BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - After years of spending hundreds of dollars a month on heat, some Kongiganak resident have seen their bills cut in half by a revolutionary microgrid that the village's utility company built.
KYUK-AM reported Monday that the village is a member of the Chaninik Wind Group, a collection of four communities working together to build new energy systems.
Kongiganak gets its power from a hybrid system using diesel and renewable energy.
Five wind turbines provide the village with about 25 percent of its power needs, on average. But what makes those turbines special is their connected use to residents' thermal stoves.
The stoves are hooked up to the village's microgrid, so excess energy that the wind turbines generate is diverted to them.
A village resident says the stoves cut cost by about 50 percent.