How can a city shift to renewable energy when the local power utility is committed to fossil fuels? Boulder, CO has decided to "explore ... forming a city-owned utility". The Kit Carson Electric Coop in Taos, NM has a customer-owned solar array and other renewable energy purchase contracts. The City and County of Santa Fe, NM are researching creating their own publicly-owned electric utility.
This Sunday I took the Home Grown New Mexico Kitchen Garden & Coop Tour. Since I took the tour by bike I decided to call it the Tour des Jardins et les Coops. The tour was an easy loop of less than 20 miles and great way to spend a morning in Santa Fe. I was very impressed by the garden landscapes created by these generous and welcoming Santa Feans. I learned quite a bit from the gardens and I've been inspired to continue expanding our little garden.
Summer is nearly upon us in the Northern Hemisphere and for city dwellers and suburbanites (like my family) summer brings the 'Heat Island Effect'. The sub/urban Heat Island is the result of acres of black-tar roofs and dark asphalt absorbing solar energy during the day and radiating that heat out late into the night. It turns out there is a simple way to turn off the Heat Island - Paint it White.
I'm a DIY sort of guy. If I think I can build something, I'll probably try. The DIY route often works out just fine. But, sometimes a project will take a longer than anticipated. For example, I just finished building a cold frame. A cold frame is an unheated mini-greenhouse used for gardening through the cold winter months. Of course, I finished the cold frame just in time for summer. Or, maybe I'm early?
We all know that washing your car seems to bring on the rain. I've found another way to encourage precipitation, tour a Solar Photovoltaic System. After a sun-filled week the skies clouded over and unleashed a downpour about 30 minutes before I visited a friend's solar system. Despite the non-power producing weather, Bruce showed me his PV system and we climbed up on the roof during a lull in the showers. At least the solar panels were nice and clean!
1) The people of the Navajo Nation need jobs and electricity.
2) The Navajo Nation has great wind and solar resources.
3) The Navajo Reservation has highly polluted air due to existing coal-fired power plants.
4) A key air pollution permit for the proposed Desert Rock coal power plant has been remanded.
6) The Navajo Nation's Diné Power Authority and Sithe Global Power are committed to moving forward with the Desert Rock Coal Power Plant.
At any trade show, it’s usually worth it to barge in to a random event, feel awkward for a moment in exchange for a free drink and a chance to encounter new perspectives. So after a long day of seminars at Greenbuild, I found myself making small talk among a group of well dressed facilities managers involved in the LEED for Existing Buildings side of things. This is actually a very important part of the sustainability equation, since the operational energy of a commercial building will surpass the embodied energy used to make that building a few years after the building opens.