solar power

Photo Courtesy of Renewable IPP

An Alaska energy company wants to build its biggest solar panel farm yet on the Kenai Peninsula. First, it’s asking the Kenai Peninsula Borough for a tax exemption, which it says will help it produce energy for less.


A second push for solar

Feb 25, 2021
Courtesy of Kaitlin Vadla

A cooperative buying campaign is pushing again to get discounted solar panels on more Kenai Peninsula roofs.

Volunteers from Solarize the Kenai mobilized 82 property owners last year to outfit their homes and businesses with panels. It’s a collective effort, so interested homeowners sign up in groups to get group rates.

Homer Electric Association has seen a sharp increase in the number of its members wanting to hook up their own renewable energy setups into the grid this summer, and is planning to ask the state Regulatory Commission to increase how much renewable energy it can buy back from them.

This summer alone, central peninsula residents have installed more than 140 kilowatts’ of solar panel capacity, with more planned for Homer. That adds to the number of people who already had renewable energy capacity at their homes or businesses who can generate their own energy and feed some back into HEA’s grid when they make too much. At the same time, they can also draw off the grid when it’s not sunny enough for their panels or not windy enough for a wind turbine.

Alaska’s midnight sun is going to work for more peninsula residents as they install more and more solar panels.

The Solarize the Kenai campaign kicked off this summer, offering discounts to people who wanted to install solar panels on their homes or businesses. The campaign, headed up by community action group Kenai Change, brought residents together to ask for bids from solar installers so they could get a bargain group rate on the panels before installing them.

Kaitlin Vadla, with Cook Inletkeeper, and Mark Haller, owner of the solar installation business Midnight Sun Solar, joined the Kenai Conversation on Jan. 29 to talk about Solarize the Kenai, an initative to instal solar panels on homes and businesses on the central Kenai Penisula for a reduced rate.

For more information about the program, visit http://kenaichange.org/solarize-the-kenai/
 

 

HEA seeing interest in adding solar to power mix

Aug 21, 2018

Seventy-two years ago electricity in Homer started flowing from a 75,000 watt diesel generator, supplying power to 56 members who had come together to form the Homer Electric Association.

Today, there are a few more customers throughout the Kenai Peninsula and 80-million watts of electricity coming from a variety of sources, which still includes diesel. But the member-owned co-op has added hydroelectric, natural gas turbines and recovered heat generation.

Now, the board is looking at adding solar-electric.