Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation - 2002 Project

Project Overview
Tribe/Awardee: Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation
Location: Bethel, AK
Project Title: Wind Feasibility Study in Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska
Type of Application: Feasibility
DOE Grant Number: DE-FC36-02GO12108
Project Amounts:
DOE: $116,310
Awardee: $0
Total: $116,310
Project Status: Complete  More
Project Period
of Performance:
Start: September 2002
End: April 2004


The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) will conduct a feasibility study for installation of small-scale wind turbines to serve YKHC facilities. Energy cost savings resulting from this project will allow the YKHC to direct more money toward its core mission of providing quality health care to the Alaska Native communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region.

Project Description


The ultimate goal of this project is to promote self-sufficiency in the Alaska Native communities served by YKHC. The specific objectives of this study are to determine the technical and financial feasibility of installing wind turbines on YKHC land, and to develop a plan to implement such a project, if proven feasible.


The feasibility study will determine the economic and technical feasibility of installing wind turbines; ultimately it is meant to provide a road map for the implementation of this project if the results of the feasibility study so warrant. It will provide an economic analysis of costs and benefits, identify and analyze potential sources of funding, provide conceptual designs and equipment size and configuration selections, identify and discuss non-quantifiable environmental, social, and cultural benefits, and identify potential barriers and present ways to overcome those barriers. The feasibility study will also provide a framework for building support within the YKHC and the communities it serves to help ensure implementation of the measure.

The feasibility study will provide a clear road map for implementing the project, both financially and technically. It will provide accurate cost and savings numbers, including life-cycle cost analysis. Potential sources of funding will be identified and analyzed to determine the funding sources that provide the maximum benefit to YKHC. It is anticipated that the document will be used to get a resolution from the YKHC Board of Directors to pursue implementation, and to obtain financing from YKHC funds, future DOE solicitations, other federal government or state government programs, or through third-party financing.

On the technical side, the feasibility study will provide conceptual designs, including major equipment selection. The technical requirements for implementing the project will be identified, and potential providers (either in-house or external) of engineering services will be identified. The feasibility study will provide the basis for the detailed system design that will be done during the implementation stage of the project.

Project Location

The City of Bethel is located in southwestern Alaska, 40 miles from the mouth of the Kuskokwim River, and 400 air miles from Anchorage. One of the largest communities in western Alaska, it lies within the 20-million-acre Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, the largest wildlife refuge in the nation. Bethel serves as an administrative and transportation hub for 56 villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

The YKHC territory lies on a coastal plain with excellent wind resources, ranging from Power Class 3 up to Power Class 7 for some coastal areas during the winter. YKHC is investigating possible site locations in and around the communities it serves. A preliminary assessment of the area has uncovered one probable location on land adjacent to the Bethel hospital near the local utility power plant, although the feasibility study may determine other areas are more beneficial.

Project Status

This project is complete. For more, see the final report (PDF 5.7 MB). Download Adobe Reader.

The project was competitively selected under the Tribal Energy Program's FY2002 solicitation, "Renewable Energy Development on Tribal Lands," and started in September 2002. The October 2002 (PDF 4.9 MB) and November 2003 (PDF 7.4 MB) presentations provide additional information. Download Adobe Reader.

For other information, contact one of the project contacts.

Project Contact

Tom Humphrey
Capital Projects Directory
Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation
P.O. Box 528
Bethel, AK 99559
Telephone: (907) 278-8029
Fax: (907) 543-6004
Email: tom_humphrey@ykhc.org

Gary Kuhny
Alaska Native Tribal Health ConsConsortium
Department of Environmental Health and EngiEngineering
1901 S. Bragaw Street
Anchorage, AK 99508-5997
Telephone: (907) 729-3604
Fax: (907) 271-4735
Email: Gkuhn@anthc.org