Construction crews should be busy on Fire Island near the western tip of Anchorage this summer, and Alaska's first major wind farm could be up and running there late next year, according to officials with Cook Inlet Region Inc., the Native corporation that plans to develop land it owns on the mostly barren isle into a wind-driven source of power for thousands of households.
"We're moving forward with the project," CIRI spokesman Jim Jager said recently. Significant hurdles still remain, including determining which electric companies will buy the power and approval of all permits.
The announcement came as the Army Corps of Engineers launched a month-long public review of the proposal filed by Wind Energy Alaska, a business owned by CIRI and enXco Inc., a U.S. company that develops and runs wind energy projects. The plan calls for erecting 20 wind turbines, each capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of power. A three-mile-long cable would carry the electricity to Point Campbell on the mainland and into the existing power grid that runs from Homer to Fairbanks.
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