SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Wind Power Technology Appearing In Remote Alaskan Communities


March 12, 2008
Wednesday AM

(SitNews) - Remote Alaskan communities such as Kasigluk and Delta Junction are embracing wind-generating technology to address their challenges in meeting power needs.

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative currently has installed wind-generating capacity in four of the communities it serves. Two of these communities, Toksook Bay and Kasigluk, represent the first field deployment of Distributed Energy Systems' Northwind 100/20 wind turbine.

Also underway is Alaska Environmental Power's proposed 320-acre wind farm to be located in Delta Junction. This project is one step closer to fruition with their order for Northwind 100 turbines placed with the same recognized innovative leader in wind power technology, Distributed Energy Systems Corp.

The turbine installation in Delta Junction -- projected for this summer -- follows a "proof of concept" effort that consisted of building a development infrastructure and assessing the wind resource. The Alaska Environmental Power's ultimate vision is to supply 15 MW of clean, renewable power from this location to the Rail Belt Grid in Alaska.

"Our intent is to build our facility around Northwind turbines," said Mike Craft, developer and Managing Partner at Alaska Environmental Power, LLC. He noted that recommendations from current Northwind 100 users and 6-month delivery availability were important drivers to his final decision to purchase. "Distributed Energy Systems has already earned a reputation for quality and reliability," said Craft, "which made my job of sourcing turbines a lot easier."

Alaska Environmental Power, LLC intends to make use of the various federal tax credits and incentives available around developing wind power. The company has applied for a grant from the Denali Commission who, in conjunction with the Alaska Energy Authority, has developed a program to promote the development of renewable energy resources in Alaska. Craft praised the federal and state incentives available for helping to expedite wind power development. "In the end these programs will help to stabilize energy costs and equate to greener power."

"We are pleased to work with Mr. Craft as he and his partners implement their business plan," said Jim Brannen, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Distributed Energy Systems. "It is gratifying to work with a visionary on a project that will prove that wind power has economic benefits as well as environmental ones."

With 100kW of rated power, the Northwind 100 was originally designed for use in remote wind-diesel applications, and more recently has been released as an alternative power generator for grid-connected customers such as small businesses, commercial farms, small communities, schools and universities, and small corporate and industrial sites.

According to Distributed Energy Systems Corp., the turbine uses a gearless, direct- drive architecture and permanent magnet power generation to deliver best-in- class reliability and high energy capture to the mainstream wind energy marketplace.

Anchorage-based Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, using a Northwind 100/20 wind turbine, was recently selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), as the winner of the 2007 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award.

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative currently has 990 kilowatts (kW) of installed wind-generating capacity in four of the communities it serves. Two of these communities, Toksook Bay and Kasigluk, represent the first field deployment of the Northwind 100/20 wind turbine - a 100kW, 20-meter rotor diameter turbine specifically designed for deployment in cold and harsh climates. This turbine, designed and developed in conjunction with the Department of Energy, received an R&D 100 award in 2000.

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative's wind turbines are producing up to 25 percent of the Toksook Bay and Kasigluk communities' annual electricity needs.

In a prepared statement, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative said they are very pleased that the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association are recognizing their efforts to meet the challenges of developing wind power in remote Alaskan villages.

AVEC President and CEO Meera Kohler said. "We share our success with Senator Ted Stevens. His vision and dedication have allowed AVEC's wind program to develop. Without his support and the support of the Denali Commission, we would not have succeeded. We see a drop of diesel not burned as a drop of diesel saved. AVEC will continue to pursue wind as aggressively as we can afford to."



Sources of News:

Distributed Energy Systems Corp

United States Department of Energy



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Ketchikan, Alaska