Houston, Alaska - On Tuesday, August 29, 2023 Renewable IPP, CleanCapital, Alaska Energy Authority and Matanuska Electric Association held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the launch of Alaska's new largest, 8.5 MW solar farm. More than 100 guests attended the ceremony including partners who helped make the project a success from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, City of Houston, MEA, AEA, and state and local officials.
The 8.5 MW Houston Solar Farm -the largest solar site in the state - is located in the City of Houston, Alaska on Matanuska-Susitna Borough land. Construction on the Houston Solar Farm began in August of 2022, and was completed this month. It was developed and built by Renewable IPP, Alaska’s largest solar developer. CleanCapital provided the financing for the project construction and serves as the long-term owner-operator of the Houston Solar Farm. The Alaska Energy Authority provided a loan for the project and Matanuska Electric Association will purchase the cost competitive power to supply clean, renewable, affordable power to their members.
The solar farm will provide enough power to power roughly 1,400 homes and provided more than 30 local construction jobs.
"MEA's members have been clear - in significant numbers they have told us they are ready for innovation and a path to clean energy as long as it doesn't impact cost or reliability," said MEA's CEO Tony Izzo. "The partnerships and tenacity of this group is a great step down that path."
MEA's Board of Directors recently set a goal to be 50% clean energy by year 2050. MEA currently produces 16% of its power from renewable sources (mostly hydro) and 84% of its power from locally sourced natural gas in Alaska's Cook Inlet.
"It's time to chart a new path towards energy diversification and energy security for the future," said Izzo. "This project takes us a step closer to meeting that goal and we look forward to future partnerships and likely more tenacity with the group assembled here to get the rest of the way."
Matanuska Electric Association, Inc., Alaska’s oldest existing and second-largest electric cooperative, is owned and operated by its 55,500 members. MEA manages more than 4,700 miles of power lines in Southcentral Alaska and produces power from its Eklutna Generation Station (EGS power plant).