Pilot Point (AK, USA): going cold turkey on fossils

Rural electrification kicking its diesel habit thanks to cheap renewables

The village of Pilot Point (AK, USA) has been relying upon diesel fuel for its electricity production consuming almost 1,000 barrels (120,000l) of oil per year. Average residential electricity tariffs are in the 0.35$/kWh range.
Intelligent Energy Systems together with XANT will convert the existing electricity supply of the village into a hybrid system running on a combination of wind & batteries. XANT will deliver 2 XANT M turbines in ETR (Extreme Temperature Range) execution.

Before committing to the project in Alaska, the XANT M complete nacelle has been operating at temperatures down to -40°C and cold-starts at these low temperatures were simulated. Also, the blade-heating system has been verified under real operating conditions.
Due to the logistic challenges (the village is only accessible by barge during 6 months of the year), the choice was made for a containerized XANT M with tilt-up tower. This will also facilitate maintenance done by local technicians and avoids bringing in a crane during the complete lifetime of the turbines. Installation is expected in September this year: already this winter the village will be using half the fuel of last year!


XANT M cold-climate testing


Acknowledgment: The project is co-funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency to make the difference in locations where the economies of scale for utility projects are so small.
About IES: Intelligent Energy System was formed in 2006, specifically to develop and apply renewable energy technology for Alaskan villages. The mission of IES is to create clean, efficient, community energy systems. In 8 years of operation, IES has gained recognition as a state-wide and national leader in wind-diesel integration, microgrid deployment and technology innovation.
About XANT: XANT is a manufacturer of midsize (50…500kW) turbines for the growing microgrid and off-grid markets. XANT turbines have Just Enough Essential Parts (JEEP!), fit in 40ft containers and can be erected without a crane. Their extreme simplicity, easy maintenance, silent operation and low cost of ownership make them ideally suited for wind power on remote locations close to the consumer.