In the craze of shipping deadlines, purchase orders and factory-acceptance tests, we sometimes overlook what the purpose is of what we do at XANT. In the case of off-grid village power installations, it’s not until we arrive on-site that we meet face with the end-user. In Pilot Point, AK the XANT team got a particularly warm welcome.
Remoteness instilling respect and solidarity
Pilot Point is a fishing village on the Ugashik Bay in south-west Alaska. Population stands at about 60 people, mostly native fishermen making a living with salmon fishing. These people work in the harshest environments: high winds, seasonal darkness, very cold water and icing are part of their daily routine during the short but intense fishing season.
XANT teamed up with Intelligent Energy Services and the local crew to get the turbines up and running in what was a finger-numbing but heart-warming experience. The remoteness of the place makes our design-for-logistics especially suited for these locations knowing that getting any heavy equipment on-site can be more expensive than the equipment itself!
Self-sufficiency a must
The Pilot Point community has been preparing for the hybridization of their power system for almost a decade; numerous delays with funding and the need to align all views of the community members made it a very lengthy process. When the XANT team finally erected the first turbine a spontaneous feast involving cold beers and succulent moose-steaks erupted; the evening ended with a bonfire gathering all the locals to celebrate the first kWh harvested from the icy winds.
What continue to amaze was the level of technical know-how in any engineering discipline and the degree of self-sufficiency of the locals: any technical problem was swiftly resolved by digging up the right tool from someone’s shed or basement, reciting the relevant ASME standard all the while.
The icing on the cake of our trip to Pilot Point was our ride home. When we missed our flight, Rick took us in his Cessna to King Salmon for our connecting flight to Anchorage. Flying over the cinnamon-colored tundra, just able to spot a mama bear and her three cubs, we realized this had been a special trip to a special place with very special people.
Many thanks to Eric, Rick, Bill, Greg, Patrick and all the others for this unique experience.
XANT is a manufacturer of midsize (50…500kW) turbines for the microgrid and off-grid markets. XANT turbines are designed with microgrid applications in mind and a with a special focus on remote areas and harsh operating conditions. They have Just Enough Essential Parts (JEEP!), fit in 40ft containers and can be erected without a crane. For deployment in typhoon-prone areas the turbines can be lowered to the ground, also facilitating the maintenance. XANT turbines have the capability of active power curtailment and can be equipped with integrated energy storage to allow for a high penetration rates.
The extreme simplicity, easy maintenance, silent operation and low cost of ownership make XANT turbines ideally suited for wind power on remote locations and close to the consumer.
The XANT product portfolio consist of the XANT M (100kW) and the XANT L (330kW) – commercially available in 2019- platforms. Both turbine types exist in class Ia (average wind speeds up to 10m/s) and class IIIa (7.5m/s) executions; for extremely cold areas ETR (Extended Temperature Range) versions are available.