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Author Topic: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:  (Read 4339 times)

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2015, 04:27:40 pm »
I hear ya. However, I think you should consider these facts: St. Thomas has a hotel called the Frenchman's Reef that had solar powered air conditioning in 1964. All you need is 240 degrees F to make steam. The rest is refrigeration physics. They are still there and have lots of PV as well. PV is more efficient  down there than up here. The roofs are mostly flat so the panel can be secured quite well in case of a storm. And yes, the solar panel there has the sun DIRECTLY ABOVE with zero angle during a large part of the summer at 18 degrees north latitude.

The Caribbean has the trade winds. They NEVER stop. They are generally mild from 12 to 20 mph, depending on the elevation. Wind power is a no brainer BASE LOAD power source. Hurricanes can be dealt with by feathering the blades like an aircraft propeller. High winds are not an issue.

The Caribbean also is the best place on the PLANET (excluding offshore Scotland) for 24/7 ocean current power potential.

But up here where it is cold, people that don't swallow the fossil fueler line are doing the fossil fuel free math. We are getting there.  :icon_mrgreen:

... real-life example to illustrate physics and environmental science concepts in the classroom. While students are originally “incredulous,” most have become enthusiastic about the project.

Professor’s Solar-Powered Passive House a Real-life Physics Lesson

Ann Kenda, Mount Holyoke College
 January 09, 2015  |  2 Comments

Assistant Professor of Physics Alexi Arango has been telling students in his Renewable Energy class for years about a little house in Maine that’s so energy efficient that it heats itself without a furnace.

The home of physics professor Alexi Arango operates entirely by solar power.

"I love the reaction,” he said of students in the physics andenvironmental studies course, which is open to all majors. “There's disbelief, and the concept almost seems magical. Then you go through it and talk about the physics, and it's really not some wild idea."

Arango, whose research focuses on highly efficient solar energy systems, now is bringing the course’s lessons home, in the true sense of the word. He recently built and moved into a 1,000-square-foot “Passivhaus,” or "passive house," in Amherst, which operates entirely by solar power.

Arango, who writes a blog about the house, uses the real-life example to illustrate physics and environmental science concepts in the classroom. While students are originally “incredulous,” most have become enthusiastic about the project.

"It's unconventional to do what I did," Arango acknowledged, but noted that passive houses are almost mainstream in Germany. "Culturally, we may be a little behind the times in how we think about our buildings."

The Science of Renewable Energy

The Renewable Energy course (PHYS/ENVST 104) focuses on the risks associated with burning fossil fuels to the ecosystem, human health, and global economic vitality as well as methods of converting the energy infrastructure for use with renewable sources. In the course, students build an understanding of the science and mathematics behind renewable energy and learn how to communicate effectively about possible solutions to energy challenges.

Mount Holyoke senior Indira Rakhimzyanova, who is from Russia, said she found the course and Arango’s project inspiring—so much so that she wants to pursue a career in the renewable energy field and build a passive house some day.

"If every person made this choice, we could have a dramatic impact on trying to mitigate climate change, since buildings are a large fraction of our carbon footprint," she said.

The project architect, Matthew O'Malia of Belfast, Maine, credited the professor for committing to a real passive house rather than implementing a few energy-efficient measures.

“It's great that he made that goal and stuck to it," O’Malia said, comparing the efficiency of the house with a car that gets 200 miles per gallon of gas. "It's hard to understand a passive house until you live in one. Part of the story is the technical side but the other side is the comfort. It's just a better way to live."

Arango called the house "amazing in every sense of the word,” not only for its energy efficiency but also its comfort. In addition to the health benefits of not burning fossil fuels around the home, the perks of the passive house include uniform temperatures, ample fresh air, “floods of sunlight in every room,” low energy bills, and the quietness of not having a heater switch on and off at night.

Arango also kept his students in mind while developing the construction plan.

"I designed certain aspects of the home to serve a pedagogical purpose,” he said, noting that he invited students to test certain items to see firsthand how they conserve energy. A real-time energy-monitoring system allows students to download an application on their phones or computers and see the energy use of ordinary tasks.

"The point is to remove the mystery of energy usage and understand the impact of one’s behavior,” Arango said. “It’s fascinating to walk around the home, turn on a faucet or appliance, and see exactly how much energy is being used."

Senior Bahia Marks of South Africa, an architecture major, said she was intrigued by Arango's house project because of her interests in renewable energy and affordable housing.

"The way our homes are built can really shift our attitudes about the environment, and even our connection to each other," she said.


Renewable energy=                                 =Fossil Fuelers
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2015, 01:35:25 am »

Agelbert NOTE: Picture of Frenchman's Reef Hotel - They have energy conservation measures (which gives them a "green" brownie point in their ad pitch) but no PV, as far as I know.

New Renewable Energy Products Announced (2012)

Quality Electric Supply Inc. has signed a distribution agreement with JLM Energy Inc., Rocklin, California to supply two new energy-efficient and renewable energy products throughout the USVI, BVI, Kitts & Nevis and Anguilla.

Zefr ™ Wind Turbines with Wind Array Turbine System (WATS) Technology: Small 36” wind turbines with WATS circuitry are installed in series to collectively harness the power of the wind by routing the power of 20 turbines into a single smart inverter. The power created flows through the same tethered cable harness without disrupting the power generation of neighboring turbines. The power is then converted into common AC electricity by the 3.6kW smart inverter that seamlessly generates the maximum amount of power.

A typical system of 20 turbines produces around 4,000 kWs of electrical energy per year or $1,880 at the current commercial power rate of $.47 kW.

The small size of the Zefr and easy mounting make it feasible to install multiple units on a roof-line, parapet, or other structural surfaces. It is easy to scale up energy production by adding more turbines later. Issues of wind speed and direction are controlled by the WATS circuitry and allow the turbines to cut in at 3.5 MPH.  :emthup:

Gyezr ™ Commercial Grade Solar Thermal Collectors with Micro-Controlled Array Thermal System (MATS) Technology: The first solar thermal collector with commercial requirements of reliability, scalability and flexibility generates hot water directly from the sun. The temperature of each channel is self-powered using energy harvesting technology.  The micro-controller wirelessly communicates real-time data about system performance to an internet based system. If over or under temperatures are sensed, the computer actuated drain-back system will automatically initiate steps to protect itself.

The light-weight, low profile and innovative solar hot water heating system is easy to install. MATS technology makes the Gyezr ™installation completely wireless, which gives the system the ability to handle complex commercial projects. Providing up to four times the efficiency of standard PV per square foot the product has a 30 year life expectancy.

Quality Electric Supply has an installation of 12 Zefr wind turbines planned on its 22,000 sq foot building located in Peters Rest, Christiansted, St. Croix. An introduction of the technology will be provided at a St. Croix Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event, October 18, 2012, 5:30-7:30 PM. Representatives of JLM Energy, Inc will be on hand to discuss the technology and its adaptability for tropical installations.


Agelbert NOTE: Electricity hourly rates in the Caribbean, like in Hawaii, are EXTREMELY HIGH. So renewable energy is even more of a cost no brainer there than it is here!

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2015, 01:38:04 am »
To the left side of that drawing is (I believe) Charlotte Amalie and the cruise ship docks. Across the street are the welfare projects. I noticed that they (the apartments) all have this kind of hot water heater up on the rooftops, which I like and have been wanting for my place. I don't think they'll survive a hurricane, though.

I don't know. I'll do some research and get back to you.

I had a weird experience in St, Thomas one time. I was walking from the airport to the town with my first wife. We were going by some boats anchored near the road as we neared the town. In those days I would co to St. T to get duty free cigarettes and all kinds of wonderful liquors (mandarinetto - orange colored liqueur made from tangerine oranges - great stuff! - Amaretto di Saronno, apricot brandy, pineapple cordial liqueur and a banana liqueur - yellow color, of course! - in a long tall bottle - They looked great in my home bar and I drank them sparingly. You could put colored water in them afterwards and use them as decorative items.).   

So there we were, walking down the street looking at the boats when this fellow in one of the boats say, "HEY MAN, GIVE ME YOUR WOMAN!".  I did a double take. He was about 30 yards from me and looked quite serious. We just ignored him and picked up our pace. The blackies down there don't mind a good piece of white tail every now and then and seem to be rather direct about soliciting one.   

Of course, this is the sort of experience that affects race relations down the line, to put it mildly.  :evil4: Nevertheless, I tried to NOT stereotype all blacks because of one vulgar ****'s behavior.

I used to fly to St. T about once a month when I had my own piper colt. It was a 108 horse power dog but I got it cheap from a friend. Every takeoff from St. T was an interesting experience not for the feint of heart due to the sad climb rate of that canvas covered dog. I would go between a couple of hills (you have to take off into the wind because the tower won't allow downwind takeoffs due to incoming traffic), fly over the harbor area and turn around to head west back to PR. The turbulence and down drafts between those hills is an excellent way to cure low blood pressure.  ;D

You are trying to climb with full throttle and the correct pitch attitude but the plane starts DESCENDING.  :P And it does it in a rather bumpy fashion.  You start figuring out which trees you are going to dodge and don't DARE pull back on the stick because down drafts increase the relative wind angle of attack over the wing surface and can cause you to stall. If you raise the nose trying to stop the descent and stall, you are REALLY in deep **** because you have to nose it down and your rate of descent increases.

So you just aim for the lowest spot between the two hills and wing it. NOW you KNOW where that expression came from, ground pounder!  ;) The turbulence and own draft ceases when you are abeam the two hills and you resume your casual, debonair climb pretending all this is no big deal. My wife would ask, "is that normal?". I would say, "Sure, hey look at the neat cruise ships! It's great to be  lower so we can see all this pretty scenery better!".      Oh well, I cheated death a few times down there and had some fun doing it. 

Gee, I used to own an airplane just like that one (pa-22-108)! MKing will have a field day calling me a fossil fuel burning piggy!    ;D
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2015, 01:39:17 am »
Virgin Islands and Hurricane damage risk to Renewable Energy Infrastructure

One web site explains what they are doing down there (St. Thomas specifically but the same government runs St. Croix) and how they handle risk thus:

All residences are constructed with cisterns for the collection of rainwater from the roof and some waterfront properties have residential size desalinization systems. Potable water produced commercially through desalinization may also be purchased and delivered via trucks if you have run out of water in your cistern.  Electric power is provided by the Water and Power Authority.   Most residences and businesses also have generator back up power in the event of an outage.   Many homeowners employ solar hot water heaters and in recent years, some homeowners are also employing solar to generate power for other needs.

Hazard Insurance
Hazard insurance (covering casualty from hurricane, earthquake, flood) will cost approximately 2% -3% of the replacement cost of the property annually. (If you are going to finance your home, your lender may require that the insurance calculation is based on the loan amount vs. the replacement value.) Certain factors can aid in securing a lower insurance rate such as concrete construction, hurricane shutters or high impact glass, type of roof structure and even the history of the home. 


So what REALLY happens when they get smacked with a hurricane?   :icon_scratch: I believe this study does the math:  :emthup: I have prepared a "readers digest" version below.

NOTE for Eddie: It appears that the scientists that wrote it DO NOT favor the solar water heater you mentioned. This is a quote from the recommendations:
Lack of renewable energy
- Install solar voltaics to power water heaters in each house

Title of Thesis: Revealing Risk & Redefining Development:
Exploring Hurricane Impact on St. Croix, USVI


This thesis is based on a review of existing literature in order to explore disaster reduction in the built environment. Academic literature, conference papers, journal and have been used for the review of hurricane impacts on a wide range of locations.

“Disaster” is derived from the Latin word of astrum, meaning star.2 In ancient times, it was believed that earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.. were mandated by the heavens. In today’s world, nature is still something that we, as humans, have no control over.

 However, we are beginning to understand how to change our environment in order to have a better control over their outcomes.   8)

Parker identified a disaster as “an unusual natural or man-made event, including an event caused by failure of technological systems, which temporarily overwhelms the response capacity of human communities, groups of individuals or natural environments and which causes massive damage, economic loss, disruption, injury, and/or loss of life”.4

“Much of the physical damage from disasters occurs to infrastructure and therefore engineers and landscape architects have a vital role in the rectification of physical damages of disasters.”11

According to Kibert16 “the academics and professionals in planning, civil engineering, economics, ecology, architecture, landscape architecture, construction and related fields are responsible for discovering ways of creating a more sustainable built environment.” There is clearly a high relationship between the designing for disasters and the built environment disciplines.

St. Croix

St. Croix is an island found in the Caribbean Sea, and the largest of three unincorporated Islands that are part of the United States. The Virgin Islands of the United States consist of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, and these three islands are about 135 square miles and have a population not exceeding a quarter of a million people. This comprises about 75 percent African descent, 13 percent U.S. mainland expatriates, 5 percent Puerto Ricans, and the rest are a mix of Danish, French and people from the Caribbean. St. Croix is seven by 28 square miles (45 by 11 km) and is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Charlotte Amalie, which is the capital of the territory, is located on Saint Thomas. 24


With the abolition of slavery in the middle of the 19th century, the Virgin Islands became unprofitable for the Danish. The Danish government tried to sell the islands to the United States, a move which was unsuccessful. But since it was during World War I, the United States was concerned that the Germans would possibly use the islands as a submarine base, and hence offered Denmark $25 million for the islands. Denmark agreed to this deal and signed it on January 17, 1917. The United States took official possession of these islands on March 31, 1917 and renamed them "The Virgin Islands of the United States." The inhabitants of the island were granted U.S. citizenship ten years after this takeover.

Hurricane Activity of St. Croix

The major concern with the weather in St. Croix is the hurricanes. The season for these Hurricanes runs from July to November every year and most tourists plan their getaways to these islands accordingly since temperatures are almost constant throughout the year.

Electrical distribution systems were another undertaking implemented after past hurricanes. Power is essential for the territory to begin the recovery and reconstruction process after a large hurricane. After the impact of Hurricane Hugo (1989) and Hurricane Berthas (1996), there was a complete failure of the power system on all three Virgin Islands.

Agelbert NOTE:
The CENTRALIZED fossil fuel power infrastructure FAILED. That is one of the big reasons distributed (AND RENEWABLE) energy is a better choice. After the above, they beefed up the centralized power system.

That was stupid.  :emthdown: They should have spent the money on making every home and factory a small Renewable energy Power plant. That way the law of probabilities alone would give these islands more resiliency in a hurricane. But that would have meant the $.53 /Kw hour they GOUGE Virgin Islanders for could not have come about. 

As a result of these changes, in 1998 after Hurricane Georges, there was power interruption to only 15% of St. Croix and full restoration was accomplished in three weeks.37

“The Green Island”

Island communities everywhere are looking towards alternative to fossil fuels because of abundant renewable energy resources. The U.S. Virgin Islands has set ambitious targets to reduce oil consumption and has lead the effort to reduce oil imports and to aid in the energy crisis currently plaguing the island through renewable energy technology.

Access to affordable, secure sources of energy for economic, environmental, and social development is necessary for the future of their nation. “They typically have few conventional energy resources (i.e., oil, natural gas, and coal), and their remoteness and relatively small size lead to diseconomies of scale.”53

Developing a Strategic Energy Road Map

A basic feasibility assessment was conducted to determine what energy technologies were advanced enough to be installed and possibility both financially and maintenance wise that they would endure the test of time.

Wind power solar photovoltaics, and solar water heating (SWH) are resource abundant in the USVI.

4.3 Three Energy Scenarios
This section outlines three energy scenarios (base case, high energy efficiency, and renewable energy) as possible roads to achieve the 60x25 goal. They combine a mixture of private and public partnerships at different degrees of participation all aimed at reducing the fuel consumption of St. Croix.31

The high efficiency scenario looks that the impact that an extremely aggressive, both financially and technology wise, energy system could have on the efficiency of the current energy grid. Basically, it takes the base case and applies a much higher dose of the infrastructure associated with the base case. A balance between energy efficiency and renewable energy is envisioned in the high efficiency case. Due to its relative cost effectiveness, deployment of energy efficiency measures could have a lower cost than the base case.

Potential for an aggressive energy scenario does exist to achieve the 60x25 goal. However, the difficulty associated with such a dramatic change in 25 to 50 percent of end-user electricity consumption would be difficult to impose on the residents. The alternative would be building a renewable generation system.

The three scenarios portrayed vary principally in cost and the mix of equipment needed to reach their desired outcomes. However, in any of the cases, the outcome of reaching the 60x25 goal would mean so much for this small island nation. More than $100 million annually would be conserved if these scenarios can be implemented.57

Solar Technology

Because of its proximity to the equator the sun in most parts of the Caribbean can be extremely strong. The abundance of solar resources can prove to be very useful in reaching the 60x25 goal by utilizing solar power as a key source of energy.

From a design stand point solar PV and SWH systems do not have an large impact on view sheds because majority of them will be situated atop building structures out of site. The 451 kW PV system at the Henry E. Rolsen Airport is an example of a typical large-scale PV system.


The limited resources of St. Croix make energy a challenging dilemma. However, they are poised to be able to demonstrate the benefits of installing large scale energy efficiency and renewable practices. Island communities have the potential to take the lead and become a showcase for how to transform largely oil dependent nations to ones of self-sufficiency.

Reducing oil consumption 60 percent by 2025 is ambitious and will only be accomplished through the use of efficient, renewable, green energy technology. The outcomes that work well within this process can be used for other island communities that face similar challenges in the energy crisis. Obtaining a sustainable energy future will only be achieved if existing initiatives and resources are identify and used to maximize their potential within the system.


Put Sustainable Design at the Forefront of Redevelopment
Reinvent the energy system to more efficiently use natural energy to power the island primarily through wind and solar technology.


3. Outdated Energy Systems
- All power lines are above ground and are easily destroyed during hurricanes.

4. Deconstruction of Hess Oil Refinery
- Unused land that is now a brownfield.
-No access to this land because of current ownership


3. Outdated Energy Systems
- Offer incentives to use and install new power options.
- Install energy harvesting techniques in public spaces for people to understand and learn about the methods.
- Identify ideal spaces where solar and wind can be harvested throughout the island
- Government buildings account for 36 percent of energy needs on the island.
- Current Water and Power Authority is opposed to new forms of sustainable energy and wants to just continually update the current system
- Install solar water power heaters in each house.
- Utilize the south shore of the island for solar and wind harvesting because of the expansive flat and protected land.
- Mandate that commercial/ government buildings be powered by solar energy.

4. Deconstruction of Hess Oil Refinery Site
- Clean and repurpose site.
- Utilize site to store supplies for disaster relief.
- Maintain port entry in case of disaster.

* The current electrical distribution configuration is susceptible to damage by both wind and water damage. Their proximity to coastal areas that are susceptible to flooding coupled with their outdated infrastructure reinforces the urgency for new techniques and process to be introduced to the Virgin Islands. The image below depicts locations where a wind farm would be most suitable as well as a perspective of land area the wind turbines would cover.

The "footprint" of the turbine can typically be averaged around 0.25 acres per machine, however, that number does not include the diameters of space needed between turbines to avoid collisions. To account for necessary room between the turbines the boundary perimeter is typically around 1-2 acres from base to base of all machines. It is important to understand that all space between the turbines can still be obtained for its
Figure 8: Areas of wind turbine generation [Abraham]
original purpose of wildlife habitat, farming, or in the aftermath of a disaster, for moveable shelters.
61 The other option for energy collection is by solar panels. The private and commercial buildings can both install solar panels of different sizes and to accomplish different purposes. One of the main drawbacks of solar energy is that they require large areas of land for solar farms. As noted in previous chapters, there are not many locations where solar would be a suitable option at that scale, however new technology has created alternatives to consider.

The image to the left depicts a floating solar farm that can be anchored to maintain its general position, but moves with the tides to prevent heavy storm surge damage. In the event of a hurricane, the “solar islands” can be brought to a more protected location and then put back in place once the storm subsides to provide additional energy needs.


Agelbert NOTE: There's lots more with details on making man made reefs and other community protecting measures with drawings and pictures. The bottom line is that Renewable energy is, not just doable in the Virgin Islands, but will make them more resilient to hurricanes than with their current centralized fossil fuel infrastructure that gets severely damaged in hurricane FORCE high winds.  8)


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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2015, 01:42:09 am »
Damn runway makes my butt pucker. On the right approach you can see a passenger plane that once crashed into the bay.

And it's a LOT LONGER now than it used to be! They extended it quite a bit. Pan American painted a big white stripe on the runway. They called landing in St. T a "carrier" landing. they would fly the b27 right down to that white stripe. If they weren't ON THE GROUND with spoilers deployed by that white stripe, it was GO AROUND time!

I was working the boards when an American Airlines B727 floated too long before landing, tried to go around and ended up "landing" on the hill. The fuselage broke up  and the people came out like ants. The c o c k p I t broke off and the crew just got up and walked away. The only fatality was a small child trapped in a seat and his father. they were both burned to death when the fire came.  :(

St. T is a strange airport. Aircraft approaching the airport at night sometimes see lights that look like runway lights. One B727, that the public knows nothing about, tried to land 5 miles short in the water. The pilot claimed he saw runway lights. One of my brother controllers repeated his distance from the airport with vigor   and the crew avoided disaster.

I took off one night from ST. T when I was an air taxi pilot with a manifold to deliver to St. Croix. It was quiet so I requested permission for a downwind takeoff to save taxi time (length of time going down the taxiway to end of the runway). It was approved. I was flying an Aztec.

When you take off from St. Thomas at night heading west, you go from lights all over the place to pitch dark. I started a climbing left turn and got ready to light a smoke. The gear was up and the flaps were up. I had the props set to climb pitch so I began to relax. Both the 250 horsepower honeys were humming along just fine. I happened to glance at my altimeter and it said 250 ft and going down.  :o YIKES! My nose had fallen just below the horizon. I had been lulled by the crystal clear weather to think I didn't need to keep my instrument cross check going as fast as when I was in the soup. I shallowed out the bank and pulled that nose up to where it was supposed to be (using the artificial horizon) and kept my eyes on the panel until I was at 4000 feet cruising altitude and in level flight. At that point I could make out St Croix island lights.     
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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2015, 06:34:28 pm »
Cuban Province Well on Its Way to 100% Renewable Energy  ;D

Laurie Guevara-​Stone, Rocky Mountain Institute | January 14, 2015 12:33 pm


Granma province (pop. 836,000), located in the eastern part of the island, is home to the Sierra Maestra, and is named after the boat from which Fidel Castro and his rebel soldiers disembarked to begin the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban government wants to make Granma province 100-percent renewably powered, a project the Cubans call “The Solarization of Granma Province,” as a model the rest of the island can follow.

 They are well on their way. In 2013, renewables supplied 37 percent of all the energy consumed in Granma province, and the province currently has 3,664 renewable energy systems in operation.

These include everything from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to biogas digesters to solar food dryers

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #36 on: January 15, 2015, 01:40:55 am »
Alaska Energy Authority and Kodiak Electric Association Developing a 99 Percent Renewable Community  

 Maria Blais Costello 
 January 14, 2015

With support from the Alaska Renewable Energy Fund, strong local leadership, and sustained effort, the Kodiak Electric Association (KEA), a cooperative electric utility, has achieved over 99 percent renewable energy electric generation in the town of Kodiak, Alaska. KEA has developed a renewable energy grid that includes hydro power, wind, and battery storage technologies. The success of the Kodiak project demonstrates both the effectiveness of utility’s vision and management, and the importance of the assistance provided by the Alaska Renewable Development Fund.

Alaska’s Renewable Energy Fund has made it possible for communities and villages across the state of Alaska to study their renewable energy resources, conduct proper engineering designs for those projects that are economically and technically feasible, and construct their projects for the greatest public benefit possible. The Fund, managed by the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA), has catalyzed a movement towards renewable energy across the state by funding 277 renewable energy grants, totaling $250 million over the past seven years.

In the case of Kodiak Electric Association (KEA), which serves about 6,400 people on Kodiak Island, prior to the Renewable Energy Fund’s start in 2008, KEA generated approximately 60 percent of its electricity from hydro power and 40 percent from diesel. Through multiple successful applications to the Renewable Energy Fund, KEA was able to conduct feasibility studies, design, permit, and construct two phases of wind development, adding six 1.5MW wind turbines on Pillar Mountain, just above the City of Kodiak during the first phase of this project.

During phase two of the project, KEA added two 1.5-MW (1 MWh) battery storage systems that provide 30 to 90 seconds of bridging power to allow ramping up of output of the Terror Lake hydroelectric system at times when the wind output decreases rapidly.

A Commitment to Ramping Up Renewable Energy

The Terror Lake Hydro facility had been built in the early 1980s with state funding. Water from a nearby high elevation lake is conveyed through a 5-mile tunnel and penstock to a near sea level 20 MW power plant. The designers of the facility had the forethought to include a possible addition of a third turbine in the future if demand surpassed the original hydro capacity. The addition of the battery systems has allowed the wind power from the turbines to be used without curtailment, and it allows more water to be stored at the Terror Lake hydro facility during times when the wind blows. Additionally, and with the financial support of the Renewable Energy Fund, a third hydroelectric turbine was added to the existing Terror Lake powerhouse to increase output by an additional 13.8 MW.

Since the end of 2013, KEA has been able to shut off the diesel generators and allow the battery/hydro mix to fulfill their spinning reserve requirement.     They also have enough hydro redundancy to allow for maintenance of hydro turbines without burning diesel fuel to generate power. For the first seven months of 2014, KEA generated 99.7 percent of its power from renewable energy, resulting in significantly lower energy costs for the community by reducing its diesel fuel purchases to nearly zero. KEA had exceeded its goal of 95 percent renewable energy by 2020 ahead of schedule.

Impressive Return on Investment

KEA estimates that it saved its small community about $13 million in reduced fuel costs through the end of 2013. Over $4 million per year is now saved by the community, to the benefit of residents, seafood processors, the Coast Guard Base, and all other electrical customers.
It has also cut diesel emissions to zero   ;D except for a few hours per year, resulting in cleaner local air and dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Further, Kodiak Electric closely manages and monitors its wind, hydro and battery resources. It has trained its former diesel engine technicians to now work on the hydro, wind and battery systems.  ;D The utility technicians trained with the wind turbine manufacturers on site during initial maintenance procedures, and have become expert in conducting most of their own maintenance.

The Renewable Energy Fund provided a total of $16 million of grant funding to launch Kodiak’s renewable energy projects. The Alaska Legislature provided an additional $7.7 million for the hydro construction phase, and the utility covered the remaining $12 million of the roughly $37 million project through loans and Clean Renewable Energy Bonds. Without the AEA’s Renewable Energy Fund and the state’s earlier funding of the Terror Lake hydroelectric project, these projects would have been delayed or reduced in scope, or may not ever have come to fruition.

An Example for Others to Consider

For the hundreds of other non-connected electric utilities in Alaska, this set of KEA’s renewable energy projects demonstrates that the right resources and good utility management can result in a clean energy portfolio with reduced or predictable energy costs. The replicability of Kodiak’s renewable energy projects would depend upon available local, renewable energy resources as well as outstanding utility commitment. This approach, though typically on a smaller level, is being replicated in many other small remote communities in Alaska; typically, wind-diesel systems or hydro-diesel systems are being installed. Both the funding mechanisms and the evaluation process used by these projects could be replicated by any state, local government or even a utility, to competitively find and fund the most cost-effective renewable energy projects.


•This project proves the effectiveness of the Renewable Energy Fund as a tool to help achieve the state’s 50 percent renewable energy goal by 2025. For the first seven months of 2014, KEA has generated 99.7 percent of its power from renewable energy, reducing its diesel fuel purchases to nearly zero    and resulting in significantly lower energy costs for the community.

•KEA has saved its small community about $13 million in reduced fuel costs through the end of 2013. Over $4 million per year is now saved by the Kodiak community.

By restricting diesel use to a few hours per year, the project has resulted in cleaner local air and dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions. 

The AEA and KEA were honored with one of the eight 2014 State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards, an initiative of the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) to highlight exemplary state and municipal programs that advance clean energy markets. (See my previous blog from November 24, 2014.) CESA will be hosting a webinar featuring the KEA’s Kodiak, Alaska projects on January 23rd. The webinar is free to attend, but registration is required. You can learn more and register here. More information can be found here.


Agelbert NOTE: The Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) is NOT a cornucopian outfit. They DO the RENEWABLE ENERGY MATH!

Renewable energy=                                 =Fossil Fuelers
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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2015, 06:38:03 pm »
Put your fossil fuel dirty energy where the sun don't shine, "amigo"...   ;D

01/21/2015 06:30 PM     

La Paz, Mexico: 100% Solar Powered

SustainableBusiness.com News 

An entire city in Mexico will soon be getting all its electricity from solar energy.   

Costa Baja Mooring area of La Paz, Mexico

La Paz, in the Baja region (where there's 50% more sun intensity of San Diego), shut down a polluting thermoelectric plant because two solar plants are replacing it.

The first - the only utility-scale solar plant in the country - is online, Aura Solar 1. This year, Grupotec 1 starts operating. They are both 30 megawatt projects, taking up about 144 acres combined.

 They will send electricity to the local utility under a long term power purchase agreement that says it will be sold at the same price as "the current local cost of generation by two diesel thermoelectric plants." 

Amazingly, Aura Solar 1 can generate 82 gigawatts of electricity a year because of the intense sun there, supplying 162,000 people. The $100 million project consists of 131,800 tracking PV  modules on 100 acres.

You can see La Paz at the bottom of the Baja Peninsula - the solar projects are next to the airport. Besides reducing fossil fuel emissions and cleaning the air, it will halt the logistical dangers of importing and transporting hydrocarbons through environmentally protected areas such as the Sea of Cortes, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #38 on: February 09, 2015, 02:14:18 am »

Burlington Vermont Has Gone Green, But Can the Rest of Us?

by Lizabeth Paulat
February 7, 2015

The city of Burlington in Vermont is now running a fully renewable electricity source for all their residents. From factories to homes, wherever a plug can be found so can a surplus of clean energy.

It’s been called the ‘gold standard’ that other states can look to when they implement their own environmental reforms. Burlington is Vermont’s largest city with around 42,000 residents, and for many US cities the demand is far higher. But by following their approach in diversification of clean energy sources, larger cities can still follow Vermont’s example. To study this, let’s break down how Burlington harvests its energy.


About 30% of their energy is produced by a biomass facility just outside the city where the smokestack emits steam, not smoke. Biomass energy means, essentially, burning waste and harvesting the energy that is released in that process. Biomass has garnered some criticism because carbon emissions from the process must be carefully monitored and mitigated to ensure it is a clean and renewable energy source.

Yet, according to those who study it’s potential, biomass could have an important future in America: “In a study of the implementation of a 25 percent renewable electricity standard by 2025, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) assumed that 598 million tons of biomass would be available, and that it could meet 12 percent of the nation’s electricity needs by 2025.”

For states and cities, identifying renewable sources of biomass, including certain forms of garbage and thick grasses (which are easily replenished) will be key for creating sustainable biomass energy.

Wind and Solar

Another 20% of energy in Burlington is taken through wind and solar panels, which are scattered in and around the town. Wind energy, which is often seen as the cleanest way to harvest energy, has very few of the concerns that come with other environmentally friendly methods of energy production. There are no carbon emissions to be concerned with, no heat that could be released later into the atmosphere, and it is obviously naturally renewable.

In 2008, the US Department of Energy found that as wind turbines increase in sophistication, “it estimated that achieving this goal would create over 500,000 new U.S. jobs, reduce global warming emissions by 825 million metric tons per year (about 20 percent), and save 4 trillion gallons of water.”

The main focus should be creating easier ways to implement and eliminate waste in wind energy, as well as identifying key spots that have naturally windy atmospheres, including the ocean. Although some are uncomfortable spreading out into the world’s waters, it should be noted that we already have a number of oil rigs off our shores. Most of us would be far more comfortable with wind turbines rather than drills.

Solar power also has some concerns, particularly the waste that is created in the production of solar energy cells. Yet, again, as our sophistication in their creation is growing, we are now discovering new production methods which have cut down on many of those pollutants. With future investment in the sector, it is likely we can reform the methods even further.

Hydroelectric Power

Hydroelectric power closes up the gap in Burlington’s power needs by tapping into nearby dams. As the water goes through the structure, large blades spin and thus create energy that emits zero greenhouse gases or pollutants. Hydroelectric energy has long been used to power the nation’s homes, but some don’t see it as particularly ‘green’. So let’s take a look at how it can be used and improved.

The main issue with hydroelectric power is that dams can negatively impact the environment and people around them. The production of a dam often means that homes and local habitat will be disrupted and removed. Dams can also block fish migration and have a negative impact on water quality.

However, the amount of power emitted by hydro-power is incredibly impressive. So to reform the method, it’s important that we put pressure on states to join the Low Impact HydroPower Institute (LIHI). Here they’ve created a number of methods that keep the natural species around dams in tact and have even come up with a way to mimic the natural flows of rivers.   

Fish-friendly turbines as well as fish-ladders that create passages around dams can protect species migration. Such methods, when combined with transparent yearly re-certifications by the LIHI and impact studies on the local flora, can help move hydropower into a new era where it will provide clean energy with little environmental impact.

Although all cities vary in their ability to harness the same methods used by Burlington, many do have the ability to tap into and use at least a few of these methods. Further, buying clean energy from neighboring states should be considered before investing in oil or petrol based energy methods. The case study of Burlington shows us that the USA, and cities within it, can and should rely on environmentally friendly methods of energy before considering a petrol based energy economy.   

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/burlington-vermont-has-gone-green-but-can-the-rest-of-us.html#ixzz3REH97mRN
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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2015, 02:32:02 pm »
03/18/2015 11:58 AM     
Georgetown, Texas Runs on 100% Solar & Wind Next Year  ;D

SustainableBusiness.com News

Last week we wrote about a small town in Michigan opting for 100% renewable energy, and we touted it as a way to get off fossil fuels from the bottom up.

 They hope to provide a model for other towns to follow and already we've heard that Georgetown, Texas will run solely on wind and solar next year. 

While Michigan's Leelanau Township has just 2000 residents, Georgetown has 50,000.  :o  ;D

 How are they doing it? It's simple. Last year, the town contracted for 144 megawatts (MW) of Texas wind for half the electricity and the other half will come from solar.  They contracted with SunEdison to build 150 MW of solar - which takes about six months - and they will pay for all the output under a 25-year power purchase agreement. 

Both contracts will deliver electricity to Georgetown over the long term at a lower cost than previous wholesale power contracts for natural gas, they say. And there are no upfront costs.

Georgetown, TX

"They're using solar and wind as a hedge  against rising fuel costs," Paul Gaynor, Executive Vice President of North America for SunEdison, told Bloomberg. 

When the project is finished, it will be rolled into SunEdison's Yieldco, TerraForm Power.

"Wind and solar now cost less than building a new coal or natural gas plant and have no risks related to fuel costs or water shortages. We in Texas know the excruciating pain that comes when natural gas prices spike and electricity bills go through the roof," Tom Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office, told Bloomberg.

"The combination of solar and wind power allows the City to provide energy from complementary renewable sources to meet demand patterns," the city says. Solar produced in West Texas  provides a daily afternoon supply peak that matches Georgetown's daily energy demand peak, especially during hot summer months. Wind production in West Texas tends to be highest during off-peak, evening or early-morning hours. This means wind power can most often fill power demand when the sun isn't shining," the city explains.

And while nuclear and fossil fuel power plants consume large amounts of water
, turning to solar and wind will eliminate impacts on the water supply  ;D, another key goal for the city.

We hope many more towns and cities will take this cue because it could bring a much faster transition off fossil fuels. While most states shoot for 10-20% renewable energy in the coming years, imagine how that can be speeded up by each town converting to 100% during that time.   

About 20 towns/ cities in the US are on this path, including: Aspen, CO; Burlington, VT (already there, but too much reliance on big hydro); Greensburg, KS; Ithaca and East Hampton, NY; Lancaster and Palo Alto, CA.
 You can track them and those around the world here: 
Website: www.go100percent.org

Put your fossil fuel dirty energy where the sun don't shine, "amigo"...   ;D
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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2015, 02:26:47 pm »

04/08/2015 03:50 PM       

New Goal: Shut Down Half of US Coal Plants

SustainableBusiness.com News

The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign has been so successful at shutting down coal plants that Bloomberg Philanthropies is donating another $30 million on top of its initial $50 million grant.

 The goal is to replace half the US coal fleet with renewable energy by 2020 - and locked in by the end of 2017.

Not only have they blocked construction of 153 new coal plants, they have shut down 23% of the US coal fleet - either closed now or scheduled to close. 187 down (78 GW) and 336 (265 GW) more to go, according to Sierra Club's tracker.

The initial goal was to close a third of US coal plants by 2020, beginning with the oldest and dirtiest. The biggest polluter in New England will close in 2017, for example.

"Coal is a self-inflicted public health risk, polluting the air we breathe, adding mercury to our water, and the leading cause of climate disruption," says Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg is raising another $30 million from about a dozen philanthropies.   

•Coal now supplies about 38% of electricity, down from 52% in 2011.

•The US cut emissions 7.7% since 2006, with closing coal plants a major contributor. Emissions have been edging up again because of fracking. 

If Beyond Coal meets the goal of shutting down half of US coal plants, we will cut mercury emissions 90% and exceed President Obama's climate target of cutting emissions 28% by 2025. 

In addition to using grassroots organizing and litigation to close coal plants, Sierra Club helps impacted communities to transition to clean energy. 

"The coal industry has had a tight grip on US energy policy for decades, with devastating consequences for both public health and our environment. Overreliance on fossil energy is also keeping solar and wind out of the market, delaying the transition to a power grid fueled by cleaner energy sources," says Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The ultimate goal is to end coal burning no later than 2030 and replace those plants with renewable energy. Another goal is to keep the massive US coal reserves underground and out of world markets as part of Sierra Club's largest campaign in its 114-year history.

Read our article, Closing Coal Plants Don't Need Full Replacements, Thanks to Energy Efficiency.

 Learn more at the Beyond Coal website.

Want to see where the closing/closed coal plants are? Here's a map:
Website: http://beyondcoal.bloomberg.org/


Agelbert NOTE: THIS is a small part of the externalized costs and INVISIBLE subsidies that people like MKing (and all the other benighted victims of big oil brainwashing that claim "we are all gonna die without fossil fuels" ) REFUSE to COMPUTE when they DO THEIR "MATH":

Coal’s hidden costs top $345 billion in U.S.-study. Public cost is greater than the cost of coal itself! . None of the above is new info. It's been KNOWN for almost a century what burning coal DOES as well as what all the other fossil fuels DO to our health AND the environment.

WE NEVER NEEDED COAL OR ANY OTHER FOSSIL FUEL. But a few people NEEDED us to BELIEVE (via government sponsored Agnotology ) that we needed them so a FEW BASTARDS could get rich, PERIOD. 

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2015, 06:34:11 pm »
Second Largest Island in U.S. Goes 100% Renewable  

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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2015, 05:45:16 pm »
07/16/2015 12:46 PM      print story email story    ShareThis 

Washington DC Signs for 35% Wind Power

SustainableBusiness.com News

Washington DC will soon be running on 35% wind power thanks to the biggest renewable energy contract signed by any US city.

 Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the city signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for the entire 46 megawatt output  at Iberdrola Renewables South Chestnut wind farm in Pennsylvania. Taxpayers will save an estimated $45 million on energy over the next 20 years.

 Under Sustainable DC, the goal is to reach 50% renewables by 2032.

"Directly sourcing renewable power costs 30% less than fossil fuel-based sources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 100,000 tons, and protects our city from volatile energy price increases," explains Mark Chambers, Sustainability and Energy Management Director at the Department of General Services.

 Washington DC will continue buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to cover the rest of its power.  The district has the most LEED-certified buildings per capita, ranks #2 among cities for energy efficiency and #3 for parkland as a percent of city area.

Read our article, Washington DC Unveils Game Changing Sustainable DC Plan.
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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2015, 08:33:08 pm »


by Nicholas O'Keeffe on Aug 17, 2015

Iceland has a population of just above 300.000 inhabitants and annual electricity production of around 17 TWh. All electricity sources are 100% renewable; geothermal (20%) and hydro power (80%) (some diesel backup generators exist to serve a limited number of fisheries and hospitals). Iceland is the world’s largest green energy producer per capita and largest electricity producer per capita.

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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Re: A High-Renewables Tomorrow, Today:
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2015, 02:39:49 pm »
Aspen balloon ride 

Third U.S. City Goes 100% Renewable

Cole Mellino | September 3, 2015 10:27 am

Aspen is one of three U.S. cities to run on 100 percent renewable energy as of today, according to city officials. The Colorado mountain town is best known for its posh ski resorts, but this beautiful town also has established itself as a leader in environmental stewardship.

The city had been using about 75 to 80 percent renewable energy until Thursday when it signed a contract with wholesale electric energy provider Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, in order “to achieve this final leg of our goal,” David Hornbacher, utilities and environmental initiatives director, told The Aspen Times.

The goal was proposed 10 years ago as part of the city’s Canary Initiative, which “identifies Aspen and other mountain communities as canaries in the coal mine with respect to their sensitivity to the effects of climate change.”

The city’s “100 percent” goal is just one component of its larger strategy to reduce both operational and community-wide greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent below 2004 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 2004 levels by 2050, said Chris Menges and Will Dolan from Aspen’s sustainability and utility departments. As of February, the city has reduced its operational emissions by 42 percent, while (as of July) community-wide emissions have been reduced by 7 percent (from 2004 levels).

“It was a very forward-thinking goal and truly remarkable achievement,” Hornbacher said. “This means we are powered by the forces of nature, predominately water and wind with a touch of solar and landfill gas.”

“We’ve demonstrated that it is possible” and that a small, progressive community can work together to be a pathway for others, he said. “Realistically, we hope we can inspire others to achieve these higher goals.” The first two U.S. cities to reach the goal were Burlington, Vermont  ;D and Greensburg, Kansas, which decided to make the move after it was devastated by a powerful tornado in 2007.

Aspen plans to celebrate with an “electric-pride party” and also wants to “launch a big national campaign” to show other cities that running a city on 100 percent renewable energy is possible.   


Colorado balloon ride video
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12


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