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  • Monday, March 29, 2021
  • Solar Projects Energizing Remote Alaska Communities

A new solar and energy storage project is being installed in the Northwest Arctic community of Shungnak.

A press release issued by Alaska Native Renewable Industries, LLC states that the company is under contract with the Northwest Arctic Borough with assistance from NANA Regional Corp. for the engineering, procurement and construction of a 223.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic ground-mount project.

The construction crews will include laborers, carpenters and a cook. Crew members will be hired from Shungnak and Kobuk if available.

“It's exciting to see the installation of another community-scale solar array with storage in rural Alaska,” said ACEP researcher Michelle Wilber. “A local installer, using local hires to capture a local resource to produce electricity is inspiring and shows the true capabilities of our amazing state.”

A total of 552 bifacial solar panels will be installed. Additionally, the project will provide a battery energy storage system with a 250-kW/384-kilowatt-hour battery and integration system into the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative power plant. The system is expected to produce over 230,000 kWh of electricity a year.

“It is interesting to see more use of bifacial panels in northern climates, an active area of study by ACEP,” said ACEP Solar Technologies Program manager Erin Whitney.

Whitney’s team recently released a report titled “Field Performance of South-Facing and East-West Facing Bifacial Modules in the Arctic.”

 

Alaska Native Renewable Industries installed the state’s largest rural solar farm in Kotzebue.  ANRI photo.