Wind Energy from Bering Sea to Power
St. Lawrence Island
October 20, 2004 - RenewableEnergyAccess.com
- Remote villages in Alaska are used to power provided
by diesel generators or wood fires, but soon the
people living there will get power from the wind
as well. Northern Power Systems was awarded a US$1.9
million contract from Anchorage-based Alaska Village
Electric Cooperative (AVEC) to provide seven of
the company's NorthWind 100 kW wind turbines.
Since being installed in
May 2002, the turbine has operated in temperatures
as low as -39 C and has had the highest energy capture
of the turbines at the Kotzebue wind farm.
The turbines will generate renewable electric power
for three remote communities, in western Alaska, served
by AVEC. As part of the contract award, Northern will
provide on-site installation and commissioning services
of the turbines in the harsh Alaskan environment.
It is the first stage in a broader effort through
which AVEC will be integrating wind energy into some
51 Alaskan communities to which it currently provides
"Our analysis indicated that Northern's NorthWind
100 turbine had all of the critical features we were
looking for," said Brent Petrie, Project Manager at
AVEC. "These include its overall design, power quality,
cold weather suitability, ease of integration, protected
access for servicing, and small number of moving parts.
We also believe that Northern has the capability to
readily support products that they place in the field."
For over two years, a NorthWind100 turbine has been
operating above the Arctic Circle in Kotzebue, Alaska
and has collected solid operational data. Since being
installed in May 2002, the turbine has operated in
temperatures as low as -39 C and has had the highest
energy capture of the turbines at the Kotzebue wind
The turbines should be delivered to AVEC in the summer
of 2005, and installation is scheduled during the
Summer/Fall Alaskan construction season. Establishing
turbines in Alaska is part of a remote community program
to update power supplies, integrate wind power into
the current diesel generation, and reduce fuel storage
requirements. AVEC operates over 144 diesel generators
that run a cumulative total of more than 410,000 hours
per year. According to Lawrence Mott, Northern's Commercial
Manager, AVEC has been a pioneer in integrating new
technology into diesel powered, isolated grids.
"AVEC's efforts to use the latest in fuel efficient
diesel engines have really paid off," Mott said. "And
now, after working with the National Renewable Energy
Laboratory (NREL) on a project in Wales, Alaska, and
installing wind in another project in Selawik, AVEC
has made a significant commitment to wind by choosing
the NorthWind 100. The turbines will be installed
into three communities, two of which are on St. Lawrence
Island in the Bering Sea."