Evaluating the Impact of Tidal Energy in the Cook Inlet on Alaska's Railbelt Electrical Grid

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report presents the findings of a case study that evaluates the impact of integrating significant tidal energy generation in the Cook Inlet in Alaska. The case study is part of a series within the "Quantifying the Grid Value of MRE [Marine Renewable Energy] in Early U.S. Markets" project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. This study takes a scenario-based approach to evaluate the tidal energy potential in the Cook Inlet, in which 100-500 megawatts (MW) of tidal energy are integrated into the grid under different infrastructure scenarios. These scenarios include increased energy storage and transmission line upgrades, a "Basecase" scenario with no additional upgrades, and a reference case with no tidal energy. We concluded that tidal energy at an installed capacity of 200-300 MW has the potential to reduce fuel costs in Alaska while also reducing carbon emissions and increasing the energy independence of the state. This analysis and the key findings should be viewed as a starting point for additional research and used to inform investment and policy options.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages46
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-85943


  • Alaska Intertie
  • Alaska's Railbelt
  • Alaska's Railbelt Electrical Grid
  • Cook Inlet
  • current
  • electrical grid
  • energy
  • Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA)
  • grid analysis
  • Homer Electric Association (HEA)
  • Kenai Intertie
  • marine renewable energy
  • tidal


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the Impact of Tidal Energy in the Cook Inlet on Alaska's Railbelt Electrical Grid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this