• Alaska Isolated Wind-Diesel Systems Performance and Economic Analysis

      Fay, Ginny; Schwoerer, Tobias; Keith, Katherine (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010)
      Most remote rural communities in Alaska use diesel to generate electricity, but the high price of diesel is causing an increasing number to add a local power source that’s also renewable—wind. Our analysis is preliminary; most existing systems are new. Adding wind to diesel systems makes economic sense to customers if wind energy costs less than the equivalent energy cost of diesel. Our review of project histories did reveal some potential ways of improving the economics and performance of rural wind-diesel systems. Those include geographically and technologically aggregating projects to take advantage of economies of scale; employing skilled project developers who use technological innovations to increase wind-energy generation; having clear power-purchase agreements; having skilled and motivated local operators; establishing remote monitoring to alert project managers about problems and record maintenance and performance data; and hiring people with expertise in Alaska’s harsh climate.