Alaska’s renewable energy atlas
May 04, 2014
The Alaska renewable energy atlas is posted annually on the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) website, akenergyauthority.org, and the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) website, realaska.org. The 36 page document shows the state of renewable energy production and potential in Alaska.
A few highlights:
- Almost 60% of the State’s electrical energy is produced from natural gas, mostly from the Cook Inlet. Hydro, surprisingly, only accounts for 20% of electrical production. Oil and coal make up most of the balance (2011 data).
- The Chena Hot Springs Resort is an example of diverse geothermal energy use - providing heat and power to its facilities, swimming pools, and greenhouses. The resort utilizes organic rankine cycle generators with a total capacity of 680 kW that run on 165°F water, the lowest temperature for an operating geothermal power plant in the world.
- The giant 600 MW hydroelectric dam, under development at Mile 184 of the Susitna River will provide 2.8 million MWh annually. Susitna-Watana Hydro is a 735-footdam that will provide more than half the Railbelt’s average annual electric load when completed in a decade.
- Recent wind energy projects include: a 17.6 MW wind farm near Anchorage on Fire Island, Golden Valley Electric Association’s 24.6 MW Eva Creek wind farm near Healy, and a 1 MW wind farm near Delta Junction.
- Since 2008, the Alaska Legislature has appropriated $202.5 million for 227 qualifying projects through its Renewable Energy Fund.
- In 2010, the Alaska Legislature established the $250 million Alaska Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan program for public buildings owned by state and local governments, the University of Alaska, school districts and regional education attendance areas. In 2012, AHFC performed investment grade audits on 327 public buildings and found average potential energy savings of up to$25,000 per building, or $125 million per year for all public buildings combined.
In addition to State agencies, The Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) based at the University of Alaska is dedicated to applied energy research and testing focused on lowering the cost of energy throughout Alaska and developing economic opportunities for the State, its residents, and its industries. ACEP hosts conferences and undertakes valuable research on renewable energy.
Alaska is preeminent in renewable energy research and implementation in the north. The Alaska renewable energy atlas is a wonderfully illustrated document that shows the progress and potential in Alaska for renewable energy development.