ANCHORAGE - The State of Alaska hopes 50 percent of energy in our state will come from renewable resources by the year 2025. The Fire Island Wind Project is one step in that direction. Local businesses are also going green to cut costs.
At H2Oasis the energy it takes to heat 350,000 gallons of water, as well as the floors and indoor area, costs $30,000 a month. Owners said they had to find a way to cut costs.
“We're driven by the economics of the situation. We've got to keep our bills down and under control to have a viable water park here in Alaska. It only makes sense,” said co-owner Dennis Prendeville.
That’s why the company installed two large solar panels and 60 solar collectors on the roof, which heat the pool and shower water.
“On a nice sunny day it's like having a boiler running all day long,” said Prendeville.
Then there are the four Capstone micro turbines that not only produce energy, but heat as a byproduct. It produces so much heat the water park's old heaters have been shut down for months.
“I'm absolutely sold on it. It made a lot of sense and makes me feel good to have a more efficient water park operation,” said Prendeville.
Soon many Anchorage businesses will be saving money with renewable energy thanks to the Fire Island Wind Project. It will generate 4 percent of Chugach Electric’s energy and the Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) executive director said it will be great for residents as well.
“They're going to see those turbines and understand wind is actually a mature, commercial resource. This is happening all over the world and until recently, Anchorage people have not had an opportunity to look at wind and see that it is a project and technology that is working around the world,” said Executive Director Chris Rose.
So whether it’s a wind farm to power a city or just a few micro turbines to heat a pool, renewable energy in Alaska is the wave of the future.