GVEA Commissions Alaska’s Largest Solar Farm

FAIRBANKS – Golden Valley Electric Association and local officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony today to acknowledge the commissioning of its 563-kilowatt solar farm.

GVEA’s solar installation is 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. supplied 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.

The solar array is constructed on a 3-acre parcel between Van Horn Road and Bidwell Ave. 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 offset $225,000 of the cost.

Golden Valley has a dedicated web page for the project at http://www.gvea.com/energy/solar-farm. The page includes a 2-minute project overview video from project manager Nathan Minnema.

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Pictured above: Officials and guests gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at GVEA’s new solar farm on Friday, October 12. Shown cutting ribbon (left-right) are ABS Alaskan owner Jim Norman, GVEA President & CEO Cory Borgeson and GVEA Project Engineer Nathan Minnema.  (Photo by Paris Photography)