CIRI is investing in innovation, technology and a diverse portfolio of clean, dependable and economic energy options, including wind power.
A photo simulation demonstrates a possible wind farm on Fire Island. Image courtesy of Chugach Electric Association.
CIRI is developing Alaska's first commercial-scale wind energy project on company land on Fire Island, in Cook Inlet just west of Anchorage.
Southcentral Alaska uses natural gas to generate more than 90 percent of its electricity. However, Cook Inlet gas reserves are running out. Clean, renewable wind energy could diversify Railbelt power resources, which would increase reliability and decrease ratepayers' vulnerability to gas shortages and price increases.
The project is expected to include 36 turbines capable of producing 54 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than 19,000 homes.
Site preparation on Fire Island is underway, with infrastructure work to commence in 2010.
The location was initially selected by Chugach Electric Association as a site that could provide commercial quantities of electric power to key load centers on the Railbelt grid.
WHY WIND?- Wind energy is renewable, so it won't run out
- The long-term cost of wind-generated electricity is cheaper and more predictable than fossil-fuel powered sources
- Wind power reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts
- Wind power could offset the need to burn natural gas, so that Cook Inlet oil and gas reserves would last longer
- Using wind energy locally could let the state take full advantage of escalating petroleum prices by selling more Alaska oil and gas to the rest of the world
- Alaska wind energy resources would be built and operated in-state by Alaskans