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Alaskan Power Microgrids

January 1, 2018

Alaska leads the way to a more independent and renewable energy supply.

Transcript

Wind turbines supply renewable energy to microgrids across Alaska. Chris Pike, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Wind turbines supply renewable energy to microgrids across Alaska. (Chris Pike/The Alaska Center for Energy and Power, University of Alaska Fairbanks)

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Alaska’s power microgrids. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Unlike the rest of the United States, Alaska’s remote communities don’t run off of an interconnected power grid. Instead, they’re powered by local microgrids – small, independent power stations. And they’ve become leaders in integrating diesel-fueled power generation with local renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

ERIN WHITNEY (University of Alaska, Fairbanks):

It’s very expensive to power those grids because they’re primarily based on diesel generators which require imported fuel. And so many of them are looking toward local and sustainable energy sources to counter those high costs of energy.

HIRSHON:

That’s University of Alaska, Fairbanks experimental scientist Erin Whitney. She writes in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy that Alaska can serve as a model for resilient power microgrids in both small and large communities worldwide. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard