ARCTIC CIRCLE WIND POWER
The supposed "nuclear renaissance" and promises of so-called “clean” coal keep grabbing the headlines but day in and day out wind and solar energy developers go on building the New Energy infrastructure of the future. Earlier this week NewEnergyNews reported on developments in Mexico and Maine. Yesterday, South Dakota and Alberta on the North American central plains. Today it’s the Arctic Circle. Coming soon: Austin, Texas, Morocco and Chile.
Aside: A 1997 wind energy installation succumbed to the harsh Alaskan winter. Wind turbine technology has come a long way in the intervening decade.
Alaskan espouses town’s benefit from wind energy
November 21, 2007 (CBC News)
Brad Reeve, president, Kotzebue Electric Association; Wade Carpenter, chairman, conference organizing committee;
Alaska has impressive wind resources on its enormous coastline. Kotzebue is near the center of the western coast on the Chukchi Sea. (click to enlarge)
Reeve will speak on behalf of developing wind energy resources in the harsh northwest climate at an upcoming conference put on by wind energy advocates.
- The conference will be November 28-30.
- Reeve’s electric co-operative has been getting 5% of its electricity from wind turbines installed in 1999.
- The conference will be in Tuktoyaktuk, North West Territories (N.W.T.), Canada.
- Reeve’s electric co-op serves northwest Alaska and is centered in the coastal community of Kotzebue, where the climate is as harsh as that of Tuktoyaktuk.
- 50 delegates from NWT government and the wind energy industry, as well as local and Inuvialuit leaders, are expected at the Tuktoyaktuk conference.
- Kotzebue’s population is 3500. The electric co-op has found that wind energy saves the community money, not dramatically but over time.
- Reeve’s goal is to obtain 20% of Kotzebue’s electricity from wind.
- The region’s dominant fossil fuel is diesel gasoline so one objective of the conference is developing a diesel-wind interface.
- A 1997 trial of wind energy in the N.W.T. community of Sachs Harbour failed so another objective of the conference is to demonstrate improved turbine technology.
- The February 2007 Executive Progress Report for Wind Energy Monitoring in Six communities in the NWT described wind potential for Tuktoyaktuk “sufficient for a wind farm with careful planning.”
Tuktoyaktuk, North West Territories (N.W.T.), Canada(click to enlarge)
- Reeve: "I think most people would assume that if you put in wind that it's going to drop your costs dramatically…There isn't a huge impact … on their bills at this point, but it will increase over time…Using nature as a part of a means of power makes a lot of sense…When you deal with the extreme transportation costs we've got up here to get anything into the community, and especially fuel, that any time you don't have to bring a gallon of fuel into the community, that leaves money in the community."
- Carpenter: "[We] basically try to let them know the ins and outs of wind-diesel systems…There's a lot of windy places in the N.W.T., so we have to look at the economics and see if its a reasonable thing for the N.W.T. to get involved with."