A Fire Island Wind turbine stands ready to be tested on Aug. 22, 2012. The wind turbines have a 262-foot hub height with three 131-foot blades. All 11 turbines have been erected and await final testing and commissioning before supplying power to Chugach Electrical Association in September. Find more project updates at www.fireislandwind.com. (Photo/Judy Patrick Photography)
Fire Island Wind LLC has constructed a commercial-scale wind farm on Fire Island, three miles west of Anchorage.
Southcentral Alaska uses natural gas to generate more than 90 percent of its electricity. Clean, renewable wind energy could diversify Railbelt power resources, which would increase reliability and decrease ratepayers' vulnerability to gas shortages and price increases.
CIRI and Chugach Electric Association (CEA) have agreed to Fire Island wind power purchase terms that have allowed CIRI to proceed with construction of the first phase of the Fire Island wind project. The first 11-turbine project phase will have a 17.6 megawatt (MW) generation capacity and is expected to supply more than 50,000 MW-hours of power to CEA annually, enough power for approximately 4,000 Southcentral Alaska homes. The project will offset approximately 0.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) of CEA natural gas consumption for power generation, supplying about 4 percent of CEA's load.
The Fire Island Wind project is constructed and project commissioning and commercial power production are anticipated in fall 2012.