renewables

Hope McKenney/KUCB

Engineers have taken down one of Unalaska's four meteorological (MET) towers after it was damaged in a fall storm. Its loss isn't expected to compromise the city's ongoing energy study testing the feasibility of a local wind farm.

On Hog Island, workers have been preparing a MET tower for winter, anchoring it deeper into the ground. That way, when high winds blow and heavy rain falls, it'll stand up to the elements and avoid damage.

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.

Annie Feidt/Alaska Public

 

Rural Alaska runs on diesel. Although many communities are open to alternative energy ideas, they don’t have the funding to even explore them. But help could come in the form of graduate students from Harvard University, who have been tasked with the assignment of solving some of Alaska’s fossil fuel energy woes.

Harvard law student Mike Maruca may sound like he’s describing a spring break trip.

“We also got to drive out to Seward and went skiing at Alyeska,” Maruca said. “We managed to catch the northern lights last night, sort of. They were not very clear.”