Mountain Village

The wind resource measured at the Mountain Village met tower site is very good with measured wind power class 5 (excellent).  In addition to high average wind speeds and high wind power density, the site experiences very low turbulence and low extreme wind speed probability.  Its location on a high exposed plateau above the Yukon River makes it ideal for wind power development.

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Deering

Village of Deering; D. Vaught photo

The wind resource measured in Deering is good at high wind power Class 3 with low turbulence conditions. Met tower placement was based on observations of wind patterns in Deering, the relatively high elevation of the site, and proximity to existing roads. The site is thought to have the best developable wind regime near Deering. Other locations near Deering, such as the summit plateau of the high, broad hill east of the village, are likely windier but development costs there would be very high.

A feasibility study completed in August 2011 examined wind power options for Deering with a phased approach recommendation where low penetration wind power is initially constructed with transition to medium to high penetration wind power within a few years.

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Point Hope

Point Hope met tower; D. Vaught photo

The wind resource measured in Point Hope is outstanding, with measured wind power class 6 (on a scale of 1 to 7). In addition to high average wind speeds and high wind power density, Point Hope experiences very low turbulence and calculations indicate low extreme wind speed probability.

V3 Energy LLC prepared a feasibility study for Point Hope in December 2011.  The study concludes that the technical and economic prospects of wind power to supplement the diesel power plant are excellent.  Two candidate sites were considered, one near the airport and the other a few miles east of the village, and two wind turbine options, the 100 kW Northwind 100 and the larger 225 kW Aeronautica AW29-225.

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Kaktovik

Kaktovik met tower; D. Vaught photo

With reference to two nearby Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) sources (Barter Island Airport and Barter Island DEW), the wind resource in Kaktovik is outstanding (Class 5 to 6), but verification with the met tower was fraught with difficulty, namely a lost data card, significant data loss due to icing, and loss of both 30 meter level anemometers in early January due to ice and wind damage that were not replaced until early March. Given the anemometer problems, met tower data as collected is not useful for calculating mean wind speed, but inserting synthesized data to the data set yields a wind resource prediction in-line with the AWOS data sources. Other parameters, including turbulence, wind shear, and directionality of winds, indicate a desirable wind resource for wind power development.

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Wainwright

Photo by D. Vaught

The wind resource measured in Wainwright is very good, with measured high wind power class 4 to low wind power class 5 (on a scale of 1 to 7). In addition to strong average wind speeds and wind power density, the site experiences highly directional prevailing winds, low turbulence and calculations indicate low extreme wind speed probability.

V3 Energy LLC prepared a feasibility study for Wainwright in December 2011.  The study concludes that the technical and economic prospects of wind power to supplement the diesel power plant are excellent.  Two candidate sites were presented, one between the coast and the tank farm and the other north of the village, near the landfill.  Two wind turbine options were considered, the 100 kW Northwind 100 and the larger 225 kW Aeronautica AW29-225.

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Saint Mary’s

Saint Mary’s, Alaska is the largest village on the lower Yukon River and a high priority wind power project site for Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC). In addition to the existing electrical intertie between Saint Mary’s and Pitka’s Point, current plans calls for continuation of an existing intertie west from the Saint Mary’s Airport to Mountain Village and possible future construction of an intertie east from Saint Mary’s to Pilot Station.

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Naknek – Cape Suwarof

Cape Suwarof, Naknek, Alaska

The wind resource at proposed Cape Suwarof wind power site in Naknek shows very good potential for wind energy development as a high Class 4 (near Class 5) wind power class resource with excellent turbulence behavior. Note that the measured wind power class is higher than predicted by the Alaska Wind Resource Map (see below) which forecast a Class 3 resource at the test site.

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Mekoryuk

Mekoryuk, Alaska

The Mekoryuk wind test site has outstanding potential for wind power development with Class 6 winds, low wind shear, and low turbulence. The wind rose indicates more variability in wind directions than observed elsewhere, but this likely is a consequence of Mekoryuk’s coastal location and maritime climate influence. For a representative village-scale stall controlled turbine and pitch controlled turbine, both yield low thirty percent capacity factors at 32 meter hub heights. An expected challenge with wind turbine operations in Mekoryuk is the occasional extreme low winter temperatures and consequent high air densities experienced.

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Quinhagak

Quinhagak, Alaska

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Chevak

Chevak, Alaska

Chevak has an outstanding wind resource for wind power development. Not only does the site rate as Class 6 (of seven designated classes of wind), the winds are relatively directional and low turbulence. Besides logistics and construction issues, the one significant challenge to installing wind turbines in Chevak is the permafrost soils at the designated wind farm site.

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