Regulatory Commission to Examine Fire Island Wind Project

An alternative energy plan near Anchorage moved a step forward last month, when Chugach Electric Association agreed to purchase power from the Fire Island Wind Project.

The purchase agreement now must be approved by the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. Ann Wilde, an RCA section manager, says it’s premature to comment on what the RCA may determine, but that the panel has until August 8 to review all aspects of the filing.

Chugach has agreed to purchase 48,500 megawatt hours of per a year from the wind farm, which is about four percent of the utility’s 2010 power requirement. The wind power would reduce the amount of natural gas Chugach uses to generate electricity.  Currently Chugach uses about 9 billion cubic feet of gas annually.  The contract with Fire Island is for 25 years, and Chris Rose, who heads Renewable Energy Project, Alaska, says that’s a benefit for consumers.

Cook Inlet Region, Inc. owns Fire Island Wind and plans to install turbines next year, to have power available from the turbines by late 2012.

RCA is taking written public comment on the plan until 4:30 pm on July 24.

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