New Wind Turbines Increase Fuel Savings

The seven new turbines installed at KEA’s wind farm in the winter of 1999 will significantly increase fuel savings from the wind project.

dieselMost of Kotzebue’s electricity is produced using diesel generators. One gallon of fuel is saved for each 14 kilowatt-hours (kwh) produced by the wind farm.

Annually, each of the AOC 15/50 turbines at the site is expected to eliminate the need for about 9,000 gallons of the diesel fuel that is normally used to produce electricity. With a total of 10 turbines and 660kW capacity installed, the co-op expects to reduce annual fuel use by about 90,000 gallons. That is about six percent of normal fuel requirements.

At the 1998 cost of fuel to the co-op, 94 cents/gallon, this would save KEA and its member-owners $84,600 each year. Fuel prices vary year to year. In addition to direct fuel cost savings, the co-op will save money in reduced costs of storage and pollution control requirements associated with diesel fuel.

As the co-op increases its wind generation capacity in future years, these savings will increase. Different turbines being tested may provide different levels of savings per kwh produced. The demonstration project will help show these variations in fuel savings.