U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Wind Program

Alaska Utility Wins Wind Cooperative of the Year Award

February 25, 2008

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) of Anchorage, Alaska, has been selected by DOE and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) as the winner of the 2007 Wind Cooperative of the Year award. The award recognizes AVEC for leadership, demonstrated success, and innovation in its wind power program. AVEC provides electricity to 53 small, native villages in rural Alaska and has 990 kilowatts of installed wind-generating capacity in four of the communities it serves. The annual award is cosponsored by NRECA and DOE's Wind Powering America program, which aims to dramatically increase the use of wind energy in the United States. See the Wind Powering America Web site.

Photo of two large wind turbines next to an even larger crane, on a flat, snow-covered landscape.

The Alaska Village Electric Cooperative installed its first NorthWind 100 wind turbines in the community of Toksook Bay in late 2005. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Distributed Energy Systems

Wind power provides 25% of the electricity needs of two of AVEC's communities—Toksook Bay and Kasigluk. Those two communities are also home to the first field deployments of the NorthWind 100 wind turbine, a 100-kilowatt turbine that is specifically for use in cold, harsh climates. The turbine, manufactured by Distributed Energy Systems Corporation, features a direct-drive generator that eliminates the need for a gearbox, avoiding the problems with gearbox lubrication caused by cold weather and other harsh conditions. Designed and developed in conjunction with DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the wind turbine received an R&D 100 award in 2000. See the DOE press release, the NREL Web page on the NorthWind turbine, and the Distributed Energy Systems Web page on the turbine and its case study on the Toksook Bay installation (PDF 105 KB). Download Adobe Reader.