Deep Energy Makeover for the POSS Camp at St. Paul Island Alaska
Type of Application
DOE Grant Number
Project Period of Performance
Start: September 2017
End: December 2020
Tanadgusix Corporation’s (TDX’s) project will reduce the energy consumption of the 80,000-square-foot airport facility on the island of St. Paul, Alaska, by approximately 54% through deep energy retrofits, and will increase the contribution of wind power from 35% to 65% by installing an additional 900-kilowatt (kW) wind turbine. This will reduce diesel fuel purchases by an estimated $239,000 annually.
TDX is an Alaska Native Village Corporation created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, passed by the U.S. Congress to provide economic well-being for indigenous people that resided in the Village of St. Paul, Alaska. TDX owns numerous subsidiaries including TDX Power, Inc., which provides energy resources to rural Alaskan villages.
The TDX-owned Petroleum Offshore Supply Support (POSS) Camp was initially built to meet the demands for housing, dining, and airport hangar and maintenance facilities required by the oil exploration programs undertaken in this area in the 1970s. The POSS Camp facilities currently provide several important services to the islanders, visitors, commercial interests, and government entities.
In the late 1990s, TDX began the exploration of using wind energy to offset diesel fuel consumption on the island. The first project was to power POSS Camp separately from the City Utility with a wind-diesel hybrid power system. That project was installed in 2000 and has run continuously since then, saving thousands of gallons of diesel fuel per year. The hybrid system consisted of one Vestas V27 wind turbine, two 160-kilowatt Volvo engines, hydronic heating system, and hybrid system control hardware. It was the first system to operate in wind-only mode (i.e., wind turbine supplying all the alternating-current power to a facility) without using electrical storage. Control was accomplished via fast load-control using resistive thermal loads in the hydronic system.
This project will support the development of indigenous capability to execute energy-efficiency projects by providing the opportunity to decrease total fossil fuel use at the POSS Camp complex by improving the electrical system, thermal system, building envelope, and expanding the wind capacity.
Project Objectives and Scope
The proposed improvements for this project for the POSS Camp include those listed in a recent independent energy audit, which has been revised for this project to include only the highest-payback items. The energy audit was performed considering the present use of the facility, with the majority of building square footage consisting of unheated storage space. Presently, there are 28,000 square feet of high-bay hangar space that is either completely or inadequately heated. The inability to cost-effectively heat this space makes it unacceptable for both the present tenant and potential future tenants.
Therefore, in addition to the energy improvements listed in the energy audit report, this project includes additional wind turbine capacity and the installation of heat pumps (to be powered by wind) for cost-effectively providing consistent heat to three of the four existing hangar high-bay rooms.
The improvements were selected based on the following general criteria: 1) financial viability, 2) capital costs, and 3) enhancing the long-term viability of the structure. With this in mind, the following focus areas were selected: repair/stabilize/improve building envelope; improve heat-delivery systems; upgrade lighting to reduce power consumption; and add a wind turbine to the power system.
The work was further divided into the following categories:
- Electrical retrofit
- Thermal system upgrades
- Building envelope
- Wind turbine.
The proposed project is the POSS Camp facility located at the airport on the island of St. Paul, Alaska, which is in the middle of the Baring Sea. Saint Paul Island is the largest of the Pribilof Islands, a group of four Alaskan volcanic islands located in the Bering Sea between the United States and Russia. The city of St. Paul is the only residential area on the island. The project site is a 80,000-sq.-ft. facility at the island airport and it currently houses the Penn Air offices, waiting areas and maintenance facility, 80-bed dormitory, gift shop, large kitchen/dining facility, offices, classrooms, multiple large-equipment service bays, unheated storage spaces, and three presently unheated hangar high bays.
The project was competitively selected under the DOE Office of Indian Energy Fiscal Year 2016 funding opportunity announcement “Deployment of Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy on Indian Lands – 2017” (DE-FOA-0001660) and started in September 2017.