City Administrator, City of King Cove, Alaska
Gary Hennigh has been the City Administrator for the City of King Cove, Alaska for the last 28 years. His proudest achievements are being the catalyst in shaping King Cove to be one of Alaska’s premier renewable energy communities. Prior to his current position, he was the Community Development Director for the City of Valdez, Alaska during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Gary is a 40-year resident of Alaska. He has a Master’s degree in regional planning and enjoys hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, and simply loves the great Alaskan outdoors!
Abstract - “Renewable Energy in King Cove, Alaska – Unique and Successful”
King Cove is located at the western end of the Alaska Peninsula about 625 air miles south of Anchorage. The community is located on the Gulf of Alaska and adjacent the Bering Sea. King Cove is an isolated, non-road connected community of 900 predominately Aleut residents. King Cove is home to two large boat harbors, the largest wild salmon processor in North America and a major crab and bottom-fish processing center.
King Cove has a very daunting natural environment that requires its residents to be resilient and have a keen understanding of weather, topography, and ocean conditions. This knowledge, combined with an innovative attitude, is responsible for making King Cove the “face” of renewable energy in rural Alaska. Since 1994, more than 50% of the community’s annual energy demand (5 MW) comes from our run-of-river hydro facility on Delta Creek. Now, our second hydro facility just came on-line this summer (2017). This facility, Waterfall Creek, is also a run-of-the-river hydro. Together, these two hydro facilities are expected to produce at least 75% of the community’s annual energy demand.
King Cove wishes to share our approach, challenges and accomplishments in making renewable energy a vibrant part of our local economy. We have one of the lowest costs of electricity anywhere in rural Alaska. With renewable energy we have avoided using over 3 million gallons of diesel fuel in the last 20 years. Our energy future is bright!