Buyer negotiations restart for Fire Island Wind project

Negotiations have restarted in finding a potential buyer for the Fire Island Wind project.

Cook Inlet Region Inc., owner of the project, announced Wednesday negotiations with Golden Valley Electric Association had resumed last week to purchase power from the Southcentral company.

According to the release, the potential purchase agreement with GVEA — which has not yet been drafted or finalized by either organization or the Regulatory Commission of Alaska — will involve a 25-year purchase of power for as low as 5.6 cents a kilowatt hour.

Negotiations come after plans to expand into second phase of the installation were halted in early 2015 when no buyers came forward to purchase the electricity. GVEA expressed interest, but found the cost of transmission to be too high for it to be economically feasible for the Interior electric utility.

Phase 2 costs are estimated to be approximately $50 million according to Suzanne Gibson, CIRI senior director of energy development.

Fire Island Wind commissioned 11 turbines in fall 2012. Another 11 are scheduled for phase 2 of the project, adding over 20 megawatts of electricity to the project, or enough to power approximately 7,500 homes.

According to the press release, CIRI hopes to close financing in fall 2016 and commence commercial operation of the new turbines by Oct. 2017.

Suzanna Caldwell

Suzanna Caldwell is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in 2017.