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Fire Island wind turbines brought the juice Thursday morning

Alaska Dispatch
Loren Holmes photo

Rising wind and gathering rain in the Anchorage bowl Wednesday night may have been sore news for sun-lovers, but for the newly completed Fire Island wind turbines, Thursday morning was blustery beautiful.

Wind speeds hit 30 miles per hour Thursday morning at the site, enough to power up two of the new turbines for a test.

Three of the turbines were connected to the grid on Wednesday, but there wasn't enough wind for a test then. Two of the 11 turbines under construction on Fire Island offshore from Alaska’s largest city were tested Thursday morning, according to KTUU.

The dynamic duo fed the electricity generated to Chugach Electric Association. About 3 million watts were generated, according to Cook Inlet Region, Inc (CIRI).

CIRI called the Thursday test a “milestone” for the wind farm and said the project could go online permanently within the next few weeks. The first tower and turbine components were barged over July 1.

The wind turbines have changed a portion of Anchorage’s skyline, with towers rising 262 feet. The big blades are 131 feet long, and spin 18 to 21 rotations a minute when it’s windy.