The Ageya Wilderness Center in Homer recently installed a wind turbine on its property - one of the largest of its kind on the Kenai Peninsula.
Founded in the early 1980’s as Ageya Kayak Tours, The Ageya Wilderness Center in Homer has sought to provide exciting and inspiring experiences using the natural world, including adventure-based educational programs based primarily out of its 80 acre site at the top of East Hill.
A recent addition to those 80 acres is a new wind turbine, capable of producing 11 kilowatts per hour and providing a renewable source of energy to the Center.
According to Kevin Dee, the Executive Director of Ageya Wilderness Education, the decision came about 3 years ago, after the center was encouraged during a permaculture design course to reduce its carbon footprint.
"We started researching the wind turbine .. and we landed on one in Kenai ... Alaska Wind Industries," says Dee.
While Ageya spent two years looking for a turbine that would suit its needs before settling on one produced by Gaia wind, the actual construction of the turbine took a decidedly short amount of time, which according to Nadia Daggett, the Operations Manager for Alaskan Wind Industries who were hired as contractors for the job, took less than a week to erect after all the groundwork had been taken care of.
"It took about a year to get everything in line ... but for the actual construction, it only took about two days for the foundation and then another two days for construction," said Daggett.
One particular point of interest about the new wind turbine is its impressive size. Standing at 100 feet tall, it is the largest wind turbine of its kind on the Kenai Peninsula and, according to Daggett, is even the first of its kind in the state.
"For business, this is ... one of a kind here in Alaska," she said.
Now up and running, the turbine is providing the Ageya Wilderness Center with a steady supply of energy. Dee said he hopes this will help zero out the center’s energy costs which, considering the turbine generated 1000 kilowatts of energy in its first week of operation, doesn’t seem too unlikely a goal.
Dee also said that in addition to reducing the carbon footprint of the center, he also hopes that Ageya’s installation of the turbine will provide a model for other businesses and communities to follow.
To learn more about the Ageya Wilderness Center and its new wind turbine, visit ageya.org.