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NativeCo News

Sealaska turns Headquarters into state’s first building heated by Biomass

December 29th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Nathan_Soboleff_photo_by_M.PennBy Kim Marquis | JUNEAU EMPIRE

Sealaska corporate executives are banking on the sometimes-truth, “If you build it, they will come,” by making a commitment to biomass as an energy source.

The company this month announced it will convert its Juneau headquarters from oil to a wood-fired boiler system. A stream of wood pellets will come from British Columbia until a regional provider can do it.

Sealaska‘s four-story building is too small to support the distribution system alone, so additional commercial building operators will have to follow Sealaska’s example and convert to biomass heat for the economics to work out.

Banking on others seeing the benefits is a risk, Sealaska Executive Vice President Rick Harris said.

“If you see me out there with a coal shovel next December you’ll know something didn’t work,” Harris said. CONTINUE »

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NativeCo News

CIRI Wind farm on Fire Island is closer to reality

March 5th, 2009 Posted By: Morgan Howard No Comments


Fire Island windmillsAccording to a adn.com’s “Our View” report… “Good news on the renewable energy front: Anchorage’s first commercial wind energy project is going to get significantly bigger. The wind farm planned for Fire Island will go back to its original size: 36 towers with a total capacity of 54 megawatts. That’s enough to power about 19,500 homes.”

Project developers previously had to scale back the wind farm by a third, to avoid electronic interference with Fire Island navigation equipment serving Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.Now the airport and the wind farm developers, local Native corporation CIRI and its partner enXco, are working on a plan to upgrade and move the navigation system to a site on the mainland.”

CIRI president and CEO Margie Brown announced in a newsletter last week:  “We learned in February that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) does not object to replacing the existing VOR (navigation system) with an upgraded ‘dopplerized’ VOR located off island, provided a public comment period demonstrates that the airport does not object, that no user groups will be adversely affected, and that appropriate studies demonstrate that public safety will not be compromised.”CIRI spokesman Jim Jager said Tuesday the company sees no problem meeting those conditions. Putting the new system on the mainland, probably on airport property, will make it more reliable, easier to maintain, and easier for pilots to use, he said. The current equipment actually guides aircraft to Fire Island, not to the airport itself. “

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