Private Solar Farm Largest in the State

Private Solar Farm Largest in the State

A new solar farm in Willow, Alaska, is set to be the largest in the state.

“The newly expanded Willow solar farm is on track to be the largest solar photovoltaic array in the state and is a valued field testing partner in ACEP's ongoing research characterizing solar PV performance in northern latitudes,” said ACEP Solar Technologies program manager Erin Whitney.

Renewable Independent Power Producers, a partnership of three engineers and a project manager, started work in 2018 on the Willow Solar Farm. An initial 140-kilowatt pilot project consisting of 408 340-watt panels was laid out in two football field-long arrays. In 2019, an expansion project began to increase the farm to 1.2 megawatts of solar photovoltaic power. The expanded project, consisting of 3,240 solar panels, is set to go online in December 2019.

The total project costs are estimated to be $1,524,816. The Alaska Energy Authority’s Power Project Fund loaned $814,234 of that. The remaining costs are funded by private capital.

Renewable IPP plans to sell solar-generated power to Matanuska Electric Association, a cooperative serving 51,000 members in Southcentral Alaska.


ACEP's Chris Pike installs instrumentation at the Willow Solar Farm last month. Photo by Michelle Wilber.