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By the Kotzebue Wind Farm by Ella Derbyshire

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
Ella Derbyshire Ella Derbyshire
Explore score
0.15 Gigapixels
Date added
Jun 22, 2008
Date taken
Jun 21, 2008

Nikon D80's


When you mention Alaska and energy, most people think of oil, and they think of the pipeline that crosses Alaska from Prudoe Bay to Valdez. Folks ask me how much oil costs here, thinking that it costs a lot less than in other states like New York or Virginia. They are surprised when I tell them that although Kotzebue is certainly in Alaska, we pay more for gas than most other folks in America. It seems to costs about twice as much for gasoline here.

Sure, Alaskan oil fields produce crude oil, but Kotzebue, Alaska doesn't have any oil wells. It doesn't have any refineries either. Alaska crude oil is shipped to a refinery elsewhere, and then petroleum products come back north to Kotzebue by barge.

Even if Kotzebue has no oil wells, we do have wind. We have lots of wind. Our local power company had the vision to harness wind power with this array of wind mills.

Our growing wind farm takes on new importance as the cost of petroleum rises. Right now about 10% of our electricity comes from these windmills. I hear that we plan to add even more windmills in the years to come.

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