AEA Finances Alaska’s Largest Solar Project
Willow Solar Farm expansion diversifies Alaska’s energy portfolio
Aerial view of Willow Solar Farm expansion project
ANCHORAGE—The Alaska Energy Authority announced that the Willow Solar Farm Expansion project, financed through the Authority’s Power Project Fund (PPF) loan program, is expected to come online in December. The utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) facility nearly doubles the size of any current solar installation in Alaska.
“AEA is pleased to invest in the expansion of the Willow Solar Farm,” said AEA Executive Director, Curtis W. Thayer. “The project helps diversify Alaska’s energy profile, and serves as an important demonstration of the viability of affordable, utility-scale solar PV in Alaska.”
The loan, to co-borrowers AK Renewable Energy Partners, LLC and Renewable Independent Power Producers, LLC, is for $814,234. The total cost of the project is $1,524,816, with the remaining being funded by private capital. The purpose of the loan is to increase renewable energy production in Southcentral Alaska by expanding the existing 100 kW Willow demonstration project.
The expanded solar farm is 1.2 megawatts and consists of 3,240 solar panels. Once fully operational, the facility will generate power to sell back to Matanuska Electric Association.
AEA’s PPF loan program provides loans to local utilities, local governments or independent power producers for the development, expansion or upgrade of electric power facilities, including distribution, transmission, efficiency and conservation, bulk fuel storage and waste energy. For more information on AEA’s PPF loan program, visit akenergyauthority.org.
In This Issue
The Marx Bros. Café
Jack Amon and Richard “Van” Hale opened the doors of the Marx Bros. Café on October 18, 1979; however, the two had already been partners in cuisine for some time, having created the Wednesday Night Gourmet Wine Tasting Society and Volleyball Team Which Now Meets on Sunday, a weekly evening of food and wine. It was actually the end of the weekly event that spurred the name of the restaurant: hours after its final service, Amon and Hale were hauling equipment and furnishings out of their old location and to their now-iconic building on Third Street, all while managing arguments about equipment ownership, a visit from the police, and quite a bit of wine. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘A Night at the Opera” starring the Marx Brothers, that’s what it was like,” Hale explains.