Saturday, September 10, 2016

Update On The Soda Mountain Solar Project -- Still, NIMBY -- September 10, 2016

Back in June, 2015, I posted an earlier note about the Soda Mountain (California) solar project -- it sounded like everyone thought the project was a great idea -- just not in their backyard. I had completely forgotten about the project.

Don sent me an update, of sorts. As I read it, it jumped out at me again. The writer thinks solar farms are great. Just don't put them in her backyard. And don't make them too big. Here is the link:
Silicon Valley is leading the nation’s charge toward renewable energy development by making significant investments and pioneering technological advancements. This is important and commendable. However, in the effort to move toward a sustainable energy future, some companies are failing to seriously consider the size and location of their industrial scale renewable projects.

The largest projects can exceed the size of a small city.
In some cases, they are being located in places that cause severe environmental harm to our national parks and wildlife. Such poorly-placed solar plants erode public support for a clean energy future. [And in some cases, they are being located in my backyard.]

A few Silicon Valley companies and the Department of Interior are leading us astray by pursuing harmful projects – and they must correct course.

The proposed Soda Mountain Solar project, owned by Menlo Park-based Regenerate Power, is the poster child of this reckless path.
Because, I guess, it's in the writer's backyard. My hunch is that wind farms in North Dakota don't bother her a bit.

The writer, by the way, will get a bit more mileage out of her article if she refers to the developer as Degenerate Power.

Right Out Of Hollywood
We've Seen This Movie Before

From Seattle Times

HOLLYWOOD, Ala. (AP) — After spending more than 40 years and $5 billion on an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeastern Alabama, the nation’s largest federal utility is preparing to sell the property at a fraction of its cost.

Data points (some numbers rounded):
  • Bellefonte Nuclear Plant; planned 1,200 MW facility
  • to be sold by TVA
  • work began back in the mid-70s; work halted in 1988; demand for electricity never materialized
  • sale includes 1,600 surrounding acres of waterfront property on the Tennessee River
  • two unfinished nuclear reactors; transmission lines; buildings galore; eight miles of road; a 1,000-space park lot and more
  • minimum bid: $36 million
  • has never been stocked with radioactive fuel; not one single watt of electricity generated
I see a mall and museum coming, along with a 1,600-acre solar farm. Or sugar beets.

California Blind Spot

This is quite hilarious. First the article.

Then the comment.

Here's the article:
California regulators moved a step closer on Friday to the first mandatory U.S. energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors, gadgets that account for 3 percent of home electric bills and 7 percent of commercial power costs in the state.
How much will that save a California homeowner?
The standards for desktops, which use far more energy than notebooks, will add about $14 to the retail cost of computers but save consumers more than $40 in electric bills over five years, according to commission estimates.
Here's the comment:
How ironic they want to reduce electricity use in California while they have their eyes set on forcing consumers to to purchase electric vehicles.
They never think out far enough to question where are they going to get all the electricity to power these thousands of electric vehicles they want to put on the road while they are in the process of shutting down one of our nuclear power plants that has never had any problems. Are there any plans to build new gas-fired plants to generate the electricity they need for these cars? No. I guess the electricity will just magically appear. Great idea in hot weather when we already reach our maximum capacity with brown outs.
I had the very same thoughts and posted them back on September 4, 2016.

The Haves Vs The Have-Nots

I have just finished an incredible book, The Witches, Salem, 1692, by Stacy Schiff. I write about it elsewhere. I will now go back and read it again; there is so much there. This is the definitive study of the subject. It's hard for me to believe that any other author will ever feel the need to take on this subject to this degree.

The author is a graduate of Phillips Academy Andover.

From wiki:
Phillips Academy Andover (also known as Phillips Academy, Andover, or PA) is a highly selective, co-educational preparatory high school for boarding and day students in grades 9–12, along with a post-graduate year.
The school is located in Andover, Massachusetts, United States, 25 miles north of Boston.
Phillips Academy has 1,122 students, and is part of the Ten Schools Admissions Organization as well as the G20 Schools Group.
For the academic year 2016/17, Phillips charges boarders $52,100 and day pupils up to $40,500 per year, making it more expensive than any other HMC school and amongst the most expensive boarding schools in the world. [Amongst.]
Schiff would have been immersed in Andover witchology while in high school, and her book, perhaps, is the culmination of that immersion.

From Legends Of
Located about 15 miles northwest of Salem Village, Andover got its start when a portion of land was set aside for an inland plantation in 1634. Early colonists were offered incentives to move to the area and the first settlement was established in 1641 by John Woodbridge and a group of settlers from Newbury and Ipswich.
In May, 1646 the settlement was incorporated as a town and was named Andover, probably in honor of the town of Andover in England. The first recorded town meeting was held in 1656 in the home of settler John Osgood.

During the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Andover, like other area villages, found itself in the midst of the hysteria. In fact, more people from Andover were accused and arrested for witchcraft than from any other town in New England.

The atmosphere of the town at the time was charged with fear of the unknown and political upheaval. The Massachusetts Bay Colony charter had been revoked by the crown, the church was split by the differing ideologies of two pastors, and Indian raids were occurring in nearby Haverhill and Billerica.

Unfortunately, the witch hysteria in Salem Village soon spread to Andover. The first accused was Martha Carrier, who was known as a strong-minded woman who would speak her mind. Unfortunately, this was not a trait admired by Puritans at the time. She was accused by her neighbor, Benjamin Abbot, after they had gotten into an argument that involved a land dispute. After the disagreement, Abbot fell sick and blamed his illness on her bewitching him and would later testify that she had killed one of his cows. 
The article then goes on at length about some of the same stories re-told by Schiff. 

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