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AVEC holds Energy Project Dedication Ceremony at Chevak


The official ribbon cutting: AVEC's Meera Kohler does the honors as representatives from the agencies that funded the project assist. From left are: Sandra Moller of the Alaska Energy Authority/U.S. Dept. of Energy; Jim Nordlund with Rural Utilities Services; Meera Kohler; & Joel Neimeyer of the Denali Commission. photo courtesy of Amy Murphy/AVEC

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC), held an Energy Project Dedication Ceremony on August 2nd in Chevak, Alaska. This event marked the official opening of the new amalgamated power project that includes an automated power plant, bulk fuel tank farms, and four wind turbines.

The modular-style plant is powered by three fuel-efficient diesel engines that provide a generating capacity of 1,797 kW: 1800 RPM Caterpillar 3456 (447 kW); Cummins QSK23 (824 kW); and an 1800 RPM Cummins QSX15 (496 kW).

Four Northwind 100 kW wind turbines provide an additional 400 kW generating capacity and a new three-phase primary distribution line connects the turbines to the plant. The bulk fuel facility is the largest upgrade in the AVEC/Denali Commission partnership. AVEC’s tank farm storage capacity is 310,000 gallons and the separate community tank farm storage capacity is 501,000 gallons.

The total cost for this project is $17.8 million with funding provided by these organizations: Denali Commission; Rural Utilities Service; Alaska Energy Authority (U.S. Department of Energy); and AVEC.

“We have been working on this facility since 2006,” said Meera Kohler, AVEC’s President and CEO. “The Denali Commission has been a tremendous partner of AVEC and is very supportive of our efforts to reduce high energy costs in rural Alaska.”

The event began at noon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the city’s bulk fuel tank farm. Various people were invited to speak, including representatives from the funding organizations and local dignitaries involved in the cooperative efforts required to plan, design and build this project.

“With great respect, we welcome all our guests,” said Mayor Ulric Ulroan. “From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for everything you have done for us.”

Representatives from the offices of Senators Murkowski and Begich and Congressman Young attended and toured the new facilities. Employees from AVEC and various project contractors, including STG Incorporated, Hattenburg, Dilley and Linnell, and Northern Power, were on hand to answer questions and provide tours.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, a luncheon and games for the kids were provided at the town bingo hall. AVEC thanks everybody who helped make this event a big success, including local residents who volunteered time and effort to help with complicated logistics.

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, non-profit cooperative that provides electric power to more than 7,800 consumers in 54 Alaskan villages.

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