Category Archives: Solar

100% Renewables – How Do We Get There?

The Chugach Electric Board of Directors election has generated considerable interest in my plan for moving Chugach to 100% renewable energy. Because some candidates are openly opposed to renewable energy, while others are giving lip-service to the possibility it might be feasible “someday,” it seems like a good time to repost the 100% Renewable Plan I presented to the Board of Directors back in 2018. In it, I explain what “100% Renewable” means to me and lay out cost-effective ways to achieve 100% through modest expansion of  existing renewable energy sources in 5 years or less.

In the 2 years since the original post there have been significant developments in renewable energy in Alaska which make the 100% renewable goal even easier and cheaper to achieve. I have updated the original plan to reflect the rapidly changing technology and promote the growing awareness that renewables are for real in Alaska. Chugach still has no plan to address the price and shortage of natural gas, and no plans to develop a plan. Renewables are the only viable option to lower both electric rates and greenhouse gas emissions. Here is the 100% Renewable Plan 2020 update.

 

Girdwood Solar

Although there are a number of off-grid solar operations in the Girdwood area, Chris and Lynn Kent’s home is one of the first to connect into the Chugach Electric grid. Alaska Solar is doing the 6kw installation. Chris and Lynn are looking forward to watching their electric meter run backwards on sunny Girdwood days when excess power from the panels is flowing  back into the grid. Not only are they saving money, they are dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of their home. Over the 30 year life of the panels, the system will eliminate about 200,000 pounds of CO2, equivalent to 16 years of emissions from the average gasoline car. Let the sun shine!