Isolated Village in Rural Alaska Opts for Wind Power

Financial incentives were the main drive behind installing wind turbines

By on September 28th, 2012 12:19 GMT
Presently, about 400 people are carrying on with their lives in one isolated village in rural Alaska known as Tuntutuliak (Tunt, for short).

Like all of the other 55 such small villages found in this region, Tunt has a long history of using diesel-burning generators in order to have its electricity demands met.

However, because diesel is locally sold at about $7 (€5.43) per gallon, it should not surprise us that much of the money these people make more often than not goes into energy-related costs.

In fact, one recent report stated that families living in this part of the world spent as much as half of their income on buying the diesel they needed in order to keep the energy generators up and running.

Oil Price informs us that, as a result of this situation, the village of Tunt have seen fit to install five wind turbines, which supposedly help the people here make the most of this green energy resource they have at their disposal and therefore significantly cut down on their electricity expenses.

The same source reports that, prior to having these wind turbines installed, the village of Tunt had to make sure that the energy generating devices they were soon to set in place could successfully function in the harsh environmental conditions of rural Alaska.

Thus, the Chaninik Wind Group (i.e. a consortium of four villages that intend to up their dependence on wind power) had to redesign a type of medium-sized wind turbines known as Windmatic 17S.

For the time being, this small-scale wind farm is capable of generating as much as 95 kilowatts when at peak production, and even 115 kilowatts whenever the wind gets stronger.

Given the fact that this village requires about 160 kilowatts during the summer months, and 200 kilowatts during winter, one could argue that their decision to have these wind turbines installed was a good one to say the least, in spite of the fact that it took almost ten years for this wind farm to become a reality.

Interestingly, two other villages in rural Alaska are now also looking into the possibility of harvesting wind power in order to at least partly meet their electricity demands.

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