Alaska in Brief

Developers are planning a wind-power project west of Alaska’s ‘Sleeping Lady’

By: - June 7, 2022 4:41 pm

Mount Susitna is seen from Anchorage on May 26, 2022. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

A Fairbanks green-energy company is planning a wind farm on Little Mount Susitna, northwest of Anchorage, with plans to feed some of the power needs of Alaska’s largest city.

Alaska Renewables LLC, owned by Matthew Perkins and Andrew McDonnell, has filed planning documents with the state of Alaska, seeking a wind-farm lease and the ability to construct meteorological towers that are typically used to measure wind speeds ahead of construction at wind power plants.

According to a public notice published May 25, a wind farm at the site “would connect into existing Chugach Electric Association power grid lines with new high voltage transmission lines as a part of CEA’s effort to expand on its affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy portfolio.”

McDonnell didn’t answer calls seeking comment, and a message sent through a form posted on Alaska Renewables’ website was not returned. Chugach Electric also did not respond to a request for comment.

State law requires DNR to consider competing bids for a wind-power project at the site, what’s known as a solicitation of interest. 

If no competitors send notice before midnight, June 24, the state will negotiate a lease with Alaska Renewables, which has registered to do business as Little Mount Susitna Wind LLC.

On prior projects, developers have been reluctant to speak publicly about their intentions until the solicitation-of-interest window closes.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources has not yet fulfilled a public records request for a copy of the company’s lease application. 

Little Mount Susitna is west of Mount Susitna, known as “The Sleeping Lady” or, in Dena’ina, Dgehlishla.

Remote in terms of road access, the site is about 12 miles north of the power lines connecting Anchorage with Chugach Electric’s Beluga power plant near Tyonek.

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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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