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Monday, June 09, 2014

  • ACEP at Work: Yakutat Wave Assessment Project Update

Project Description:
Yakutat is a remote community located on the “Lost Coast” along the northeastern Gulf of Alaska. Their current power generation is 100% from diesel fuel which must be barged in, resulting in a high cost of electricity that averages $.60 per kilowatt hour. The city and borough of Yakutat along with tribal leaders have been proactive in identifying other options to meet their energy needs that are potentially less expensive and more sustainable, including wave energy. Because the majority of wave energy devices throughout the world are still in development or prototype stages and since the energy potential of specific locations in the region is not well understood, assessments of the available wave energy and environmental factors are necessary to determine if the community would like to move forward with this emerging technology.

The first step in this assessment is to determine Yakutat’s wave energy resource. In this phase, ACEP, funded by the City and Borough of Yakutat (CBY), deployed a bottom -mounted mooring offshore of Yakutat to measure key parameters relevant to the placement of an array of wave energy devices.

Project Update:
AHERC researcher, Jeremy Kasper, along with AHERC intern, Tim Tschetter, traveled to Yakutat early last week as part of the Yakutat Area Wave Resource Assessment project.  While in Yakutat, Jeremy and Tim deployed three oceanographic moorings.  One mooring, which has been the focus of the project for the last nine months, has been recording area waves and currents.  The additional second and third moorings are “passive acoustic” devices that will be used to record marine mammal activity in the area for up to a year.  The data collected by all three moorings will be used to help make an informed decision about placing an array of wave energy converters in the area.

For more information on this project, visit acep.uaf.edu/projects/yakutat-wave-energy-resource-assessment.aspx.

Project Lead: Jeremy Kasper, jlkasper@alaska.edu

Project Funding: City of Yakutat, Borough of Yakutat, Alaska Energy Authority

Photo: Buoys pictured for the wave and current mooring and for the passive acoustic mooring.  Courtesy T. Tschetter, ACEP/UAF.