Interior looks to the possibility of wind power

Posted: Monday, May 05, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) Golden Valley Electric Association is considering wind power in its search for more ways to generate electricity in the Interior.

Kate Lamal, GVEA vice president of power supply, said that within 10 years the Interior could be harnessing wind turbines capable of generating 10 to 20 megawatts of power.

Golden Valley officials believe fossil fuels will be phased out in the next 50 years or so, as utilities increasingly rely on renewable resources. The utility would like to find a location with sufficient winds that is close enough to existing infrastructure.

Wind power is growing in popularity in the Lower 48, but may be a more tricky addition for Alaska utilities, because it must be placed along the state's sparse existing power lines instead of anywhere on a large energy grid, Lamal said.

The issue of renewable power was brought up last week at the utility's general membership meeting. A member-sponsored advisory resolution calls for the creation of a green power'' committee made up of ratepayers.

The resolution will be discussed at the GVEA board's next monthly meeting, according to Corinne Bradish, GVEA public relations and key accounts officer.

GVEA member Tom DeLong, who once ran for a seat on the board, authored the advisory resolution.

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