GVEA Breaks Ground on Alaska’s Largest Solar Project

Golden Valley Electric Association has begun construction of a 563-kilowatt solar demonstration project in South Fairbanks.

GVEA’s solar installation will be the largest photovoltaic (PV) system in the State of Alaska. The project should produce enough energy to power 71 homes (using an average of 660 kWh per month).

“GVEA is expanding its renewable energy portfolio with the addition of this solar PV system,” said Cory Borgeson, GVEA’s President & CEO.

GVEA’s Board of Directors approved this project last fall. A local Fairbanks business, ABS Alaskan Inc. will supply the 1,760 panels, each of which has a peak generating potential of 320 watts. “This solar farm will give Golden Valley a better understanding of the performance of a solar farm on our system and the resulting cost per kilowatt-hour,” Borgeson said.

Crews are constructing the solar project on a 3-acre parcel between Van Horn Road and Bidwell Street. The site is located next to GVEA’s Wilson Substation and the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS). There’s room for future expansion, and the panels will be visible looking north from Van Horn Road.

The project will cost just over a million dollars to complete. A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program will offset $225,000 of the cost.

Golden Valley has a dedicated web page for the project – to be redirected to that web page, click here. The page includes a 2-minute explanatory video from project manager Nathan Minnema, and a live video feed of the construction as it happens will be available soon.

Photo caption: GVEA officials break ground on the new solar farm on Monday, June 25. Shown (left-right) are – Board of Directors Dave Messier, John Sloan, Bill Nordmark, Rick Schikora, President & CEO Cory Borgeson, Directors Tom DeLong and Gary Newman. (Photo by Paris Photography)

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