Fort Wainwright Central Heating and Power Plant
Consider the truism: Think Globally, Act Locally.
With the weekend release of the synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — warning of a planetary catastrophe that will hit the Arctic hard — snow-drenched Alaskans ought to mull over carbon emissions produced by the state’s 241 power plants and consider whether any of them can be reduced or even eliminated.
For instance: Two military powerplants in Fairbanks rank among the “dirtiest” facilities in the United States — in terms of the total carbon emissions spewed per megawatt of electricity produced, according to a new report posted online by the group Carbon Monitoring for Action.
The report — with an easily searchable database — also lists a number of relatively tiny power plants in Alaska villages that share the same top-of-the-scale “intensity” for emissions-per-megawatt. Even though their total emissions remain miniscule on the world stage.
Not so for the military facilities. Both the Eielson Air Force Base plant and the Fort Wainwright Central Heating and Power Plant produce about 6,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt of electricity. That’s more than five times the emission intensity of the state’s largest electrical producer, the gas turbine plant operated by Chugach Electric Association at Beluga.