• Wind Farm Feasibility and Cost Analysis Kobuk River Valley, Noorvik and Kiana

      Smith, Cory (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-05-01)
      Western Alaska villages have incredibly high energy costs due to being off the road system. They rely upon the delivery of fuel by air cargo or barge cargo services for their diesel power plants. This is a particularly costly operation, and fuel prices delivered by this method are typically double, or even triple, the national average. In turn, this results in monthly electricity bills of $500/month or more for a typical household in the winter, which most families in this impoverished region can’t afford. The Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB) has some of the highest cost averages of Western Alaska, due to its extreme remoteness and very limited barging capabilities. This Capstone project will involve researching the high energy costs in Western Alaska, with special attention to the NWAB, compared to both Alaskan and national averages; and, will research the costs of planning, construction, and operations of wind farms in Western Alaska. The project will enlist various research methods, including literary research, interviews, estimating, and cost analysis tools. It will present a cost analysis of designing, constructing, and maintaining a wind farms vs. traditional diesel generated costs. Lastly, it will provide a recommendation to whether a wind farm in the Kobuk River Valley is a worthwhile endeavor. The final project deliverable will be a research paper and recommendation intended to be used by stakeholders in the energy industry. It will take into consideration initial investment costs, operations and maintenance costs, current subsidies, and any potential long term cost savings.