Fire Island wind farm receives environmental permit

Alaska’s first large-scale wind energy project cleared a major hurdle on June 16 when CIRI and partner enXco Development Corp.’s planned wind farm on Fire Island near Anchorage received its 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act regulates the discharge of dredged, excavated or fill material in wetlands, streams, rivers or other waters in the U.S. The Fire Island project’s permit sets conditions for installation of the project and for connecting Fire Island to Southcentral Alaska’s energy grid, which could involve laying submarine cable in Cook Inlet.

Wind Energy Alaska, the 50-50-owned subsidiary of CIRI and enXco that will build and operate the wind farm, anticipates that the project could come online in 2011. For more information, go to