Alaskans optimistic that wind farm will succeed

Anchorage Daily NewsJanuary 25, 2009 

Construction crews should be busy on Fire Island near the western tip of Anchorage this summer, and the state's first major wind farm could be up and running there late next year.

So say officials with Cook Inlet Region Inc., the Native corporation that plans to develop land it owns on the mostly barren isle into a wind-driven source of power for thousands of Railbelt households.

"We're moving forward with the project," CIRI spokesman Jim Jager said last week.

Significant hurdles still remain, including determining which electric companies will buy the power and approval of all permits, Jager said.

"Of course any of this can be thrown sideways by about a thousand different things. But our anticipation is that there aren't any show stoppers ... and there will be power coming off the island late next year -- in 2010."

The announcement came as the Army Corps of Engineers last week launched a month-long public review of the proposal filed by Wind Energy Alaska, a business owned by CIRI and enXco Inc., a U.S. company that develops and runs wind energy projects.

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