Cranking Up the Heat

The Alaskan communities Frontier has worked with, include:

Kongiganak  Kwigillingok Tuntutuliak  Kipnuk Pilot Point  Chefornak  Hughes  Kwethluk  Atmautlauk  Kokhanok

Most of the remote rural communities in Alaska use diesel to generate their electricity. Most of these communities are not accessible by road, and diesel fuel is shipped in twice per year, by barge. However, the wind is abundant in Alaska and there is a demand to increase local, renewable energy resources in rural Alaska. Electricity and heating costs in these villages are very high, which is associated with high diesel fuel costs.

In 2012, Frontier Power Systems joined forces with Intelligent Energy Systems of Alaska to provide different system components for a number of these villages.

In the early years of this collaboration, Frontier mostly provided the control systems and integration design for three “wind-diesel-heat” projects.Frontier designed and installed the system integration hardware, software, and SCADA, using third party turbines as the source of wind power. Frontier also utilized thermal stoves, similar to those used in Summerside. These stoves store excess wind energy when the turbines are producing more energy than the community is using. The stoves were installed in Elder and other residents’ homes in the communities, and have had incredible impacts, sometimes reducing a winter heating bill by 50%, where heating costs are the primary expense in the winter.

In 2015 we were able to return to one of these villages, to expand our control system to allow the integration of a third-party battery energy storage system in one of the villages. For the first time ever, this village was able to completely turn their diesel generators off and operate entirely on wind power. This was the first time many residents hadn’t heard the constant humm of generators.
By 2016, with the successful operation of our control systems, Frontier was asked to provide our Mark 1 turbines, a remanufactured WM95 product, in addition to our e+micro control system.

Since 2016, Frontier has continued manufacturing and supplying even more communities with Mark 2 turbines, and the e+micro control system, allowing continued integration with the diesel plant, solar arrays, battery systems, and thermal stoves. Two of the Mark 2 turbines, with newly designed tilt-up towers will be erected in late 2020.