Alaska’s Renewable Energy Projects
- Anchorage Landfill Gas Electricity - The municipality of Anchorage and Doyon Utilities has commissioned a program for collecting methane emissions from their landfill that would otherwise be emitted directly into the atmosphere and using that collected gas as a fuel to displace natural gas demand. To date, the project has generated over 100,000 MWh of electricity and has displaced about 10 million gallons of diesel. This 5.6 MW methane power plant provides over 25% of Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson’s electrical load.
- Cordova - The Native Village of Eyak was the grantee for the Cordova wood processing plant, which went online in December of 2011. Since then, the plant has provided over 4,000 MMBtu of thermal energy and has displaced over 34,000 gallons of diesel.
- Craig – In 2008, the City of Craig, with a population of 1,201, installed a sawmill waste-fired boiler to heat the city pool and school. The boiler will save the city an estimated $120,000 per year annually and displace about 19,000 gallons of oil and 33,000 gallons of propane. In 2011, the City of Craig planned to purchase an additional biomass fuel dryer with a capacity of approximately 13,000 gallons of wood water per year produced as a byproduct of the sawmilling process. Dried wood would then be burned in publicly owned facilities to provide reduced-cost, district-style heat at a reduced cost to the public entities that operate these facilities.
- Delta Junction - In 2012, Delta/Greely School District constructed a Wood Chip Boiler Heating System to heat 44,000 sq. ft. school in the sub-arctic. It has replaced over 96,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
- Dot Lake – Dot Lake incorporated a cordwood community-heating project to reduce heating fuel costs.
- Fairbanks — In December 2011, Fairbanks biomass generators became a new source of power for Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA). This project will provide an estimated 300-kilowatt hours of electricity to GVEA, boosting up to 500 kilowatt hours after the kinks were ironed out. GVEA’s total customers use about 200 megawatts of power per hour during the winter.
- Gartina Falls - This project, located 2.5 miles southeast of the Hoonah Airport, is a run-of-river type hydroelectric project. The system has nearly a 0.5 MW capacity and produces over 1,800 MWh/yr. This project represents about 30% of Hoonah’s electricity demand, which greatly the community’s diesel consumption. Read more from AEA.
- Gulkana - The Gulkana Village Council was the grantee for the Gulkana Central Wood Heating project which went online in October of 2010. Since then, the project has provided over 3,800 MMBtu of thermal energy and has displaced over 35,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
- Haines (Chilkoot) Central Wood Heating System Construction: The Chilkoot Indian Association has constructed a four-plex low-income housing facility that will incorporate a cordwood-fired boiler. It has displaced about 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
- Lake and Peninsula Wood Boilers- The Lake and Peninsula Borough have installed high efficiency low emissions wood boilers to provide heat to two buildings: the Kokhanok Village Council Building and the Community Building.
- North Pole – In 2009, Chena Power began construction on a 400 kW power generating demonstration plant that will burn 4,300 tons of waste paper and other biomass annually, generating 500kW of power for the Golden Valley Electric Association. The plant is now operational. Read this article for further information.
- Susitna Valley High School- In 2014, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough finished constructing a wood-fired heating system for the Susitna Valley High School. The system included an Energy Building to house the boilers, the on-site storage of the wood fuel, the connection piping to the building and the regulating mechanisms.
- Tanacross- In 2012, the Native Village of Tanacross began final designs and construction of a single centrally located woody biomass plant to heat four community facilities. The project is estimated to displace 26,500 gallons of imported heating oil and create local wood-harvesting jobs and catalyze small businesses. ACEP held a training for wood fired boiler system in April 2015.
- Tanana – In November 2007, Tanana Power Company Inc. finished installing two 1850-gallon hot water boilers, each capable of producing 425,000 Btu/hr, to heat a watershed. The simple payback on the initial system cost of $170,000 will be approximately 6.5 years assuming diesel is at $2 per gallon. Currently, this project displaces approximately 9,000 gallons of diesel every year. In 2010, the City of Tanana in collaboration with the Tanana Tribal Council applied for a Round III grant from the Renewable Energy Fund to install a biomass heating facility for an Assisted Living Facility, the Tanana Tribal Offices and the Internet High Tech training Center. Since the application was submitted in 2009, the City of Tanana has also been awarded $1,540,000 from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to conduct energy efficiency activities in the community and to design and construct biomass heating systems for the school, tribal complex, water/sewer system, fire hall, and city offices.
- Thorne Bay School- In 2009, the Southeast Island School District received a grant to fund the final design and construction of a wood fired boiler system for the local school. Wood would be supplied by local sawmills, USFS small sales, wood left behind on the landings from large timber sales and from small local firewood cutters. Coffman Cove and Kasaan have similar wood fired boiled systems. Find more information about biomass in the Southeast Island School District here.
- Tok- The Tok School Biomass Heating Project is an automated wood chip heating system that heats a 75,000 sq. ft. school and approximately 5,000 sq. ft. outbuildings. The system has so far displaced 180,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The project is currently complete and operational.
- Upper Kobuk River Biomass- The City of Kobuk began final design and construction for a wood burning boiler system in 2012. They now use the boiler system to meet the city’s internal heating needs.
- Learn more about smaller, individual woody biomass projects in Alaska and Craig here.
Project Under Construction
- Fort Yukon- This project, coordinated by Gwitchyaa Zhee Utility Company, is constructed of a chip-fired biomass heating system to replace the GZ diesel power plant. Gwitchyaa Zhee began work in 2008. Once completed, the project is expected to displace 136,000 gallons of diesel every year. It will be the first off-grid, off-road biomass CHP system in the world.
The geothermal resources in Alaska are grouped into four regions: the “Ring of Fire” along the Aleutians, the Wrangell Mountain region, the Interior hot springs region, and the Southeast hot springs region. There are more than fifty volcanoes and 100 hot springs (60% of which have temperatures greater than 50 C) in Alaska.
Existing Projects and Past Explorations
- Akutan – In 2010, The City of Akutan on the Aleutian Chain drilled two exploration wells in Hot Springs Valley to assess the feasibility of a geothermal energy source there. The prospective project would provide heat for Akutan’s 1027 residents and a local fish processing plant. The first well produced water in excess of 360 degrees Fahrenheit. The project received additional funding in 2013 to move into the final design and permitting phase. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop a resource capable of supporting a megawatt-scale geothermal power plant. The project is still in the works as of 2014.
- Update, 6/23/15: Akutan is now planning to drill another exploratory geothermal well in the summer of 2016.
- Alaska Sea Life Center Heat Pump Project- In 2010, the 120,000 square foot Alaska SeaLife Center received grant funds from the Denali Commission and Alaska Energy Authority to design and install two 90 ton heat pumps that utilize sea water from ice free Resurrection Bay to provide heat for indoor spaces, outdoor sidewalks, and domestic hot water. In December 2012, the two existing oil boilers were turned off and the sea water heat pump system performance was monitored continuously through December 2013. Throughout 2013, the heat pump system displaced 48,104 gallons of heating oil, producing a net savings of $120,000 and a net CO2 emission reduction of 420,000 lbs. The average system COP (coefficient of performance) for the year was 2.77; this represents an efficiency of 277% over heating oil or straight electric heat. In 2014, AEA provided an Emerging Energy Technology grant to design and install additional heat pumps that utilize CO2 as a refrigerant and lift sea water temperatures from 40 degrees F up to 194 degrees F for baseboard heat in the offices and labs. MORE INFO
- Chena Hot Springs Resort -The resort expanded its 400 kW of binary cycle generators, installed in 2006, to 680 kW in 2008. Produced by United Technologies Corporation (UTC) with assistance from state and federal agencies, the generators run on 165°F water, the lowest temperature energy source for an operating geothermal power plant in the world. At 400 kW, the original $2.1 million project displaces 150,000 gallons of diesel annually and saves over $450,000 a year based on $3.00/gallon fuel prices. In addition to the electric power plant, the Chena Resort uses its geothermal resources for outdoor baths, district heating, swimming pool heating, and to provide heat and carbon dioxide to its greenhouses. The site also uses geothermal energy for refrigeration, having installed a 16-ton absorption chiller in 2005 to maintain an outdoor ice museum that is kept frozen year-round. The chiller uses water from a 165°F well as a heat source and a 40°F creek as a heat sink. Chena continues to research and explore the powerful geothermal resource under the resort.
- Japonski Island Boathouse Heat Pump- The City and Borough of Sitka began designing and constructing a hybrid ground source heat pump (GSHP) to serve the heating needs at the Japonski Island Boathouse Historical Rehabilitation Project in 2011.The Japonski Island Boathouse Heat Pump hybrid system will meet approximately 81% of the facility’s heating needs, with a supplemental electric heat system to make up the difference during periods when the facility’s heat loads exceed the capacity of the ground source heat pumps.
- Update, 6/23/15: This geothermal project has been canceled due a lack of an ability to come up with their committed match for funding.
- Juneau Airport Ground Source Heat Pump- The use of geothermal energy at the Juneau International Airport Terminal is part of an overall renovation and expansion project. Based on the feasibility study conducted by the Alaska Energy Engineering LLC, a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) scheme offers a financial incentive to move away from traditional fuel oil-based heating systems to one that extracts heat from the ground and obtains most of its purchased energy from cleaner hydroelectric sources. Implementing this new system is projected to save $114,985 in fuel oil along with $10,000 a year in staff labor and $1,000 in snow removal equipment. Learn more about Juneau’s GSHP.
- Juneau Ground Source Heat Pump (Dimond Aquatic Center)- The City & Borough of Juneau designed and constructed a hybrid ground source heat pump system to serve the heating needs at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center. The Center is a new competition, recreation, and education swimming facility completed in 2011. The system consists of a ground source heat pump that will meet 81% of the facility’s heating needs and a supplemental electric heat system to make up the difference during periods when the facility’s heat loads exceed the capacity of the ground source heat pumps. The facility produces approximately 4.1 billion BTUs that displace 63,200 gallons of diesel annually. Learn more about geothermal projects in Juneau and about heat pumps in general here.
- Makushin - Almost ten geothermal explorations occurred between 1983 and 1987 to harness the high temperature, high pressure resource in the Makushin Volcano to serve the community of Unalaska. Exploration ended in ’87 with the Geothermal Feasibility Study.
- Manley Hot Springs – Manley, on the Tanana River, has the potential to meet 100% of the power and heating needs of the surrounding community. Dart-AM Farms, LLC is currently using direct heat from this geothermal source to heat two greenhouses and soil in a nearby field. In 2011, the project aimed to install a water-pumping windmill that would create a combined heat and power system. Local direct of the geothermal resource supports a farm and greenhouse operation, Manley Hot Springs Produce. Check out this data report from UAF.
- Mount Spurr - A 4,000 foot exploration well was drilled in 2011 but the temperatures encountered were disappointing. There is currently no ongoing activity at Mt. Spurr.
- Naknek - Naknek Electric Association drilled an exploration geothermal well in 2011 to a depth of 12,000 feet. An elevated temperature gradient was not found additional drilling is not being pursued at the site.
- Pilgrim Hot Spring - Six exploration wells were drilled at the Pilgrim Hot Springs in the late 70s/early 80s to assess the potential of geothermal power generation at the site. There was a renewed exploration effort in 2010, a privately funded exploration is being considered as of 2015.
- Tenakee Inlet Hot Springs - Inside Passage Electric Cooperative (IPEC) conducted preliminary investigation into the geothermal potential at Tenakee Inlet Hot Springs in 2013 through financial support from the Renewable Energy Fund. The distance to loads made the project economically unfeasible.
Heat Recovery (Supply-Side Efficiency)
- Ambler- In 2009, The City of Ambler received grant funds to construct buried piping, pumps, heat exchangers, and other system components required to recover waste heat from the existing Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) power plant and confer this energy to the new City water plant and washeteria. The heat recovery project is complete as of June 2015. Learn more about geothermal resource assessment projects in Alaska.
- Cordova- The Cordova Electric Cooperative received a grant in 2008 to capture waste heat by installing an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) heat recovery unit on a new high-efficiency, low-emissions diesel generator. This heat recovery project would increase the diesel generator’s electrical production by an additional 4-6%. The system was brought online in June 2012.
- Hoonah- Inside Passage Electric Cooperative constructed a heat recovery project in the community of Hoonah beginning in 2011. The Project recovers available jacket water heat from IPEC-Hoonah diesel generator that was previously being rejected to the atmosphere via radiators. It additionally reduces diesel heating fuel consumption of nearby community buildings by over 55,000-gallons/year. The affected buildings are the local school, pool, gymnasium, police station, and fire hall. Check out the system.
- McGrath- In 2013, McGrath Light & Power installed a heat recovery system to provide available heat from the existing McGrath Light & Power Company (ML&P) Power Plant to the Iditarod Area School District, the clinic, and three adjacent commercial buildings. The project uses available jacket water and exhaust heat (waste heat recovery) that was previously absorbed by the atmosphere via radiators. Read an analysis of the McGrath heat recovery system here.
- North Pole-In 2010, Golden Valley Electric Association completed construction of a waste heat recovery system that would replace 15 existing electric unit heaters and produce 500 kW of power. Electric power conservation and fuel savings would benefit all of GVEA’s 33,000 members from Cantwell to Delta Junction.
- Organic Rankine Cycle Field-In 2011, Alaska Center for Energy and Power began installation and field testing for a 50 kW pre-commercial ORC unit to understand the efficacy of generating power using recovered waste heat from a mid-sized rural power plant. The first phase of this project (funded through the Denali Commission and AEA) performed laboratory testing of the 50 kW unit. The field testing included performance data collection and analysis, evaluation of operation and maintenance requirements, economic analysis of potential power generation and cost savings, and will set guidelines for future ORC applications throughout rural Alaska.
- Point Lay- The North Slope Borough used grant funds awarded in 2009 to construct a waste heat system to deliver recovered heat from the existing diesel powerhouse to several public buildings in the community of Point Lay. The project was completed in 2013. Check out the only heat recovery system in North Slope.
- Russian Mission- In 2012, the City of Russian Mission received funds for the final design and construction of a heat recovery system that will utilize waste heat from the existing Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) power plant. The salvaged power was redirected for the WTP and three LYSD teacher housing units in Russian Mission. The construction included retrofitting the AVEC generators and installing a waste heat transmission line, circulation pumps, heat exchangers, and other system appurtenances. Find some statistics about the Russian Mission heat recovery system here.
- Saint Paul- Beginning in 2012, the City of St. Paul designed and upgraded a heat recovery loop to work in conjunction with their new wind/diesel system. More information about the Saint Paul system.
- Sleetmute- In 2012, the Sleetmute Traditional Council received funding for the final design and construction of a recovery system that will utilize the heat from the engines at the Middle Kuskokwim Electric Plant and redirect to a nearby water treatment plant. The project displaces approximately 1,779 gallons of diesel per year according to a 2010 Heat Recovery Analysis.
- Togiak- The City of Togiak, in collaboration with ANTHC, constructed a heat recovery system to connect waste heat from AVEC’s generating station to the water treatment plant, clinic, police station, City Office and the “Old School” Community Activity Building. The project displaces approximately 13,700 gallons of diesel per year.
- Unalaska- The City of Unalaska used grant funds for the purchase and installation of equipment that will utilize the excess heat from existing generators at the Dutch Harbor powerhouse. The 200 kW organic Rankine Cycle generator is designed to convert waste heat into electrical energy. The waste heat recovery system will be designed for expansion to include excess heat from increased power demands when a new powerhouse is constructed. Visit Unalaska’s website for more info.
- Wrangell Hydro Electric Boilers - The City and Borough of Wrangell has commissioned a heat recovery system to collect waste heat from the electric boilers powered by the Tyee Lake hydroelectric project. This system has provided over 30,000 MMBtu of thermal energy and has displaced over 300,000 gallons of diesel.
Projects Under Construction
- Atka- The City of Atka received a grant in 2010 to complete permitting and final design of heat recovery project. The proposed project would use excess hydropower to heat the city, its school buildings, and a nearby fish processing facility. The Atka project was still just proposed as of November 2013 and was working on securing funding at the end of 2014.
- Kotzebue- In 2009, the Kotzebue Electric Association received grant funds to purchase and install equipment to recover unutilized heat from the diesel generator exhaust stacks for an expanded district heating system and a new absorption chiller to make ice for the fishing fleet in Kotzebue. Read more about the Kotzebue heat recovery system
- Shishmaref Heat Recovery Project-In 2012, the City of Shishmaref received funds to design and construct a heat recovery system between the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) power plant and the end-user community building, including the local water treatment plant, clinic and city office. The new system will capture jacket water heat generated by the AVEC plant that is currently released into the atmosphere by power plant radiators. This project will displace approximately 7,900 gallons of diesel per year. The system was still under consideration as of January 2014.
- Tatitlek- In 2012, Tatitlek Village IRA Council received a grant to construct a heat recovery system that will redirect escaped energy from a local power plant to the Community Center, which houses the Village IRA Council administrative offices. The generating station and administration building were designed to accommodate to a heat recovery application when the power plant was refurbished in 2006, and the only phases remaining for this project are design update and construction. The project is estimated to displace 6,000 gallons of fuel oil.
Alaska currently generates about 21% of its electricity from hydropower, much of it from projects in the Southeast Alaska. Power generation numbers listed assume a 50% capacity factor.
- Allison Lake Hydro: Located in Valdez and coordinated by the Cooper Valley Electric Association, Allison Lake hydro project is set to provide approximately 35% of Copper Valley Electric Association’s (CVEA) generation needs. When Allison Lake is added to the existing hydropower generated at Solomon Gulch, only 5% of CVEA power will be generated from fossil fuels. This additional production of 3250 kW displaces approximately 4 million gallons of fuel per year, which translates into a $9,885,000 saving each year. Construction began on the project in 2013.
- Annex Creek – This 3.6 MW project, operated by Alaska Electric Light and Power, was originally developed in 1915 by the Gastineau Alaska Engineers. It was automated in 1977 and currently meets about 10% of Juneau’s 31,275 residents’ electrical needs. Read about the history of Annex Creek Hydro.
- Beaver Falls – This 5.4 MW facility is owned and operated by Ketchikan Public Utilities and provides power to the City of Ketchikan and its 8,050 residents. It consists of three separate generators built between 1947 and 1954.
- Black Bear Lake – The Black Bear Lake Hydro project is a 4.5 MW hydroelectric project at Black Bear Lake on Prince of Wales Island, approximately 15 miles NE of Klawock. It supplies power to the communities of Prince of Wales Island, whose population stands at 5,559. It was the first hydro project in Alaska to be certified as low-impact by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute. Black Bear Lake was completed in 1995 and cost $10 million to permit and construct.
- Blind Slough – Blind Slough is a 2 MW project that supplied the City of Petersburg (population of 2,948) with electrical power since the 1920s. The project is located on Crystal Lake on Mitkof Island approximately 16.5 miles south of Petersburg. Water used for generation is either used directly by the Crystal Lake Fish Hatchery or is returned to Crystal Creek, which eventually enters Blind Slough. It supplies about 20% of Petersburg Municipal Light and Power’s electricity.
- Blue Lake – The City of Sitka owns and operates this project on Sawmill Creek that went into operation in 1961. In 2013, Sitka received an additional $4 million to increase the dam’s height and add a third powerhouse, which increases generating capacity up to 18 MW from 6MW. The expansion of the Blue Lake Dam by 83′ is now complete and providing approximatley 27% more electricity for Sitka.
- Bradley Lake – Bradley Lake features a 126 MW hydroelectric project located in Homer that serves the Railbelt Region. The project went into commercial operation in 1991. Operated by the Homer Electric Association, the project is an impoundment hydroelectric facility with a 125-foot high dam and a 3.5 mile power tunnel. It cost over $300 million to construct.
- Chester Lake – This 1 MW project is owned by Metlakatla Power and Light and provides electricity to the Southeast village of Metlakatla and its 1,405 residents. More data on Chester Lake.
- Chuniisax Creek – With a population of 61 residents, Atka has a PCE rate of 45.32 cents per kWh and an average residential rate of 66 cents per kWh. In response to these high-energy costs, the city constructed a hydroelectric project on the Chuniisax Creek, approximately 0.75 miles northwest of Atka. The project includes a 13-ft reinforced concrete buttress dam, a 1000-ft HDPE, 50-ft of steel penstock, and a powerhouse containing an Ossberger cross flow turbine and generator with a nameplate capacity of 284 kilowatts (kW). The Chuniisax Creek Hydroelectric Project can meet all of Atka’s electrical needs.
More info from AEA.
- Cooper Lake- Chugach Electric Association owns and operates this 19.4 MW facility on Cooper Lake, Cooper Creek and Kenai Lake on the Kenai Peninsula. It began operation in 1960 and was relicensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2007. More info from Chugach Electric.
- Delta Creek – This 800 kW project meets all of King Cove’s 938 residents’ electrical needs and lowers the cost of electricity to $0.11/ kWh (non-PCE rate of $.26/kWh). King Cove, incidentally, has the lowest, single-site cost of power among all 160 communities in the State of Alaska’s Power Cost Equalization program. Further info on Delta Creek.
- Dewey Lakes – The 943 kW run-of-the-river Dewey Lakes Hydro Project is located adjacent to Skagway. The city’s 920 residents currently pay $0.69 per kWh under PCE and $0.22 non-PCE. This project was built in the early 1900′s and has been operated by Alaska Power & Telephone since 1957.
- Eklutna – The Elkutna hydroelectric facility, brought online by the federal government in 1955, has a 30 MW generation capacity. It is currently operated by Anchorage Municipal Light & Power and is the cheapest energy source connected to the Railbelt energy grid.
- Falls Creek – This project built by Gustavus Electric Company was completed in July 2009. The city has a PCE rate of $0.15 per kWh and an Average Residential Rate of $ 0.41 per kWh. The project now provides 442 residents with 400 kW of power, meeting close to 90% of the community’s electrical needs, while displacing 140,00 gallons of diesel every year.
- Goat Lake – The Goat Lake hydroelectric facility is a storage project with a 4 MW capacity that has been in operation since 1997. The Lake is a dam-less reservoir certified as a Low Impact Hydropower project by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute in 2007. Alaska Power & Telephone operates the Goat Lake facility, which provides power to Skagway and Haines.
- Gold Creek – Gold Creek Hydropower project, currently operated by Alaska Electric Light and Power, is a 1.6 MW run-of-the-river project originally constructed in 1914 with 800 kW generating capacity. An additional 800 kW of generating capacity was incorporated in the 1950s. This project, located in downtown Juneau (population of 31,275), produces power seasonally with peak production around May. More about Juneau’s power generation.
- Green Lake – This 18.6 MW hydroelectric facility is owned and operated by the City and Borough of Sitka (population of 8,881) and provides the majority of the region’s electrical power. It began operation in 1979.
- Humpback Creek – This is a 4 million kWH run-of-the-river project located 7 miles north of the Cordova that meets 16% of the region’s power demand. It is owned and operated by Cordova Electric Cooperative and was commissioned in 2010. Currently, the project displaces approximately 350,000 gallons of diesel every year. Cordova’s 2239 residents have a PCE rate of $0.16/ kWh and an average residential rate of $0.41/kWh.
More info from Cordova Electric.
- Kasidaya Creek – This project between Haines and Skagway was constructed by Alaska Power & Telephone Company in 2008 and generates between 300 Kw and 3 MW depending on the season.
- Ketchikan Lakes – This 4.2 MW project consists of 3 generators finished in 1957. It is owned and operated by Ketchikan Public Utilities and provides power to Ketchikan’s 8,050 residents.
- Lake Dorothy - This 14.3 MW project, located near the Snettisham hydroelectric facilities in Juneau), increased the power supply to Juneau by 20% when it went online in 2009. The hydro project also provides power to Princess Cruise Lines and Greens Creek Mining Company.
- Larsen Bay – This 475 kW project provides electricity and city water for Larsen Bay’s 87 residents and a fish processing plant on Kodiak Island. Larsen Bay Utility Company operates the project. Larsen Bay has a PCE rate of $.16 per kWh and an Average Residential Rate of $0.41. It went into commercial operation in 1991 and was upgraded in January 2009. Read a report on Larsen Bay hydro.
- Pelican – This 700 kW hydroelectric facility almost entirely meets the electrical needs of the Southeast town of Pelican. Pelican’s 88 residents have a PCE rate of $0.27 per kWh and an Average Residential Rate of $0.64 per kWh. The facility began operating in 1988 and was awarded a $1,896,836 grant for upgrades in 2011. Historical info on Pelican hydro.
- Petersburg – This 2 MW project, constructed in 2009, is owned by Petersburg Municipal Light and Power and provides electricity to the town of Petersburg in Southeast Alaska (population of 2,948). Check out Petersburg’s MP&L website.
- Power Creek – The Power Creek hydroelectric plant is located 7 miles east of Cordova and has a total installed generating capacity of 6 MW. It is owned by the Cordova Electric Cooperative and provides about 50% of electrical power to the town of Cordova and surrounding areas. It was commissioned in 1997. Cordova’s 2,239 residents currently have a PCE rate of $0.16/kWh and an Average Residential Rate of $0.41/kWh.
- Purple Lake – This 3.9 MW project is owned by Metlakatla Light and Power and provides electricity to the city of Metlakatla and its 1,405 residents.
- Salmon Creek – The current 6.7 MW impoundment project at Salmon Creek was built in 1984 and is operated by Alaska Electric Light & Power. The lower powerhouse provides over 10% of the electric energy demand to Juneau (population of 31,275), and its surrounding communities. A power facility has existed at the site since 1913, with significant upgrades and repairs in 1935 and 1967. The upper powerhouse, rebuilt in 1935 after the original was destroyed by fire, was taken out of commission in 1998.
- Silvis Lake – The Silvis Lake Power Plant is a 2.1 MW project built in 1968 by Ketchikan Public Utilities to provide power to the City of Ketchikan and its 8,050 residents.
- Snettisham – This 78 MW hydroelectric facility is the largest in Southeast Alaska, providing 80% of the power used by Juneau (population of 31,275) and Douglas. It was built by the US Corps of Engineers in 1979 and sold to the State of Alaska in 1998. It is currently operated by Alaska Electric Light and Power under a contract with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority. A 44-mile transmission line runs between the dams and Juneau.
- Solomon Gulch – The Solomon Gulch Hydroelectric Project is a 12 MW facility serving Valdez (population of 3,976) and Glennallen (population of 483). The Project began commercial operation on July 1, 1982. It is owned by The Four Dam Pool Power Agency and maintained by the Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA).
- South Fork Black Bear – This 2 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectric project was constructed in 2004-2005 to supplement the 4.5 MW Black Bear Lake project, providing a back-up supply of electricity for Prince of Wales Island’s 5,559 residents. The project was completed by Alaska Power & Telephone, with grant assistance from the Denali Commission and the Alaska Energy Authority.
- Swan Lake – This 22.4 MW remote facility is connected to the Ketchikan Public Utilities system via a 30-mile transmission line. It is operated by Four Dam Pool, a consortium of public and private hydroelectric producers. Swan Lake sells electricity to the City of Ketchikan and it’s 8,050 residents. It came online in 1983 and currently operates at near-full capacity.
- Tazimina – The project, owned by Iliamna-Newhalen-Nondalton Electric Cooperative (INNEC), who serve 463 residents in the vicinity. The project has an installed capacity of 824 kW and is expandable to 1.5 MW. It is a run-of-the-river project that came online in 1998 on the Tazimina River about 12 miles northeast of Iliamna Lake. In 2013, it received additional funding to increase its capacity.
- Terror Lake – Terror Lake is located approximately 25 miles SW of Kodiak City (population of 6,130) and is accessible by float plane and boat only. Since January of 1985, the project has produced up to 20 MW for Kodiak City and the surrounding areas. It is owned by the Four Dam Pool Power Agency. Terror Lake has begun construction on a third hydroelectric turbine generator unit that produced an additional 11.25 MW in 2014.
- Town Creek: The City of Akutan repaired and upgraded the 125 kW Town Creek hydroelectric project. Akutan’s 1,027 residents have a PCE rate of $0.17 / kWh and Average Residential Rate of $0.32 / kWh. The project can generate 775 MWh/yr and displace approximately 39,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.
- Tyee – The Tyee Lake hydroelectric project is located in Southeast Alaska, approximately 40 miles southeast of Wrangell (population of 2,369). It generates up to 20 MW of electricity for Wrangell and Petersburg and is owned by the Four Dam Pool Power Agency.
- Waterfall Creek Hydroelectric Project: Waterfall Creek is located approximately 5 miles north of the City of King Cove and is within half a mile of the existing Delta Creek Hydroelectric project. The 500 kW project helps meet King Cove’s 938 residents’ electrical needs and lowers the cost of electricity to $0.11/kWh (non-PCE rate of $.26/kWh). Additionally, the project displaces 75,000 gallons of diesel every year. Because of its close proximity to Delta Creek, upgrades to the facility will also add to the existing Delta Creek powerhouse’s electrical production. These retrofits to raise capacity to 375 kW began in 2013.
- Whitman Lake – The Whitman Lake Hydroelectric Project is located approximately four miles east of Ketchikan (population 8,050). KPU installed 4.6 MW of hydropower generating capacity at the existing Whitman Lake Dam to provide an additional source of clean renewable energy to the city of Ketchikan and Saxman Village. The project displaces 1.1 million gallons of diesel every year. Construction bids were opened in August 2012. The project was completed in 2014. More info from AEA on Whitman Lake.
- Packers Creek - The Packers Creek hydroelectric project in Chignik Lagoon received funding from AEA in July 2009. Phase III (construction) of the project should begin in the coming year. More info on Chignik Lagoon.
- Reynolds Creek – This 5 MW project is being overseen by Haida Power Inc. and the Southeast Conference and will consist of construction a hydroelectric facility on Reynolds Creek on Prince of Wales Island. Along with the hydro facility, a 10.5-mile transmission line will also need to be constructed in order to connect into the existing grid on Prince of Wales Island. Construction began in October 2010. Further investigations were conducted in 2011-2 into the adequacy of the project’s siting and the laying of transmission lines. Construction was halted around 2012-2013 due to a lack of funding, but Haida energy was able to meet the requirements for AEA funding and have received a loan for $20M. Construction is planned to resume during summer 2015, and the project is expected to be completed sometime in 2016 (depending on the weather). Find more information on the Haida Corporation’s website.
- Susitna-Watana Hydro – This project, originally proposed in the 1980s, is again under consideration today. This project was originally proposed to have a 600 MW capacity and provide 2,800,000 MWh/yr and has since been reduced to 459 MW while maintaining the same proposed energy production. Once complete, this hydroelectric project will provide more than half of the Railbelt’s electricity demand. Check out Susitna-Watana’s website for more information.
- Thayer Lake- The project is a run-of-river hydropower project on Thayer Creek approximately 6 miles north of Angoon. The project has a nameplate capacity of over 1 MW and will be located 6 miles east of Angoon. Features include a 64 square mile reservoir, a head of 250-ft, and the addition of 6.7 miles of transmission lines. The project, coordinated by the Tlingit-Haida Regional Energy Authority, could produce up to 8500MW-hr/yr and meet the community entire electrical demand. Angoon’s 459 residents currently have a PCE rate of $0.38/kWh and an Average Residential rate of $0.60. Construction began in 2013. Stay up-to-date with Thayer Lake’s hydro project.
Wave generation technology is relatively new, with the first utility scale project, the Aguçadora Wave Farm in Portugal, coming online in September 2008. Alaska does have potential to become a leader in wave-generation technology, with half of the wave energy potential in the United States.
- Kvichak River - The village of Igiugig has installed one of Alaska’s first river-powered electrical generators in the Kvichak River. The community of 70 residents pays about $1.00/kWh for electrical power, and the project will significantly lower these costs. This is just a pilot and is not yet a permanent project. Read an article about this groundbreaking project.
Projects Under Construction
- Cook Inlet- Ocean Renewable Power Company Alaska 2, LLC, will install an array of four 150kW TidGen Power Systems with a total rated capacity of 600 kW near (within 3km) of East Foreland, Alaska. The devices will be installed in water depths of 60-190 ft. at MLLW. Models have predicted peak velocities nearing 5 m/s (~9 knots). Find more information about Cook Inlet tidal power here.
- Falls Pass - There have been preliminary investigations into a tidal project at Falls Pass.
- Tanana River - Hydrokinetic testing is being conducted along the Tanana River near Nenana by UAF. They have an anchor line installed and their own barge. There is more info on the ACEP website. More info about Tanana River.
- Turnagain Arm - There has been preliminary research into a tidal barrage system at Turnagain Arm.
- Yakutat – Research is being conducted by UAF in Yakutat for the implementation of a wave energy converter with a nameplate capacity of 750 kW. The developers have been interested but have had difficultly securing funding for the project. Read an article about the project here.
There are no utility-scale solar power plants in Alaska. Most solar photovoltaic development is in remote areas with stand-alone grids where the cost of alternative electrical generation is extremely high. Numerous small residential and commercial systems exist throughout the state.
From 1977 to 2013, the price of solar PV arrays went from $76.67/W down to $0.74/W. Although the solar industry has made great advances recently and PV systems are much more reliable and affordable than ever before, it is important to note that installation costs in Alaska are higher than elsewhere due to the fact that solar arrays have to be flown into most Alaskan locations. 10 kW systems cost roughly $55,000 each to install in Alaska’s Arctic Northwest, and $22,000 of this goes towards travel expenses, freight, and labor. Many villages have received a grant for these arrays from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, and as of May 2015 there is a total installed solar electricity capacity of 88.45 kW in the Northwest Arctic Borough. Nevertheless, this is a budding form of renewable energy across the state and the country.
Existing and Past Projects
- Ambler - The first solar installation in the Arctic Northwest under the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Ambler has already yielded nearly two years of data. It has an installed capacity of 8.4 kW. Based on the 25-year guarantee, the projected lifetime savings of the system is $108,205 in energy costs and 12,525 gallons of diesel fuel. Payback time is approximated at 12.5 years. Read more about the solar programs in Northwest Alaska here.
- Arctic Village - 5kW of solar PV have been installed on the tribal clinic.
- Deering - Commissioned on October 16, 2013, the community of Deering in the Northwest Arctic Borough has an installed capacity of 11.13 kW.
- Eagle - A 3.5kW tracker was installed on the tribal hall in 2011 and a 24 kW solar PV system was installed on the AP&T utility building in 2015 through Renewable Energy Fund grants.
- Fort Yukon - As of June 2015, Fort Yukon began the operation of its solar power utilities with the hopes of integrating their power into the power grid of this isolated northern community. Find out more about the power system in Fort Yukon.
- Galena – The community has multiple projects including a 10kW solar PV system on the Elder’s Center in 2010. A 10kW solar PV system was also installed on the City/School District’s buildings installed in 2012 and 2015. 20kW of residntial and commercial solar PV systems have been installed on homes, businesses and FWS around Galena, installed between 2009 and 2014.
- Hughes - The City building installed 7kW of solar PV in 2010.
- Kake - Installed in October 2012, the village of Kake has one fixed axis 3.12 kW solar array and one dual-axis 3.12 kW tracker array. The Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy program provided funds for the solar installation. From January 1, 2015 to June 26, 2015, the array had generated 3,268 kWh of electricity for Kake residents–that’s equal to offsetting the same amount of CO2 as planting 60 trees!
- Kaltag – The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative installed a 9.6 kW photovoltaic solar display with funding from AEA’s Renewable Energy Fund. It has produced 18,000 kWh of electricity and has displaced about 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
- Kobuk - Commissioned on October 17, 2013, the community of Kobuk in the Northwest Arctic Borough has an installed capacity of 7.38 kW.
- Kotzebue – The Alaska Technical Center in Kotzebue uses a wall-mounted solar array to decrease diesel use for power production.
- Kotzebue Bailing Plant - Commissioned on October 5, 2014, the community of Kotzebue in the Northwest Arctic Borough installed another solar array at their bailing plant with a capacity of 10.53 kW.
- Kotzebue WTP - Commissioned on January 27, 2015, Kotzebue installed another array with a 10.53 kW capacity.
- Koyukuk - The Washeteria and the City building have 7 kW worth solar PV.
- Lime Village – This 12 kW solar array is currently not operational as of December 2011. It was constructed to offset average electrical prices of $1.26 in the remote town of Lime Village. It is a combination solar-diesel generation system with 77 kW of diesel generation capacity. When in operation, Lime Village has displaced 660 gallons of diesel every year. An additional feasibility study for retrofitting began in 2011 to repair the inoperable charger-inverter and control system. Find images of these solar projects here.
- Manley Hot Springs - 6kW of solar PV have been installed on the Tribal clinic and Tribal office building.
- McKinley Village- Golden Valley Electric Association constructed a solar hot water system for the Denali Education Center consisting of 36 Heliodyne flat panel solar collectors mounted on a 50′X30′ array. The heated domestic water is then distributed through a 2,000-foot insulated pipe system circulating in a loop between the laundry building at the south side of the campus, 13 guest cabins, the Riverside complex on the north side, and to the Sheldon Visitors Center to the west by circulating pumps. System came online in August of 2009 and produce anywhere between 32,000-36,000 kWh of energy. The system displaced about 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel from 2009-2014.
- Nenana - A 4.4kW solar PV system was installed on the Nenana Tribal Council Teen Recreation Center.
- Noatak - Commissioned on October 7, 2013, the community of Noatak in the Northwest Arctic Borough has an installed capacity of 11.27 kW.
- Nome – Bering Straits Native Corporation installed a 16.8 kW solar PV array on their office building in 2008. The PV array produces about 16,000 kWh of electricity per year, offsetting about 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually. BSNC has also installed solar hot water heaters on two corporation-owned apartment buildings.
- Noorvik - Commissioned on October 7, 2013, the community of Noorvik in the Northwest Arctic Borough has an installed capacity of 12 kW.
- Ruby – A 5kW solar PV system was installed on the clinic and another 5kW system was installed on the Washeteria in 2012 and 2014.
- Selawik - Commissioned on November 24, 2014, the community of Selawik in the Northwest Arctic Borough has an installed capacity of 9.72 kW.
- Shungnak - Commissioned on October 7, 2013, the community of Shugnak in the Northwest Arctic Borough has an installed capacity of 7.49 kW.
- Tenana - 6kW of solar PV have been installed on the Washeteria.
- Buckland - A solar array is scheduled to be commissioned in Buckland in the Northwest Arctic Borough for summer 2015.
- Kiana - A solar array is scheduled to be commissioned in Kiana in the Northwest Arctic Borough for summer 2015.
- Kivalina - A solar array is scheduled to be commissioned in Kivalina in the Northwest Arctic Borough for summer 2015.
- Buckland - The wind projects located in Buckland, Deering and Noorvik are coordinated by Northwest Arctic Borough. This 800 kW capacity project began construction in 2010 and is projected to displace 54,560 gallons of diesel every year. It was installed in November 2014 and was commissioned in the Spring of 2015.
- Chevak – In summer 2008, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative installed four Northern Power Systems 100 kW wind turbines in this class 6 wind resource location, providing an additional source of energy for the city’s 938 residents. Currently, the city has a PCE rate of $0.28/kWh and an Average Residential Rate of $0.48/kWh, so the subsidized rate is $0.20/kWh. Since then, AVEC has also designed and constructed a secondary load to capture excess energy that will then provide heat for a water treatment plant and a water storage tank using a 265-kilowatt electric boiler.
- Delta Junction – The 100-kW wind turbine was installed by Alaska Environmental Power and came online in October 2008 as the first of Golden Valley Electric Association’s Renewable Resource Purchase Program installations. In 2009, Alaska Environmental Power added an EWT 900-kW turbine for a total of 1 MW and in 2010 announced plans to try to expand to 25 MW by installing 16 GE wind turbines. A second 900-kW turbine was installed in the Fall of 2014 for a total of almost 2 MW installed capacity. The turbines are located on a 320-acre site at Mile 1418 of the Alaska Highway, about three miles southeast of Delta Junction (population of 958).
- Emmonak/Alakanuk- The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative began construction on sites in Emmonak and Alakanuk in 2011. To date, AVEC has erected and interconnected four turbines in Emmonak for a total capacity of 400 kW. The site is currently operational, running at a 16+ percent capacity factor and displacing at least 36,000 gallons of diesel every year. More info from Solstice Consulting
- Eva Creek – Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) has constructed a 24-megawatt wind farm in Eva Creek near Healy. The project includes 12 turbines at 2.05 MW each. This represents about 20 percent of GVEA’s peak load. They began producing power in October 2012. Since then, the farm has displaced over 11 million gallons of diesel fuel.
- Fire Island – In late September 2012, the Fire Island Wind project began commissioning wind turbines. Built by Cook Inlet Region Inc (CIRI) subsidiary Fire Island Wind LLC, this 11-turbine project has a 17.6-megawatt generation capacity and is expected to sell more than 50,000 MW-hours to Chugach Electric Association annually. The project will supply four percent of Chugach’s energy needs (enough to power about 4,000 Southcentral homes) and offset up to 0.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas consumption in Southcentral Alaska each year. Fire Island Wind, LLC will build additional project phases if additional buyers agree to purchase wind power. The full project is permitted to include up to 33 turbines with 52.8 MW total generation capacity.
- Gambell - Alaska Village Electric Cooperative has installed three 100-kW wind turbines in Gambell. The city’s 681 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.20/kWh. AVEC received additional funding to design and construct a secondary load to capture excess energy and provide heat for a water treatment plant and a drinking water storage tank. In 2012, 26% of Gambell’s electricity was generated by wind power. Read the full report here.
- Hooper Bay – Hooper Bay has three Northwind 100-kW turbines that were installed in 2009 by the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. The wind project produces approximately 400,000 kWh of power and displaces at least 30,000 gallons of diesel every year. The city’s 807 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.20/kWh. The three turbines provide about 24% of Hooper Bay’s electricity demand. Calista Corporation has further information.
- Kasigluk – Kasigluk installed three Northwind 100-kW turbines in 2006 with a total generating capacity of 300 kW. Wind accounts for roughly 21 percent of total electrical generation. Total wind/diesel generating capacity is 1,624kW and the wind project displaces approximately 40,000 gallons of diesel and over 8,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution. Power is provided to the community of Nunapitchuk through a distribution intertie. Nunapitchuk’s 496 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.20/kWh.
- Kodiak – The Kodiak Electrical Association installed three 1.5 MW turbines at Pillar Mountain in July 2009 at a cost of about $21.4 million. The installation, coupled with a hydro facility, allows the utility to provide 100 percent renewable power to Kodiak’s 6,130 residents for much of the year. In its first year, the turbines allowed the utility to cut diesel fuel use by 930,000 gallons, a savings of $2.3 million based on a diesel fuel price of $2.50 a gallon. Kodiak currently generates 11,629 MWh of wind energy, which supplies 20.1% of their energy needs. Once Phase II of Pillar Mountain came online, this, paired with hydro power projects, allowed for Kodiak to operate on 99.7% renewable energy.
- Pillar Mountain- In 2009, Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) expanded their current wind farm from three to six GE 1.5 MW SLE turbines. The total nameplate capacity of the expanded system was set at 9 MW. The project became fully online in late 2012. The addition of these turbines has significantly reduced residential electric prices.
- Pillar Mountain- In 2009, Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) expanded their current wind farm from three to six GE 1.5 MW SLE turbines. The total nameplate capacity of the expanded system was set at 9 MW. The project became fully online in late 2012. The addition of these turbines has significantly reduced residential electric prices.
- Kokhanok – This 180kW project, which involves two reconditioned V-17 Vestas turbines in a class six wind resource location, is being redesigned to allow excess system energy to be fed into a district heating loop that serves the school complex next to the power plant. The project is expected to be online at the end of 2015. Kokhanok’s 170 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.38/kWh.
- Kongigank: In 2009, the Puvurnaq Power Company began construction of a 475 kW high-penetration wind system with multiple thermal loads in residences and the power plant heat recovery loop which serves the adjacent water treatment plant and washeteria. Kongigank’s 439 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.24/kWh. The project is currently operational and 30-40% of the village’s electricity demand is met by wind power generation, saving the community members money that would otherwise have been spent on costly diesel fuel. Find out more.
- Kotzebue – Boasting the first wind program in the state of Alaska, Kotzebue Electric Cooperative installed three 66-kW turbines in 1997. Another 7 were installed in 1999. By 2011, the Kotzebue wind farm had grown to 17 wind turbines and represented the first megawatt of wind power in Alaska. Additionally, the farm displaces 80,000 gallons of diesel every year. In 2011, Kotzebue Electric began installing two 900kW wind turbines and a high storage flow battery to maximize use of excess wind energy. Today, the company is working on harnessing secondary loads for excess energy and is exploring a battery storage option. Kotzebue’s 3,201 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.16/kWh. Today, Kotzebue boats 1-65 kW turbine, 1-100 kW turbine, 15-66 kW turbines, and 2-900 kW turbines, representing a total installed electric capacity of 2.955 MW, enough to meet the electric demand of Kotzebue during peak load.
- Kwigillingok- Kwigillingok began construction in 2010 and to date has erected five turbines. The entire system has a 475 kW electric capacity. The entire integrated system was commissioned by 2013. Kwigillingok’s 321 residents have a subsidized rate of $0.29/kWh. More info on Kwigillingok.
- Mekoryuk – Alaska Village Electric Cooperative’s wind farm in Mekoryuk came online in November 2011. The wind project includes two Northwind 100-kW turbines and average displacement is 16,000 gallons per year. Mekoryuk’s 191 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.21/kWh. Read about a fire on one of the turbines that has hindered electrical production.
- Newton Peak- Also known as the Nome Banner Peak Wind Farm, located two ridges over from Nome, this 2,970 kW capacity wind project is coordinated by Nome Joint Utility Systems. It is comprised of 16 Entegrity 65-kW wind turbines and two EWT 0.9-MW turbines. The system is currently operating in curtailed mode until secondary loads and controls are brought online.
- Nome – This 18 Entegrity-65-kW-turbine wind farm capable of producing 1.17 MW of power came online in early 2009. Bering Straits Native Corp. and area village corporation Sitnasuak Native Corp. own the wind farm. The project produces about 10% of the electric load for Nome Joint Utilities. Nome Joint Utilities also has plans for a bigger wind farm that could generate up to 3 MW depending on wind conditions. Nome’s 3,800 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.20/kWh.
- The Newton Peak and Nome wind projects may be considered as two phases of a larger project. They are largely concentrated on the same peak (Banner Ridge), share the same transmission line, and Nome Joint Utilities owns all of the turbines other than Newton Peak’s two EWT turbines.
- Quinhagak – In 2008, the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative began completing the final design, permitting, construction, erection, start up and commissioning of three Northwind 100 wind turbines in Quinhagak. The 3 Northwind 100 turbines were installed in 2010. This wind project displaces at least 38,000 gallons of diesel every year. Quinhagak’s 669 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.21/kWh. Find out more statistics about this wind project.
- Saint Paul Island – This high-penetration, no-storage, wind-diesel power system was installed by TDX Power and Northern Power Systems in 1998 to run an industrial facility and airport complex on the island of St. Paul. The 500 kW wind-diesel cogeneration system cost approximately $1.2 million. According to TDX, the system has eliminated $200,000 per year in utility electric charges and $50,000 per year in diesel heating fuel since its installation in 1999. The first turbine was a single Vestas V-27 turbine and then two more unites were added. One turbine now provides power for the city of St. Paul and one serves the POSS camp.
- Sand Point- Coordinated by Aleutian Wind Energy, the Sand Point Wind Project began construction in 2009. To date, the turbines are curtailed to 300 kW, so 600 kW of the possible 1 MW are in operation until new secondary loads and controls can be installed. Sand Point’s 976 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.20/kWh. Read more here.
- Savoonga – Savoonga’s two Northwind 100 wind turbines with a generating capacity of 200 kW came online in the fall of 2008 and are operated by Alaska Village Electric Cooperative. Savoonga’s 672 residents have a subsidized rate of $0.21/kWh. Read an article here from the time of the turbines’ construction.
- Selawik – Selawik, the first integrated wind-diesel facility the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative built in 2002, has four AOC 65-kW turbines with a generating capacity of 260 kW combined with a diesel power plant for a total generating capacity of 1,647 kW. In 2011, AVEC began looking into upgrading the facility, switching out old AOC turbines with newer model. Selawik’s 829 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.21/kWh.
- Shaktoolik- The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative has installed two Northern Power Systems 100-kilowatt turbines, plus secondary heat loads, load controllers, and new switchgear. The two NPS turbines were fully commissioned, remotely monitored and controlled as of July 15, 2012. The newly upgraded AVEC power systems are fully functioning and operating according to design as of August 15, 2012. The secondary load system that serves the water treatment plant was brought online in the Spring of 2015. The project displaces 8,468 gallons of diesel every year. Shaktoolik’s 251 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.21/kWh. Find a full report here.
- Toksook Bay – The wind-diesel power system at Toksook Bay includes three Northern Power Systems Northwind 100kW turbines, diesel engines, and a computer-controlled resistive heater supplying community heating loads. It serves approximately 1,160 people in the communities of Toksook Bay, Nightmute, and Tununak and offset around 46,000 gallons of diesel in its first year of operation (August 2007 – September 2008), about 22 percent of total consumption. In late 2010, a 4th turbine–NPS 100B–was added to the system. The system also prevents over 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution.
- Tuntutuliak- The Alaska Energy Authority and the Tuntutuliak Community Services Association began construction in 2010 of a 450KW high penetration wind-diesel system that powers the town of Tuntutuliak. The $3.7 million project is using 3-phase power lines, variable speed controllers, and secondary loads to maximize use of the turbine. Wind power contributes to about 30% of the community’s electricity demand. More info on Tuntutuliak.
- Unalakleet – Unalakleet installed six 100-kilowatt NPS 100B wind turbines that were commissioned in November 2009. For the period of 2009-2014, the turbines have produced 4,670,000 kWh of electric power and have displaced 334,000 gallons of diesel fuel, representing a fuel savings of $1,195,000. The city’s 688 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.20/kWh. Learn more here.
- Wales - Wales has two Atlantic Orient Corporation 65-kW turbines that are owned by Kotzebue Electric Association. They are not currently operational but have provided valuable information related to wind-diesel integration. Wale’s population of 145 currently had a PCE rate of $0.42/kWh and an Average Residential Rate of $0.63/kWh. Now, the turbines have proven that anti-stick reduces freezing on turbines, and the new wind-diesel hybrid system has saved the community money that would otherwise have been spend on fuel. Read more about the history of the Wales project.
- Deering - The wind projects located in Buckland, Deering and Noorvik, are coordinated by Northwest Arctic Borough. This 800 kW capacity project began construction in 2010 and is projected to displace 54,560 gallons of diesel every year. In 2012, Alaskan Energy Association accepted Deering’s wind feasibility and the project is ready to progress with the conceptual design phase. Deering is anticipating to bring two new turbines online in summer 2015. The Noorvik project was found to not be a suitable, economically efficient site for wind development.
- Egegik- Lake and Peninsula Borough has received a grant from the Renewable Energy Fund in 2013 for this Bristol Bay area wind project. They are currently undergoing feasibility studies.
- Kipnuk- The Chaninik Wind Group is working to install 6-95 kW wind turbines in this location. The high penetration smart grid turbines, which will allow excess wind energy to provide heat for homes, are currently under construction, with commissioning expected in 2016. More info on Kipnuk.
- Pilot Point – The City of Pilot Point was recently awarded a grant to install a 100kW wind project near Point Pilot. The project is currently in the feasibility and design phase.
- Point Hope - In 2011, the North Slope Borough commenced final designs for a 750-1,000 kW wind project with associated integration components in Point Hope. They are currently finishing conceptual design and will start design later in 2015.
- Point Lay - Point Lay is currently finishing their conceptual design for a 600-675 kW wind turbine project. They will start final design later in 2015.
- Port Heiden- Lake and Pen Borough proposed a design and construction project for a 330kW wind turbine in Port Heiden and has received funding from the Renewable Energy Fund in 2011 for conceptual design work that will be combined with a CDR for a new power plant and distribution system.
- Saint George - Coordinated by City of St. George, this wind diesel project began construction in 2013 and is set to serve the community of St. George in the Aleutians. St. George’s 102 residents currently have a subsidized rate of $0.16/kWh. Unfortunately, the turbine was critically damaged during commissioning and now the community is awaiting funding and a replacement turbine. Read a commentary about St. George wind here.
- St. Mary’s/ Pitka’s Point- The Alaska Village Electric Company began work on this project’s final design in 2012. They were awarded construction funds in REF 8.
- Wainwright- The North Slope Borough commenced the final design phase in 2011 for the proposed 600-675 kW wind project with associated integration components in in Wainwright. They are now finishing the conceptual design and final design will commence later in 2015.
Who we are
Renewable Energy Alaska Project is a coalition of energy stakeholders working to facilitate the development of renewable energy in Alaska through collaboration, education, training, and advocacy.