operations, and maintenance costs, as well as
reducing CO2 emissions as much as 90,000
to 120,000 tons per year.
Outside the Railbelt, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) provides services
throughout Interior and Western Alaska in fifty-seven communities. According to the AVEC
2016 Annual Report, wind turbines generated
5,473,059 k Wh of net power and displaced an
estimated 385,211 gallons of diesel fuel. That
amounted to a savings of $1,073,322 from 2006
through 2016 in diesel generating costs.
As of December, AVEC delivers electric
power to 10,862 metered consumers in Alaska
communities. AVEC’s consumers have saved
more than 2. 5 million gallons of fuel with a
significant reduction in fuel costs over the
past ten years.
The Future of Hybrid Energy
Solar panels can be spotted all throughout
the state as more consumers choose solar
systems over conventional energy options. In
Anchorage, Cook Inlet Housing Authority
(CIHA) has solar-powered or hybrid energy
developments in Mountain View, East Anchorage, and just recently in Spenard.
Through the use of solar and geothermal
hybrid systems, CIHA offers improved energy efficiency in their developments, which
focus on providing affordable housing solutions in Alaska. Using alternative energy
systems helps keep apartments economical,
and those savings are passed on in the form
of lower rent and a decrease in overall costs.
Additionally, two CIHA properties in East
Anchorage located off Muldoon and DeBarr
Roads are equipped with solar paneled roofs.
These may well be an indicator of how the
Anchorage cityscape will look in the years to
come thanks to the increased prevalence of
affordable solar panels.
Last year, renewable energy sources accounted for about 10 percent of total US energy consumption and roughly 15 percent of
electricity generation, according to the US
Energy Information Administration.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration supports the idea that the
use of hybrid power, including wind and solar power, could eclipse fossil fuels for electric power by 2030.
Alaska’s goals align with this prediction.
For example, the state’s energy policy, established in 2010 through House Bill 306, calls
for the Alaska to receive half of its electric
needs from renewable and alternate sources
by 2025. It also lays out a comprehensive approach to supporting energy efficiency and
conservation by decreasing energy consumption, among other measures. To that end, the
Emerging Energy Technology Fund provides
funding to build renewable and alternative
energy projects in Juneau, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Delta, Junction, Nenana, Nikiski, Igiu-gig, Tuntutuliak, Kwigllingok, and Kotzebue,
with the ultimate goal of creating viable alternative energy sources for each community. R
Richard Perry is a freelance writer and
photographer in Anchorage.
PORT OF JUNEAU CRUISE SHIP BERTHS
BRIDGES | SURVEY | GEOTECHNICAL | CIVIL-STRUCTURAL | MET-OCEAN ANALYSIS
COASTAL ENGINEERING | CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION | HYDROLOGY