roughly 6 times what Vermonters pay. She says the turbines can cut these costs by at least 20%. “Our villages are very, very small – the average population is about 400 – and they’re completely reliant on diesel for electrical generation. So as a result, if you can imagine when the cost of diesel spiked the cost of electricity went right along with it…so it’s really a huge economic burden to be reliant upon diesel.”