The Shungnak photo voltaic vitality mission that permits the neighborhood to make use of much less diesel and lower your expenses on vitality was highlighted within the business journal this month because the microgrid mission of the yr.
Photo voltaic Builder journal acknowledged the 225-kilowatt Shungnak Group Microgrid Photo voltaic Undertaking, the battery system that permits Shungnak and the close by village of Kobuk to run on diesel-off for many of the summer time solar.
“This microgrid has been working for nearly a yr now, leading to 15,360 gallons of diesel gasoline that the neighborhood of Shungnak now not wants,” Northwest Arctic Borough officers mentioned. “That is a price financial savings within the vary of $125,000 to $135,000 for the yr — financial savings that go straight again into the neighborhood.”
The tribal governments of the villages personal the microgrid and promote the facility to the Alaska Village Electrical Cooperative. On this method, the villages turn out to be their very own impartial electrical energy producers and reinvest the associated fee financial savings again into extra renewable vitality initiatives.
The financial advantages are particularly vital for the neighborhood that receives gasoline by air at a excessive worth.
Earlier than it may get the funding for the microgrid, the Northwest Arctic Borough needed to show to authorities businesses that “photo voltaic works in Alaska,” the place it is too darkish, in line with Photo voltaic Builder. To do this, the borough has been gathering knowledge since 2013 on different photo voltaic initiatives within the space.
Together with the borough, the US Division of Agriculture funded the $2.2 million mission. The microgrid was put in final fall by Alaska Native Renewable Industries and Daylight Vitality Companies in partnership with different businesses and companies.
After the success of the Shungnak mission, the borough accomplished a Noatak farm – a 280-kilowatt photo voltaic photovoltaic and battery system that may act as an impartial electrical energy producer and promote energy to the Alaska Village Electrical Cooperative.
Along with NANA and AVEC, the Northwest Arctic Borough is engaged on a plan to convey all Northwest Arctic communities renewable vitality and impartial energy producer operations, the place tribes produce their very own vitality. .