Rural electric cooperative Kotzebue Electric Association (KEA) recently worked with Alaska Native Renewable Industries to install a solar project to help offset diesel fuel for the community of Kotzebue, Alaska.

ANRI proposed the 576-kW ground-mount solar system powered by SolarEdge technology — mostly funded locally by the Northwest Arctic Borough’s village improvement funds, U.S. Department of Energy Tribal Energy funds, KEA capital funds and support from NANA Regional Corporation.

As part of the project, KEA decommissioned eight of its aging 66-kW wind turbines and had the same power rating installed in the SolarEdge inverters. The SolarEdge power optimizers/inverters and LG bifacial panels were specifically chosen to maximize the energy yield against the snowy ground and for higher system uptime and low O&M costs.

Kotzebue will now get roughly 25-30% of its power from renewable (solar and wind). This is the second largest solar installation in the state, and the largest in rural Alaska.

“Helping rural Alaska lower its energy costs has been a longtime vision for me. By leading the way in clean living and solar jobs for Kotzebue residents, I am hopeful that other communities across the state will soon follow — we look forward to helping them become more energy independent in the years to come,” said Edwin Bifelt, CEO of Alaska Native Renewable Industries.

News item from SolarEdge

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