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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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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Atqasuk met tower; D. Vaught photo

The wind resource measured to date in Atqasuk appears to be promising for wind power development, but winter data recovery was very poor. Wind power class 3 (fair) is calculated but that with only one year of data characterized by poor winter data recovery, that classification may well be in error. With respect to other criteria, the Atqasuk site experiences very low turbulence conditions and apparent low extreme wind probability.

To improve confidence of measurement of the wind resource in Atqasuk, especially during the winter months, a met tower equipped with heated sensors (at least one anemometer and one wind vane) is strongly suggested.

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Anaktuvuk Pass

Anatuvik Pass Met Tower

The wind resource measured in Anaktuvuk Pass is somewhat low by some standards of wind power development with projected wind power class 2 (marginal). But, the viability of wind power in a remote community is primarily dependent on the cost of fuel for electricity generation. Given the very high cost of diesel fuel in Anaktuvuk Pass, the economics of wind development may well be quite favorable.

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Eek Alaska

The wind resource in Eek is estimated based on wind studies completed in the nearby communities of Quinhagak, Bethel, and Kongiganak. The wind resource in Quinhagak was measured from October 2005 to May 2007 with a 30 meter met tower located near the site of the recently-constructed wind turbines. The mean wind speed in Quinhagak (at 30 meters) was measured at 6.3 m/s with calculated wind power density of 338 W/m2. Quinhagak classified as IEC Class III-c.

Other data sources, including a March 2006 AEA Report (M. Devine) for Chefornak, indicate mean annual mean wind speed in Bethel as 6.9 m/s and Kongiganak as 7.3 m/s. The Bethel and Kongiganak data indicated similar Weibull k, turbulence and wind shear values as Quinhagak. Given that a met tower study has not been conducted in Eek, but the referenced communities of Quinhagak, Bethel and Kongiganak bracket Eek in three directions and share similar topographic features, the referenced data sources are thought highly representative of Eek’s expected wind resource. Of the three referenced communities, the wind data in Quinhagak was selected to represent Eek as it exhibited the lowest average wind speed and hence is most conservative. The actual wind resource in Eek may be stronger; closer to that of Kongiganak. If true, energy production from the proposed wind turbine would be higher than estimated in this report.

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Marshall met tower; D. Vaught photo

The proposed Marshall wind project site is located one-half mile east of the village, just north of the airport access road and west of the spur road to Pilcher Mountain.  The site was identified during a reconnaissance visit in 2007 as particularly suitable for wind power development.   A met tower was installed at the project site in December 2008 but collapsed in a storm in October 2009.  The met tower was replaced in September 2012 and is presently operational.  Met tower data indicates a Class 4 (good) wind resource with a mean annual wind speed of 6.27 m/s with a mean annual wind power density of 396 W/m2.  Other aspects of the wind resource also are promising for wind power development.  Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, the electric utility serving Marshall, would like to install wind turbines to augment the diesel generators now supplying power to the village.

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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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Old Harbor

Old Harbor, Kodiak, Alaska

The Old Harbor met tower site is located on a small peninsula of Sitkalidak Island approximately one mile ESE across Sitkalidak Strait from the main part of the village of Old Harbor. This site was selected based on a desire to not interfere with the aircraft traffic pattern at the airport and yet be developable without significant road construction. With seven months of data collected, the test site had a lower wind resource than expected and the met tower was decommissioned and removed. This site on Sitkalidak Island was thought to have the best potential for wind power development in Old Harbor. Alternate sites that could be considered are complicated by the location of the airport on the west side of Sitkali-dak Passage.

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