Eagle Village Update: Renewable Energy to Power a Renewed Community


Jun 23, 2010

Last year Eagle Village, on Alaska’s Yukon River, was devastated by a spring flood that swept massive blocks of river ice through the historic town destroying all homes and businesses in its path. The damage was devastating.

We watched as FEMA responded ably and quickly and volunteers from around the world pitched in to successfully build new homes for residents whose lives had been washed away. Everyone was buttoned up tightly by winter – a proud ending to a tragic chapter of Eagle Village’s history.

Now a new chapter in the history of Eagle Village is beginning.

Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T) is poised to take an historic plunge in the Yukon River near the towns of Eagle and Eagle Village this week with the cutting-edge deployment of Alaska’s first 25-kilowatt low-impact hydrokinetic river turbine. The first of its type to be placed into commercial service, the in-stream turbine, manufactured by New Energy Corp., is a 4-blade vertical axis unit mounted on a floating platform. The slow-spinning turbine (22 rpm max) produces no emissions, requires no dam and poses very little risk to marine life


With the help of 3.2 million dollars in grant funding from the Denali Commission of Alaska, the native town of Eagle Village will likely become the first in America to become powered solely by a renewable river-turbine hydrokinetic energy source.

The project is interesting in itself but the fact that Eagle Village, in a remote area off the road system for most of the year, is set to become the poster child for utilizing renewable energy, and from the currents of a river that took so much from it, will be an interesting story to follow.

Much better to harness the renewable energy of our rivers and oceans than to endanger them in the quest to capitalize on the finite resources beneath them.

3 Responses to “Eagle Village Update: Renewable Energy to Power a Renewed Community”

  1. alaskapi Says:

    This is exciting for many, many reasons .
    I am hoping that the project succeeds on all levels- for Eagle and Eagle River and beyond.
    We have had talk of energy independence and suchlike much on our minds lately as we watch the oil disaster to the south of us.
    I think it is projects like this , which are working on local solutions, which hold the most promise for a shift in the way we do things.


    Very important here for any who think the grant might not be worth it…
    ” If expanded, the project could displace up to 57,000 gallons of diesel generation fuel annually for the approximately 200 residents of the two Yukon River communities.”

    If successful it would also remove the necessity to deal with the price fluctuation and transportation costs associated with 57,000 gallons of diesel

    “To further the development of hydrokinetic technology for the benefit of Alaskan communities, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) has established the Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Test Center (AHERC). AHERC is a partnership between ACEP and other entities involved in hydrokinetic research and projects, including the Alaska Energy Authority, the University of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council, and the Nenana City and Tribal Councils with the purpose of sharing resources and information related to hydrokinetic power generation, including tidal and in-river hydro.”

  2. Man_from_Unk Says:

    This looks like an excellent way to get energy from the water source without damming up the river. Good luck to the project.

  3. thatcrowwoman Says:

    I look forward to watching this project in Eagle Village unfold.
    Many thanks for this ray of hope.

    L’Chaim. To Life.

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