T&D World Magazine

Alaskan Electric Cooperative Expands Wind Turbine Fleet

Northern Power, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., has been awarded a contract to install and commission three additional NorthWind 100 wind turbines for Anchorage-based Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC). The contract brings the total number of turbines AVEC has purchased from Northern Power to 10, representing what is believed to be the largest investment in wind turbines made in Alaska in a single year.

The Northern Power Products division will also supply and install wind turbine Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems for the villages of Toksook Bay and Kasigluk. These systems will leverage Northern Power's SmartView software, which will allow AVEC to monitor and control the wind turbines in both villages, as well as monitor the overall power generation system assets. The combined value for the turbine sale, the SCADA systems and other value-add services is $1.8 million.

The upcoming installation of the initial NorthWind turbines contributes to AVEC's initiative to integrate renewable wind power into more of the isolated Alaskan communities to which it provides electric power. The 10 wind turbines ordered to date will generate electric power for four of the 52 remote communities served by AVEC, including the communities of Toksook Bay, Savoonga, Gambell and Kasigluk, located in western Alaska.

The NorthWind turbines are being integrated into a long-term diesel power plant and tank farm upgrade program by AVEC. The first installation -- at Toksook Bay -- includes a three-turbine array integrated with fuel-efficient diesel generators to generate power in a new, automated power plant, all of which will be monitored via Northern Power's SmartView software and the associated SCADA system.

Working with the generators at Toksook Bay, the three new turbines will produce approximately 675,000 kWh annually, replacing over 30% of the energy normally generated by diesel and, at current fuel prices, providing an estimated annual fuel cost savings of approximately $100,000.

"The NorthWind 100 turbines and SmartView software represent the ideal solution for rural communities where fuel is difficult and costly to deliver," noted Brett Pingree, project manager for Northern Power. "They provide non-polluting renewable electrical energy, are field-proven to withstand the harsh arctic environment, and allow AVEC to easily monitor and control their systems."

"The AVEC wind power installations are an excellent example of how to capitalize on the cost-benefit characteristics of our products in a demanding isolated grid environment," said Jonathan Lynch, chief technology officer for Northern Power. "And with AVEC's decision to select our SmartView software for their broader monitoring needs, we are confident our technology will provide them with greater control over their generating assets and enhanced system performance."

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