Kasigluk and Nunapitchuk, Alaska
Only accessible by small aircraft and snowmobiles in the winter, the tight-knit communities of Kasigluk, Old Kasigluk, and Nunapitchuk are known for their fishing, snowmobiling, and high diesel prices. The small villages’ remote locations made reliable and affordable energy a challenge for Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) and the 500 or so Yup’ik Native Alaskan families it serves.
AVEC is a non-profit electric utility owned by the residents of 53 remote villages throughout western Alaska. To power these homes, AVEC used more than 150 diesel generators that cumulatively run more than 400,000 hours per year—equaling 950 diesel truck trips around the world. The five million gallons of diesel fuel used to power these villages was stored in bulk fuel tank facilities that needed regular maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. With skyrocketing fuel prices and storage expenses, electricity became so expensive that villagers often had to make difficult decisions between powering their homes and purchasing food. That’s why AVEC took the bold initiative to start introducing wind power to some of the remote villages that it serves.