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Alaska No.2 Behind California In Wind Investment

alaska_wind_big.jpgLegislation signed in Alaska creates a five-year, $250 million renewable energy program that puts Alaska among the states dedicating the most money to renewable energy projects, Alaska Journal of Commerce reports.

The state has also approved $25 million to fund under water cables to would connect it to a 50-megawatt island-based wind power project. The new program puts Alaska at No. 2, behind California, among 16 states and the District of Columbia that are investing in renewable energy.

The Alaskan venture is a joint one between wind power company enXco and landowner Cook Inlet Region (CIRI), who say it can be doubled to 100 megawatts and provide a foundation for other wind projects they’re considering, all of which could supply the regional power grid.

The Alaska Energy Authority has 19 projects ready for construction with a price tag of $103.7 million. The state would fund about half of this with the rest provided by matching funds from the project owners or the federal government, according to Peter Crimp, the renewable energy program manager at the Alaska Energy Authority.

A U.S Department of Energy report released in May examines the possibility of harnessing enough wind power to provide up to 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity needs by 2030.

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