Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Wind farm in Champaign County gets green light from Ohio Power Siting Board

More good news for renewable energy – and jobs – in Ohio:

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Power Siting Board approved a certificate Monday to allow construction of 53 of 70 wind turbines proposed for eastern Champaign County by New York-based developer, EverPower Renewables.

via Wind farm OK’d (Urbana Citizen)

Of the 17 turbines that were not approved, all but two were rejected due to safety concerns, as they interfered with the flight space requirements for a nearby airfield. Two others were denied because they did not meet the minimum property setback.

All in all, this is good news for the citizens of Champaign County and Ohio. The Buckeye Wind development will be the first commercial-scale wind farm in Ohio, and long overdue.

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A plumber explains the “Bathtub Model”

Have you heard of the “Bathtub Model” for expaining CO2 accumulation? I hadn’t until last week, when I attended the sustainability symposium at Baldwin-Wallace College. Dr. Susan Solomon, who was the lead author of th 2007 IPCC report on global climate change, was the one who introduced the concept. Here’s a much more succinct description from, appropriately enough, a plumber.

Picture a bathtub with a running faucet and open drain. When we use energy, carbon dioxide (CO2) pours into the atmosphere just like water pours into a bathtub. If water pours into the tub faster than it can drain out, the tub fills with water. The bathtub stays full until more water is draining out than is pouring in. The same concept applies to CO2. At our current rate of energy consumption, CO2 emissions produced by burning fossil fuels are pouring into the atmospheric bathtub twice as fast as they are draining out.

via Raymond Plumbing blog – Air Conditioning Heating and Cooling Lorain.

Everyone can do something about CO2 emissions, and some of those changes are relatively easy to make – as the good folk at Raymond Plumbing go on to explain. For instance, using high-efficiency heating and cooling and Energy Star certified appliances. Even simple steps, like turning down the thermostat on the hot water heater will help – and save money, too.

Will Politics Slow the Wind?: Scientific American

A very thought-provoking article in Scientific American walks through some of the growing pains facing the wind industry (Will Politics Slow the Wind?).

Not many years ago, there wasn’t enough wind power coming from the Great Plains to worry about. Now there is, and lots of people are worrying.

A group of mostly East Coast utility companies calling itself the Coalition for Fair Transmission Policy fears that the prime conditions in the Great Plains will make the region’s wind power too cheap for its members to compete with, unless developers there are made to pay the costs of moving wind power eastward.

The article also touches on the backlash generated when a windfarm in Texas announced it would be using stimulus funding to buy turbines manufactured in China.

For years, the knock on wind energy was that it was too expensive, too unreliable, and too far away to be of any practical use. Two of those reasons are gone, and the grid upgrades needed to deliver wind energy will solve a problem that has needed attention for too long.