Developer hopes to capitalize on wind power near Delta Junction

From The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Sunday, September 26, 2010:

A Fairbanks developer said Tuesday he hopes he can build a 25-megawatt wind farm near Delta Junction despite limited avenues for public aid.

Mike Craft said his firm, Alaska Environmental Power, is working with Golden Valley Electric Association to study how to best feed wind power into Interior Alaska’s transmission grid.

The work parallels planning by Golden Valley for a separate wind farm near Healy.

Craft told a chamber of commerce audience Tuesday he hopes the integration studies will lead to power-sale agreements between his firm and the utility. He said Golden Valley previously agreed to a smaller, pilot sale agreement following construction of two smaller turbines at the Delta site.

“(It) made it possible for us to come on line with these two turbines. That helped us a lot,” Craft said. He said the turbines, the largest built with state aid, have produced 134,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Craft, a builder and residential developer, started looking to enter the wind power business roughly three years ago. He approached public officials last winter for help with his project and received lukewarm responses but said Tuesday he chose to continue and hopes to install 16 GE turbines near Delta.