Alaska village's renewable energy project set for operation

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A new solar and wind power project in a remote village in northwest Alaska aims to demonstrate the potential for renewable energy to reduce the region's high utility costs.

Alaska's Energy Desk reports Buckland's village-operated electric utility is set to turn on three new solar arrays this week and is planning for a battery system to be operational next year.

The projected supported by Northwest Alaska Native Association and the U.S. Department of Energy is part a regional push toward renewable energy.

Sonny Adams, the association's director of energy, says the project is probably not going to slash electric prices overnight, but these projects could help protect villages against spikes in the prices of diesel and heating fuel.

Most of Buckland's power currently comes from generators fueled by diesel.