Hardy Turbines Going To Alaska Wind Project

The Eva Creek project planned for a few miles outside the northeast corner of Denali National Park, set to be the biggest wind power plant in Alaska at 24.6 megawatts (MW) capacity, has completed a deal with REpower Systems for turbines. As you might imagine, these are not ordinary turbines: The Golden Valley Electric Association is getting 12 of REpower’s Cold Climate Version (CCV) MM92 turbines, each with a rated power of 2.05 MW.

According to REpower, wind power plants function best in temperatures between -20 and 35 Celsius (-4 to 95 F). During the long winter, temperatures in the Alaska interior regularly fall below -30 F. REpower said its cold climate turbine “features additional heating units that keep the wind power plant operational even at -30 degrees of Celsius (-22 F).”

wind turbine, Eva Creek Wind Project, REpower

image via REpower Systems

“This project demonstrates REpower’s core competency in supplying extreme cold climate capable turbine technology,” REpower CEO Andreas Nauen said in a statement. Nauen said the MM92 going to Alaska “has already proven itself in projects in Québec, Canada, and in Inner Mongolia, China.”

Golden Valley is counting on Eva Creek’s 24.6 MW to take it a long way toward a goal of having 20 percent of its system’s peak load – which was 208 MW in 2010 – supplied by renewable resources by 2014. Installation of the turbines is expected to begin next spring, and the co-op hopes to commission Eva Creek Wind by fall.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.