Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Inc./Pitka’s Point Native Corporation Renewable Energy Joint Venture
St. Mary’s and Pitka’s Point, AK
Pitka’s Point/Saint Mary’s Wind Energy Construction Project
Type of Application
DOE Grant Number
See project status
Project Period of Performance
Start: September 2016
End: December 2018
Under this project, the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Inc./Pitka’s Point Native Corporation Renewable Energy Joint Venture (APPRE) will install a 900-kilowatt (kW) wind turbine to serve the Alaska Native communities of Pitka’s Point, Saint Mary’s, and (via a future intertie) Mountain Village, Alaska. This wind energy project, which also has a small wind-to-heat component, will be located on Pitka’s Point Native Corporation lands.
The project will provide electrical power generation from one 900-kW direct-drive wind turbine, expected to produce 2,525 megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy, provide about 42% of the electricity consumed by the villages, and use excess heat to provide heat to community water and sewer systems and buildings in St. Mary’s and Mountain Village. This wind project will connect to the existing power generation system serving the entire communities of Pitka’s Point and St. Mary’s and via a planned intertie to Mountain Village.
APPRE is a partnership between the tribal electric utility cooperative and an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act village corporation. This joint venture was formed specifically to address energy issues in the three communities (Pitka’s Point, Saint Mary’s, and Mountain Village) and to apply for grant funding.
Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AVEC) is a successful nonprofit electric utility providing electrical services to the tribal residents of 56 remote rural Alaska villages. AVEC’s member villages are located in northern, western, and interior Alaska. With the exception of Bethel with a population of 6,371, AVEC villages are small in population, ranging from 1,200 to fewer than 100 people.
Pitka’s Point Native Corporation (PPNC) is a village corporation as defined in and established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Its goal is to serve its 426 Alaska Native shareholders. The Corporation has joined with AVEC to facilitate the movement from diesel power to renewable wind energy in order to stabilize the cost of power for tribal members and businesses and reduce diesel fuel emissions.
For the past decade, the three rural communities and AVEC have been actively pursuing the development of a wind farm. This wind energy project will facilitate movement from diesel power to renewable energy.
Project Objectives and Scope
APPRE will reduce and stabilize the costs of power and will provide cleaner air in Saint Mary’s, Pitka’s Point, and Mountain Village, Alaska, by constructing and operating one wind turbine on the land owned by PPNC.
- Objective 1: Replace approximately 202,000 gallons of diesel fuel used annually in St. Mary’s, Pitka’s Point, and Mountain Village through the generation of 2,525 MWh/year of wind energy for a savings of approximately $874,000.
- Objective 2: Replace approximately 4,220 gallons of diesel fuel used annually for heat in St Mary’s and Mountain Village’s water and sewer system and community buildings for a savings of approximately $11,250/year.
- Objective 3: Stabilize 20 years of future costs of power for St. Mary’s, Pitka’s Point, and Mountain Village by replacing diesel fuel-generated power with wind-generated power (assuming a 20-year wind turbine life).
- Objective 4: Avoid approximately 2,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually by replacing approximately 202,000 gallons/year of diesel fuel-generated electrical power and heat with clean renewable wind power.
- Objective 5: Avoid risk of environmental damage to important subsistence and commercial fishing by eliminating approximately 202,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year used for transported to and stored in Saint Mary’s.
The outcomes of this project are: 1) production and use of approximately 2,525 MWh (net) of wind power annually from a clean and renewable energy source, 2) displacement of approximately 202,000 gallons/year of diesel fuel that would otherwise have to be purchased and transported to St. Mary’s, thereby saving approximately $874,000 each year and avoiding approximately 2,100 metric tons annually of carbon dioxide emissions and fuel spill risks.
The wind turbine will be installed about 2.5 miles from St. Mary’s and one mile east of Pitka’s Point on Pitka’s Point Native Corporation land, with boundaries of the Pitka’s Point/Saint Mary’s Airport road to the north, a rock quarry to the east, the bluff to the south, and a Native Allotment to the west. AVEC and the Pitka’s Point Native Corporation (land owner) have a land use agreement for the placement of the turbine at this location. The project would connect to the existing power line that runs between St. Mary’s and Pitka’s Point.
The project is complete. For additional details, see the final report.
The project was competitively selected under the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy’s Fiscal Year 2015 funding opportunity announcement “Deployment of Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects on Indian Lands – 2015” (DE-FOA-0001390) and started in September 2016.