energy

Dave Gregory and Darin Nicholson

Voters asked City Council hopefuls Darin Nicholson and Dave Gregory about Unalaska's housing, budget, and more during last week's Candidates Forum.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

The City of Unalaska finished installing the last of four meteorological (MET) towers over the summer. Their purpose is to help the city determine whether Unalaska can produce electricity from wind energy in the future.

The towers are installed at four locations: one on Bunker Hill, another two in Pyramid Valley by Icy Creek and Veronica Lake, and a final one on Hog Island.

The wind development project is led by Unalaska's Department of Public Works, and it's one of seven initiatives underway with its electric fund.

Hope McKenney/KUCB and Dennis Robinson

Voters asked mayoral hopefuls Dennis Robinson and Vince Tutiakoff Sr. about Unalaska's economy, environment, and potential as a future military base during last week's Candidates Forum. 

Zoë Sobel/KUCB

 

In Unalaska, it can cost more than $500 a month to heat a typical home in the winter. Because the treeless island is 1,000 miles from Anchorage, everything is shipped in — including heating oil. It’s the source of heat for the vast majority of houses in the city.

Unalaska resident Travis Swangel heats his small home on the island with a Toyo stove.

The Cost of Cold is a series from Alaska’s Energy Desk about how Alaskans around the state heat their homes. Reporter Zoe Sobel produced this story.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

Unalaskans know the island’s wind is strong — it can blow over 100 miles per hour.

Back in 2005, the city council funded a study to see if that wind could be used for power generation. The former city manager, Nancy Peterson, said that they basically concluded that it wasn’t possible because there was no technology strong enough to withstand Unalaska’s wind.

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