Check out this 5-minute video about the Eva Creek Wind Farm explaining what went into constructing the Eva Creek Wind Farm.
The first power from Eva Creek Wind came into the grid at 9 a.m. on October 24, 2012. On January 7, 2013, all 12 turbines were fully tested, commissioned and generating power.
At just under 25 megawatts, Eva Creek is the largest wind project in Alaska and the first by any Railbelt utility. It is located 14 miles from Healy at the top of the 10-mile Ferry mining road.
The Eva Creek Wind project is visible from the Parks Highway. As you’re headed north out of Healy, look to the right in the vicinity of Milepost 263.
The addition of Eva Creek Wind is exciting for Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) and the Interior as a whole. The project integrates well into GVEA’s system and enables the cooperative to meet its Renewable Energy Pledge ahead of schedule. Eva Creek Wind also helps reduce the Interior’s dependence on oil for power generation.
- Capacity: 24.6 megawatts
- Helped GVEA meet its Renewable Energy Pledge, which called for 20% of the system’s peak load to be generated by renewable resources by 2014. GVEA’s 2014 peak load was 201.6 megawatts (MW).
- 2013 Capacity Factor: 33%
- Total Project Costs: $93 million
- State Appropriations: $13.4 million
- Amount Capitalized: $84 million
- GVEA-Owned and Operated
- General Contractor: Michels Wind Energy
- Turbines: 12 Senvion turbines (MM92, Cold Climate Version Machines)
- Turbine Hub Height: 262 feet (80 meters)
- Rotor Diameter: 303 feet (92.5 meters)
- Height of Turbine from Base to Blade Tip: Approximately 410 feet (125 meters)
- Minimum Wind Speed: 6.7 mph
- Maximum Wind Speed: 53.7 mph
- Installed first meteorological wind monitoring towers (2003)
- Began wind-integration studies to make sure the wind power will work on GVEA’s system (2007)
- Installed 2 80-meter MET towers at Eva Creek site and 1 50-meter MET tower on Walker Dome for further wind testing
- Wetland survey and avian migration studies conducted for permitting process
- Geotechnical investigation done for road and site improvements
- Met with Alaska Railroad Corporation regarding rail access issues
- Began infrastructure design (road, intertie, tower foundation and communications)
- Contracts awarded; Michels Wind Energy is the general contractor
- Conducted cultural resources surveys and wetlands field surveys
- Road improvements began
- Acquired permit from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State of Alaska, Division of Natural Resources; began public and agency review process for land lease, material site, sales contract, communication sites, road improvement, and realignment, etc.
- Selected REpower as turbine manufacturer
- State of Alaska, Division of Natural Resources, executed Early Entry Authorization for the construction, operation,
- maintenance and use of the wind farm
- Construction and turbine erection
- First wind power hit the grid (October 24)
- Commissioning and testing
- All 12 turbines commissioned (December 31)
2013 to 2014
- Full commercial output (January 7, 2013)
- Post-construction avian mortality studies to be conducted for the spring and fall migrations as a part of GVEA’s United
- States Fish & Wildlife Avian Protection Plan (2013 and 2014)
- In August and September, all 12 turbines were fitted with sensing devices
- This was so that if any bearings fail, they will be detected instantly and the turbines will automatically shut down, pending visual inspection
2017 to 2019
- Continued full commercial output with no issues
- In February, Senvion (the original equipment manufacturer) declared bankruptcy and was purchased by Siemens Gamesa of Germany
- They faulted on their contract to perform the operations and maintenance on the facility
- GVEA took over the operations and maintenance of Eva Creek Wind Farm in March 2020
- Reliable wind energy continues to be provided