The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), has announced its selection of the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) of Anchorage, Ala., as the winner of the 2007 Wind Cooperative of the Year Award. This annual award recognizes AVEC for leadership, demonstrated success and innovation in its wind power program.
AVEC provides electricity service to 53 small, native villages in rural Alaska and is specifically using wind power to reduce its dependence on diesel power. AVEC currently has 990 kW of installed wind-generating capacity in four of the communities it serves. Two of these communities, Toksook Bay and Kasigluk, represent the first field deployment of the Northwind 100/20 wind turbine, a 100 kW, 20-meter-rotor-diameter turbine specifically designed for deployment in cold and harsh climates.
AVEC was one of six rural member-owned utilities nominated this year for the award, which was presented at NRECA's TechAdvantage 2008 Conference and Expo in Anaheim, Calif. Last Mile Electric Cooperative and Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative were also honored for their innovation and contributions to wind technology. Last Mile is developing the 300 MW White Creek wind project in Washington. Wolverine, located in Cadillac, Mich., has developed the state's first multi-megawatt wind project, Harvest Wind Farm in Huron County.