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Episode 14: Renewable Alaska

By KTVA Alaska 1:42 PM August 2, 2015

When it comes to renewable energy, Alaska is wide-open frontier. The state has been described a giant laboratory for all kinds of energy: hydropower, wind, geothermal, solar, biomass and tides.

This week on Frontiers, the focus is on Kodiak, one of the leaders in the nation when it comes to utilizing both wind and hydropower in tandem.

From atop Pillar Mountain with its turning windmills, to the Terror Lake Hydroelectric facility, where most of Kodiak’s electricity is generated, KTVA’s Emily Carlson and photojournalist Emily Landeen show us how wind and water work together. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s put Kodiak Electric Association on the map globally for innovation in this field. KEA stands out as one of the few utilities in the nation that generates almost 100 percent renewable energy.

Some of the other highlights of this week’s program:

  • A show-and-tell with Bernie Karl from the Chena Hot Springs Resort near Fairbanks. Karl’s family-owned business not only attracts tourists for its renowned hot springs but also its vast experimental greenhouses — in which vegetables are grown year-round, heated by geothermal energy. Karl is also a recycling king. He shows us how he uses cardboard and other wastes to produce fuel pellets — as well as recycled glass — to make building materials. For more on Karl’s pioneering work on renewable energy, watch this Web Extra.
  • KTVA’s Heather Hintze takes us to Kodiak’s Womens Bay to show us a community archeology dig, an annual tradition hosted by the Alutiiq Museum.

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