North Wind: Alaska Village Electric Named Top Wind Co-Op

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Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) in Anchorage is the winner of the 2007 Wind Cooperative of the Year award, presented by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). This annual award, in its seventh year, recognizes AVEC for leadership, demonstrated success and innovation in its wind-power program.

AVEC provides electricity service to 53 small, native villages in rural Alaska and is using wind power to reduce its dependence on diesel power. In collaboration with the wind industry, DOE is striving to help develop advanced wind energy technologies to help meet the rapidly growing demand for energy.

"We applaud the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative for its commitment to wind power development, and for building upon President Bush's commitment to dramatically increase the use of this clean and abundant source of energy," DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner said. "With Department of Energy support, unprecedented growth rates in emissions-free, affordable wind production will increasingly help meet the nation's rapidly growing demand for energy."

AVEC currently has 990 kilowatts (kW) of installed wind-generating capacity in four of the communities it serves. Two of these communities, Toksook Bay and Kasigluk, represent the first field deployment of the Northwind 100/20 wind turbine. This is a 100 kW turbine with a 20-meter rotor specifically designed for deployment in cold, harsh climates. This turbine, designed and developed in conjunction with DOE, received a Research and Development 100 Award in 2000. AVEC wind turbines are producing up to 25 percent of the annual electricity needs of Toksook Bay and Kasigluk.

"Alaska Village Electric Cooperative is very pleased that DOE and NRECA are recognizing our efforts to meet the challenges of developing wind power in remote Alaskan villages," AVEC President and CEO Meera Kohler said. …