Energy Update 7-25-2012
This summer, we are seeing history made before our eyes as wind turbines go up on Fire Island. And although Shell Arctic Oil drilling is stealing the spotlight, many other energy projects are progressing across the state.
The Fire Island Wind project is moving along as scheduled. The first turbine was erected on July 13th and the rest will be completed by August 15th. This fall, the farm should be operational, with power being purchased by Alaska’s largest power utility, Chugach Electric Association. After 10 years of talks and negotiations, the Fire Island Wind farm will soon be providing clean, renewable power to residents of Southcentral Alaska!
Meanwhile, on the North Slope, a Texas based company, Great Bear Petroleum is trying their hand at fracking– shale oil exploration. A 2012 survey suggested that the North Slope may hold 2 billion barrels of shale oil and 80 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The company’s leases are in remote, unpopulated areas and brackish water in the area could mitigate water pollution and contamination issues that have been a source of controversy in fracking operations in other parts of the country. Great Bear President told lawmakers that as many as 200 wells could be drilled per year.
Moving to interior Alaska, Alaska Energy Authority is seeking a third party to estimate costs of the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric project. The current estimates are based on an updated version of the 1980’s project. The third party would be expected to prepare a cost estimate for the project and also identify potential cost issues that would require more research.
Finally, Cook Inlet Energy is putting finishing touches on a drilling rig and will have it operational in the next few weeks. The company is also looking at building a pipeline across the Cook Inlet that will carry 90,000 barrels per day.
8th Annual Alaska Renewable Energy Fair- For more information, click here.