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Murkowski Welcomes Power Purchasing Agreement for Fire Island Wind

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, welcomed yesterday’s decision by the Chugach Electric Association to purchase wind power from Cook inlet Regional Inc. (CIRI). The agreement will allow CIRI to advance a project to build 11 wind turbines across from south Anchorage on Fire Island.

“Chugach’s decision to purchase wind energy from CIRI will help diversify the Anchorage power supply and is a key milestone in meeting the state’s goal of generating half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025,” Murkowski said. “Given the uncertainties over the future cost of electricity in Southcentral, this was a pioneering decision and the utility deserves credit for its actions.”

Murkowski has taken the following steps to support development of the Fire Island project:

  • In 2005, helped pass the federal Water Resources Development Act, which provided $5 million in seed money for the Fire Island project;
  • Negotiated a solution with the Federal Aviation Administration to overcome concerns that the wind turbines could impact air traffic at Ted Stevens International Airport;
  • Added wind energy in the 2009 federal renewable energy tax incentive package.
While the current project is smaller than originally proposed, Murkowski said it’s a first step to proving wind generation can be economically integrated into transmission systems in Alaska’s urban areas.

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