Earlier this summer, the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative installed four turbines in the remote village diesel systems in Mekoryuk and Savoonga, Alaska. The AVEC is a non-profit electric utility owned by the people it serves in 53 villages throughout interior and western Alaska. AVEC’s service area is the largest of any electric cooperative in the world.
Savoonga, located on the north shore of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, has superb wind power development potential. It classifies as a Class 7 wind resource with a 913 Watts per square meter wind power density at 50 meters.
AVEC officials said that though there is a continuing need to use diesel generators for most electric generation in the villages, the co-op hopes to use wind power in place of 25 percent to 40 percent of the diesel fuel consumed at those locations to achieve some relief from the energy costs.
In February 2008, AVEC was the winner of the 2007 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award from the US Department of Energy’s Windpowering America Program. This annual award, in its seventh year, recognized AVEC for leadership, demonstrated success and innovation in its wind power program.
Sources: US Dept. of Energy Press Release
Savoonga, Alaska Wind Resource Update Report
Report written by: Douglas Vaught, V3 Energy LLC