DRAFT Minutes () - Renewable Energy Alaska Project

Alaska Wind Working Group Meeting Minutes
Kotzebue, Alaska • 5/12/2012 9:00-6:30
In Attendance:
Stephanie Nowers, REAP
Chris Rose, REAP
Courtney Munson, REAP
Kat Keith, WH Pacific
David Faller, WH Pacific
Brennan Walsh, STG
Clinton White STG
David Light, ACEP
Gwen Holdmann, ACEP
Marc Mueller-Stoeffels, ACEP
Richard Stevens, ACEP
Jodi Fondy, Denali Commission
Scott Barr, North Slope Borough
Josh Craft, AK Energy Authority
Peter Crimp, AK Energy Authority
Rich Stromberg, AK Energy Authority
Richard Wies, UAF IINE/ACEP
Brent Petrie, AVEC
Wim Robbertsen, EWT IInternational
Greg Price, EWT International
Brian Hirsch, NREL
Connie Fredenberg, Marsh Creek
John Lyons, Marsh Creek
Doug Vaught, V3 Energy
Ruth Moto-Hinsberger, Ipnatchiaq Electric
Calvin Moto Sr., Ipnatchiaq Electric
Alice Jones, Ipnatchiaq Electric
Taylor Moto, Jr., Ipnatchiaq Electric
Shelby Walton, Hydro Star Energy
Joel Hart, Hydro Star Energy
Ingemar Mathiasson, NW Arctic Borough
Adam Myers, NW Arctic Borough
Amy Paxson, AK Power Assn./ARECA
Insurance Exchange
Crystal Enkvist, AK Power Assn.
Darron Scott, Kodiak Electric Assn.
Richard Wies, UAF
Jesse Logan, Kotzebue Electric Assn.
Brad Reeve, Kotzebue Electric Assn.
Matt Bergan, Kotzebue Electric Assn.
Martin Miller, TDX Power
Jerami Marsh
Ginny Fay, ISER
David Lockard, AEA
Abbas Akhil, Renewable Energy Ventures
Mike Wright, GVEA
Paul Park, GVEA
Dennis Witmer, EEE
Ian Baring-Gould, NREL
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 9:05 with REAP Communications Director Stephanie Nowers
facilitating. Stephanie welcomed everybody and reminded everyone to send in their Wind Working
Group membership forms either by email, fax or regular mail. She also reported the Wind Working
Group should have funding through June 2013 thanks to Ian Baring Gould at NREL. Funding had
been expected to end as of June 2012 so this is welcome news!
Alaska Renewable Energy Grant Fund update from Chris Rose, REAP
Chris reported the good news that the legislature approved a 10-year extension to 2023 of
the Renewable Energy Grant Fund with intent language to put in $50 million a year to the
Fund. This was a priority for the Alaska Wind Working Group. However, the $50 million
is just intent language and he urged members to continue to contact legislators and the
Governor to remind them about the importance of fully funding the Fund. For example,
this year, $43 million was requested in funding, but only $25 million was approved.
Also discussed was a recent independent third-party evaluation of the Renewable Energy
Grant Fund by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. The first part of the
evaluation looked at processes of the Fund and several recommendations were made for
improvement in how the program could be administered. A second part of the report will
evaluate the impacts of the Fund and is due out in June.
·Chris reported the legislature has created a new $125 million loan fund through the
Alaska Industrial Development & Energy Authority (AIDEA) to help finance energy
projects that will include direct loans and loan guarantees. He also discussed the need for
a cabinet level position for energy in the state to help unify the state's various domestic
energy efforts and noted that is an issue that REAP is currently working on.
Unalakleet Wind Modeling update from Rich Stromberg, AEA
Rich showed how data being collected from Unalakleet’s wind turbines can be used to
better understand performance characteristics of the wind farm. Key findings are the
voltage rise on the grid when the six turbine’s output increases on the 4,160-volt
transmission line, how the wind turbines compensate for the voltage rise and a bi-modal
power distribution when wind speeds are above 15 meters per second. AEA offers this
kind of analysis at no charge to Alaska wind system operators who send their SCADA
data to AEA.
Wind Report Card Discussion from Josh Craft, AEA
Josh gave an overview of AEA’s ongoing work to model and evaluate wind project
performance in the state, and the results so far. He discussed the goal is to improve
systems, better predict performance and identify trends/problems that may need
Discussion ensued about the best measure of system performance and questions were
raised about whether the data is shared with the legislature. Josh said the data is used
internally by staff and with operators.
Stephanie noted the Wind Working Group meeting had actual attendance that exceeded
predicted attendance.
Panel Discussion: Turbine type use in AK (Moderator: Kat Keith)
Discussion of the different types and experience with turbines in use in Alaska including,
Vestas, GE, EWT, and Northern Power Systems.
Next Year’s Priorities & Goals
Each of those attending identified their two top hurdles to wind development in Alaska,
and their top two priorities for the Wind Working Group for the coming year. The four
top hurdles identified were: Financing, Data, Human Capacity/O&M, and
Technical/Integration Issues. The three top priorities were: Funding, Data, and Sharing of
Information. (See the full list of hurdles and priorities at the bottom of minutes.)
Greg Price mentioned leveraged tax equity as an option for alternative financing, and
was later volunteered while out of the room to provide a write up to the group on
possible potential financing options. (Thanks Greg!)
Training was also discussed, and it was noted AVTEC in Seward now has their Northwind
100 up and running.
Presentation by Kotzebue Mayor Martha Whiting
Mayor Whiting noted her region is challenged with some of the highest energy costs in
the state and highest suicide rates, and is losing people from the villages. She urged the
group to continue its work and to involve the next generation by finding opportunities to
involve youth so they can learn about these systems and show us “elders” how its really
Subcommittee Reports
No report as the subcommittees have not met since the last meeting.
Wind Diesel Applications Center (WiDAC) update, Gwen Holdmann, ACEP
Gwen noted WiDAC is now in its A.K. (after Kat Keith) stage. Kat recently left her position
at the center to join WH Pacific. The center now has three main points of contact: Brent
Sheets is the contact for technical issues; Julie Estey is point of contact for educational
issues; and Marc Mueller-Stoeffels will be the contact for independent testing and
Gwen gave an overview of ongoing work and research by ACEP and WiDAC including
work on smart grid, high penetration systems, modeling and grid integration and cold
weather operation. She also noted the 3-year funding for EPSCoR is running out and that
efforts are ongoing to secure more funding.
Energy Storage Discussion (Moderator: Stephanie Nowers, REAP)
Darron Scott reported on the new Xtreme Power battery system to be installed on Kodiak
along with three additional GE turbines in 2013.
Abbas Akhil discussed the performance of the 1 MW lead acid battery used in Metlakatla
The battery, which cost $1.2 million to install in 1997, originally was intended to provide
voltage support for the local sawmill. The sawmill closed shortly after the battery was
installed, but the system continued to be used with the batteries being replaced in 2009
using state funding. Abbas noted the system has worked well in part because of
collaboration between GE and GNB on the project with GE doing the PCS, controls and
interconnection. That collaboration no longer exists.
Gwen Holdmann reported on testing of a vanadium redox flow battery, which was originally
looked at for its potential to be a relatively low cost battery. Two versions were tested.
Results showed good efficiency - around 70-80% - but it was cost prohibitive with estimated
costs of use of about 29 cents a kilowatt hour. One reason for the high cost was an increase
in the cost of vanadium, which is an additive in steel. ACEP has a report on the testing for
anyone interested. Also the University and AEA will be hosting an Energy Storage workshop
on June 20.
John Lyons, of Marsh Creek, reported on work using Steffes boilers at Cold Bay to store
energy from a 6kW vertical axis turbine. The system has been online since February.
Dave Light reported on ACEP work on a sustainable micro grid inverter. Commissioning is 2nd
week of June.
Dennis Witmer discussed Kotzebue Electric’s Premium Power battery. Battery arrived in
2011, but was damaged during transport and has not yet operated. Discussion is ongoing
with Premium Power about next steps.
Members discussed how to assess end of life costs for battery systems, and noted that
contracts should include the costs of removing batteries. Also noted was that nationally
there is a lot of energy storage research being done but a lot of it is “chasing demonstration
mode” and not yet in commercial development.
Ian Baring-Gould reported NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) will be up and
running by the end of year which will allow for the first time to test multi-MW batteries on
plug and play basis with wind turbines.
Kotzebue Electric Wind Farm/Battery Presentation, Brad Reeve, KEA
Brad discussed the history of Kotzebue Electric’s wind farm and reasons for diversifying
energy sources. From 2002-2008, the utility ‘s blended fuel costs quadrupled from $1.5
million to $6million/year. The first turbine was installed in 1997, making Kotzebue’s wind
farm the first utility scale wind farm in state.
Latest installment this spring is two 900kw EWTs. Logistical challenges included building a
$400K ice road, barging turbines in from Nome and switching to smaller barge for landing in
Kotzebue, bringing in crane and the lift of the 72,000 pound generator.
The turbines include thermosiphons on the foundation and 8 inches of foam under base. So
far working well. Ground temperatures measured at minus 11, where normally they are
around 25 degrees.
The Premium Power Battery was damaged in transport and has not operated. It is difficult to
service in part because its design make access to it difficult. Discussion is ongoing about next
steps. Premium did just get an investment of $60M, and the company is redesigning the
The group toured the wind farm and power plant.
Dispatch Strategies Discussion, (Moderator: Gwen Holdmann, ACEP)
Brent Petrie noted issue with heavy sustained winds at night where turbines can drop off
suddenly and overwhelm the diesels.
Martin Miller said Sand Point is using 2 Vestas V-39 turbines each 500 KW, and uses excess
power to heat facilities. Currently they have the turbines derated to 300 kw and use a built
in “reliable wind contribution” parameter that allows the plant operator to adjust spinning
reserve margin during wind-diesel operation, currently set at 40%. System has worked well
although he noted they have had two outages in the last two months and are still learning.
Darron Scott said winds can get choppy on Kodiak and do sometimes curtail.
Rich Wies is doing modeling for optimal dispatch, with models depending on types of
systems being used.
Discussed priorities for next year and how to keep work ongoing between meetings.
Four main hurdles were identified: Financing, Technical/Integration Issues, Human
Capacity/O& M, and Data. The three top priorities were: Funding, Good Data and Sharing
of Information. (See the full list of hurdles and priorities at the bottom of minutes.)
Marc, Josh and Rich volunteered to work on Integration issues.
Darron, Brent, Rich and Josh offered to work on identifying top 3 technical issues.
Greg Price was volunteered (and accepted) to provide a report on possible financing options
for the next meeting in the Fall.
Stephanie reported funding for the AK Wind Working Group is expected to continue through
June 2013 at $25,000 total
Meeting planning committee: Stephanie noted ironing out details of presentation topics,
agendas and other meeting logistics has fallen to herself along with Kat Keith, Rich
Stromberg and that more participation is always welcome. Chris and Josh Craft volunteered
to help with the next meetings.
Next meetings will be in the Fall, late September or early October. Next Regional meeting is
scheduled tentatively for April possibly at Eva Creek wind farm or on Kodiak to see the
expanded wind farm there.
Final Thoughts/Conclusion:
Stephanie Nowers with regret noted that she is leaving REAP due to trying to raise two
children and a new job her husband has that takes him away for two week at a time. REAP
will continue to act as the facilitator for the AK Wind Working Group and REAP will keep
everyone informed on who the main point of contact will be for future meetings.
Crystal Enkvist is looking forward to continued work with the working group.
Marc Mueller-Stoeffels glad that data is on the priority list and noted there is great need still
for tools to optimize dispatch strategies and urged anyone interested to contact him.
Martin Miller expressed his thanks for a good meeting and inquired about options for testing
at the new test bed, and using AEA or ACEP for analysis and that it’d be nice to formalize
that arrangement.
Josh Craft appreciated the sharing of information.
Rich Stromberg acknowledged Kotzebue Mayor Martha Whiting’s presentation as a
reminder that the group’s work is really in the end about the end user.
Peter Crimp is retiring. He expressed that AEA staff will continue to work with the Wind
Working Group
Richard Wies noted this was his first Wind Working Group meeting and he is starving for
information for his models so contact him!
Brent Petrie reminded everyone that while we focus on the challenges at our meetings,
there has been great success with wind power in the state.
Darron Scott thanks everyone for good meeting and good to see everyone.
Gwen Holdmann thanked Stephanie for her time with the Wind Working Group, and noted
ongoing collaboration on data collection/analysis between AEA and ACEP.
Jodi Fondy appreciated the good meeting.
Brian Hirsch said it was great to see the commitment to wind power in the state
Chris Rose thanked Kotzebue Electric for hosting and Peter Crimp for his hard work at AK
Energy Authority.
Kat Keith said we are doing well, but we can always do better and hopes we continue to
work together to move the industry forward.
Dave Light, a first time attendee, said it was a positive experience and welcomes feedback
on his work and more input on what industry needs are.
Scott Barr expressed his thanks for a good meeting.
John Lyons noted Brad and Matt at KEA are the godfathers of wind in AK and echoed Kat’s
comments on continuing to work to improve.
Connie Fredenberg thanked everyone for a good meeting and said she saw signs of
“cooperative competition.”
Jerami Marsh appreciated all the knowledge that was shared.
Ingemar Mathiasson appreciated all the collaboration and urged the group to look beyond
wind to other energy options including pairings with solar.
Alaska Wind Working Group Priorities and Hurdles
Top 4 Hurdles
Top 3 Priorities
Hurdle comments
Funding- limited availability, timing, other
Lack of human capacity/post construction O&M
Lagging support for RPSU team @ AEA
Good data analysis; accurate data; evaluate on
overall cost of energy
Integration & O&M
Identifying resource best practices
Technical/construction capacity – lack of
equipment, trained personnel
Community buy in
Solutions for low wind areas
Integration with other renewables
Priority Comments
Continued funding
Cooperative competition
Long-term incentives
Streamline regulation
Restructure PCE for large scale renewable
Improve internet connection at remote sites
Set performance targets/performance
data/collaborate with research agencies for
No bird issues – good story waiting to be
More village interties
Define research priorities
Not discount certain turbine models
HVDC intertie
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