Tag Archives: Wind Power

Bethel school harnesses resources to save money

CCHRC is working with an education center in Bethel to help improve the energy performance of its new building.

Yuut Elitnaurviat is a vocational center that offers training in construction, health care, dental health aid, and other subjects for residents of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region.

The new building at Yuut Elitnaurviat campus consumes more than 40 percent more than the average building in Alaska.

The school is spending more than 40 percent more than the average commercial building in Alaska for heating and power at its facilities—which includes a classroom, admin offices, a cafeteria, dormitory and shop—and the building is only a few years old. This stems from inefficiencies in heating, lighting, and ventilation systems, among others. For example, the air handling system is consuming more than its fair share of energy use and may be oversized for the building. In addition, the school is paying to heat much more domestic hot water than it actually needs.

CCHRC researchers visited the campus in March to explore options for improving the building’s performance.

“They’re paying almost 50 cents a kWh, and they’re using around 32,000 kWh a month, so it makes more economic sense to focus on the electric load than on space heating at this point,” said CCHRC research engineer Bruno Grunau.

CCHRC prepared a feasibility study of the local resources and found both wind and solar photovoltaic systems would be viable technologies. Researchers are now helping school officials plan a small wind farm and solar array. The wind farm could include up to 4-5 turbines, each producing approximately 6,000-10,000 kWh per year, and a 10 kW PV array that would produce approximately 8,500 kWh a year.

Building officials are also pursuing a commercial energy audit to find other economical ways to save energy, such as tightening the building envelope or installing high-efficiency lighting and daylight sensing.


Making alternative energy sources reliable

From npr.org, posted on Monday, April 27, 2009:

The Obama administration wants to rebuild the national electricity grid that delivers power to everyone’s toasters and televisions. One reason is that the grid can’t handle all the new solar and wind power the president wants to build to create a greener energy economy.

Here’s the problem: Solar and wind power are intermittent. Sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes it’s not, and it’s the same for wind. But the grid needs constant and reliable sources of power.

Click here to read or listen to the whole story.

Alaska in the forefront testing wind power

From the New York Times on Wednesday, February 18, 2009:

Beyond the fishing boats, the snug homes and the tanks of diesel fuel marking this Eskimo village on the Bering Sea, three huge wind turbines tower over the tundra. Their blades spin slowly in a breeze cold enough to freeze skin.

One of the nation’s harshest landscapes, it turns out, is becoming fertile ground for green power.  
Click here to read the whole article.