After extensive survey work in Eva Creek since 2003, the Eva Creek Wind Project recently received a nod of approval from Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA). The project will be the largest wind farm in Alaska and the first by any Railbelt utility.
GVEA recently announced the partnership with REpower as the turbine manufacturer – the same company that was used for the Lac-Alfred wind farm in Quebec – and were awarded $11.4 million from Capital Budget appropriations. This project is in accordance with GVEA’s renewable energy pledge to help “kick the oil habit.” The 24 megawatt system will meet GVEA’s goal of 20 percent of the system’s peak load to be renewable energy by 2014. The wind farm will displace more an 76 million kilowatt-hours (36 percent capacity factor) of oil with renewable energy annually.
The cost of the turbines is not small price and will run around $1.5 million annually and will have no impact to current energy rates, although with the current oil prices, Eva Creek could end up saving consumers $13.6 million over the next 20 years.
After 8 years, the project is finally underway. GVEA is planning construction to begin in May of next year and completed by the following September.