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"Not only is it good for the environment and makes financial sense, but if we have a disaster that takes out the power, you can flip these things over and just make your own electricity." JR Wilcox
ANCHORAGE, AK, January 28, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ -- KI Energy is pleased to announce the combined partnership bringing renewable energy to a senior living facility in Anchorage, Alaska. The YANMAR Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units will mark the first time that this type of technology will power an Alaskan senior living community. The hope for KI Energy, Alaska Energy Authority, and YANMAR is to advance energy-efficient, renewable energies to other parts of the state for reduced carbon footprint and decreased costs.
Baxter Senior Living Embraces New Energy Technology
Baxter Senior Living in Anchorage has partnered with KI Energy and Alaska Energy Authority to install new CHP units to its facility. This installation marks the first of its kind for an Alaskan senior care facility. According to KI Energy, the move will heighten the facility's energy efficiency. A spokesperson for the utility stated, "CHP applications involve the recovery of wasted engine heat to produce excess thermal energy and electricity. The average efficiency of fossil-fueled power plants in the United States is 33% compared with YANMAR's 88% efficiency."
This technology has been around since the late 70's in Japan, but it is fairly new to the US. The potential for Southcentral Alaska is particularly good, since we burn a lot of natural gas for heat. Baxter is the fourth customer to deploy these units in Alaska, but the first to use more than one of them.
Yanmar is a global company headquartered in Japan. They are one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment in the world. KI Energy, LLC is a Native Alaskan company and is a subsidiary of Knikatnu Inc (www.ki-energyak.com). They are the Alaska distributor and service provider for Yanmar's CHP systems. Tom Harris is the visionary leader there who saw the potential for these systems in Alaska and has been promoting them for years. I am very hopeful that Baxter's experience will help pave the way for broader adoption of the technology. Broader adoption would be a win-win-win for our economy, our environment, and our disaster resilience.
This project was made possible by the Alaska Energy Authority. Baxter registered as an Independent Power Producer (or "Qualifying Facility") with FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), which allowed us to borrow low-interest funds through AEA's Power Producers Fund (PPF). We were able to create a debt package where the payments were significantly lower than the projected energy savings (3.1%, 20-year amortization, 10% down). With estimated savings of $165,000 per year and debt service of $62,000 per year, the value to a commercial building owner should be obvious. SafeTWay Electric and Slayden Plumbing and Heating did the work to integrate the units into our building and the Chugach Electric system, and should really be in a great position to do more installs in the future.
YANMAR CHP Units Reduce Carbon Footprint
Baxter Senior Living is excited at the prospect of reducing its carbon footprint thanks to the installation of its CHP units. Alaskan businesses and organizations like the senior living community are hoping to participate in practical solutions that help them reduce their carbon footprint. According to the facility, "By using clean burning natural gas or propane on your site, you may be able to reduce your energy consumption at your facility by as much as 90%."
The partnership between KI Energy and YANMAR marks a momentous step in an energy-efficient direction for the state. The two hope to bring CHP energy solutions to other Alaskan businesses. The YANMAR CHP system relies on an internal combustion engine that's powered by clean natural gas or propane to provide both electricity and heat. More efficient than from-the-grid power, CHP promises to help revolutionize the state's energy production.
Clean Energy Solutions for Alaska
KI Energy's goal is to provide affordable energy solutions to Alaskan businesses, which face America's longest and coldest winters. Alaska has one of the highest energy costs for heat and power in the country. The success of the Baxter Community Living project opens the door to future renewable energy installations for other senior living facilities as well as a wide range of businesses and facilities in general.
According to the Institute for Energy Research, "Alaska has some of the highest electricity and gasoline prices in the country, which is not surprising because Alaska is large, remote, and sparsely populated." The state's agencies acknowledge that the state faces challenges forging a path to its sustainable future. However, partnerships like the Baxter Senior Living renewable energy initiative demonstrate how individual projects can lay the foundation for a more sustainable Alaska and inspire other organizations to work toward similar renewable energy goals.
The Anchorage Daily News reports that "Steps have already been taken at the state level to move us forward at developing increased energy efficiency." Aside from lowering the costs that Alaskans will need to pay for energy, the investment in sustainable initiatives will create more economic opportunities for Alaskans as well.
KI Energy, YANMAR, the Alaska Energy Authority, and Baxter Senior Living are optimistic about the CHP system and hope that other businesses will take notice of the real opportunity here to cut energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint. KI Energy hopes to establish other partnerships in the region to provide a similar service.
Alaskans deserve the best in life. Baxter Senior Living sets the gold standard for assisted living and memory care services in Alaska. We provide a residential setting that supports seniors by making services available to enhance their independence, pursue their interests, and age in place graciously. Our active living and support systems are designed not to dominate the lives of our residents, but enhance them in a supportive home-like environment. We believe in providing Alaskan seniors opportunities to make new friends, have fun, and live life to its fullest.
And the best deserve life in Alaska. We appreciate that Alaskan seniors are unique individuals with rich backgrounds and experiences. These are the people who made Alaska what it is today. They deserve to age in place here, where they can watch the sun rise over the Chugach mountains and set into Cook Inlet. They deserve to breath clean Alaskan air and drink clean Alaskan water, hear the occasional float plane and see the occasional moose walking through the parking lot.
From all of us at Baxter Senior Living, this isn't just a business, it's a way to give back to the community and to those who have helped us along the way.
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