default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

University of Alaska regents to take another look at solar project

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:26 am, Wed Sep 25, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Leaders at the University of Alaska Fairbanks are making another push to build a 1-megawatt solar array on campus, three months after the proposal didn’t win enough support from the UA Board of Regents to advance.

The $4.1 million project, part of a partnership with Siemens Industry Inc., would provide about 5 percent of the campus’ annual electricity needs. The array is planned for a 4-acre site below the Butrovich Building.

Regents voted 5-3 in support of the proposal in June, but that fell short of the six votes needed for approval from the 11-member board. Three regents were absent during the previous vote.

The issue will return for a second try on Thursday during the regents’ meeting in Juneau.

At the June meeting, criticism of the plan included the appearance of the array, the potential for glare and uncertain expenses for the university.

The reworked proposal tries to address at least some of those concerns. The plan calls for fencing around the array that would blend into the nearby botanical garden and experimental farm fields for “an aesthetically pleasing, yet secure enclosure,” according to a UAF project description. A Federal Aviation Administration study that was requested by UAF determined that glare from the array wouldn’t present a hazard to air navigation.

The new proposal didn’t mention a power-cost agreement with Siemens, which was another concern voiced at the June meeting.

Under terms of the proposal, UAF would pay about $100,000 for design work, with maintenance and capital costs funded by Siemens. The company would recover its investment by selling the electricity back to UAF.

UAF estimated the project would provide electricity for about 19 cents per kilowatt hour, about 15 percent less than the campus was paying Golden Valley Electric Association last spring.

UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers said in June that the project is viewed as both an investment and experiment by Siemens, which views the project as a way to learn more about the potential for generating solar power at high latitudes. The UAF Facilities and Land Management Committee is recommending approval of the plan.

To see a full agenda for the meeting, go online to www.alaska.edu/bor/agendas.

Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518. Follow him on Twitter:

@FDNMbusiness.

More about

More about

More about

Advertisement

Find Yourself

You're ready for something new. New challenges, new places, new adventures...

www.walkerforalaska.com

Gubernatorial candidate, Bill Walker, is concerned that the state is in a $7 ...

www.walkerforalaska.com

Bill Walker, candidate for governor, was born in Fairbanks before statehood. ...

www.walkerforalaska.com

Fairbanks born candidate for governor, Bill Walker asks, "Is Fairbanks better...

Stanley Nissan Service

Stanley Nissan service