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Eva Creek Wind

Last Modified: 1st November 2012

Summary

The Eva Creek Wind Project is a 24 MW (megawatt) wind farm near Healy AK, operated by Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA).  Construction began in May 2012, with the first power arriving in October 2012.

Power in AK

Electrical intertie near Healy, AK

Electrical intertie near Healy, AK

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Background

Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) began studying wind potential in the Healy area in 2003 by installing wind-monitoring towers.  In 2009 the company further expanded its explorations.  Environmental surveys and development plans were initiated in 2010.  In 2011, the GVEA board of directors approved the project for construction.

The farm will ultimately contain 12 wind turbines, a substation, an operations and maintenance building, two communication towers and a meteorological tower.  The site is located north northeast of Healy, in the valley south of Rex Dome.

Project Economics and Controversy

GVEA projects that the construction costs for Eva Creek will be around $90 million. Maintenance costs are projected at $1.5 million annually, with another $6 million per year required to service the loan at 2.1% interest.  This $7.5 million per year cost translates into 9.8 cents/kWh, which is comparable to the selling price of the power to be produced by the Fire Island Wind project near Anchorage (9.7 cents/kWh).

These estimates, however, have provoked controversy, especially in relation to a competing project, the Delta Wind Farm near Delta Junction.  GVEA considered purchasing power from the privately owned Delta Wind Farm but ultimately decided to move forward with their 100% owned Eva Creek project.  Proponents of the Delta Wind Farm have argued that Eva Creek will end up costing much more than GVEA currently estimates.  A summary of the objections and a response from GVEA can be found here.

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By David CoilNiki HoaglandBretwood HigmanGround Truth Trekking

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Date Created: 19th December 2011