Fossil fueled power plants, many of them coal-fired, are based on the 1800’s idea of using fire to heat up water and make steam to power generators, a technology that goes back to the Industrial Revolution of 1712.
Central bulk power is located far away from people to hide the air pollution and water contamination, based on the idea “if you don’t see it or can’t smell it, we can live with it.” Coal plants are built near rivers and lakes as they use great quantities of water to generate steam. The man-made SWEPCO 500-acre lake is warm 365 days a year because it serves as a cooling agent for the Flint Creek Power Plant. The water is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, good for fishing if you don’t mind the emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and other hazardous pollutants.
Bulk power is transmitted on the Grid where different voltage levels are interconnected by substations which contain voltage transformers, circuit breakers, surge arrestors, isolators, as well as measurement equipment and switchgear.
Electrical Engineers spend years designing and planning trying against all odds to make it work under any conditions. It is not easy and it is not even possible: adding redundancy only increases cost and complexity, any additional component can make it fail. Even Rocky, the Flying Squirrel can take it down.
The lean alternative is distributed generation and consumption, using the existing grid as a buffer: extra energy generated is sold to the Grid which sells energy to everyone else. That is true reliability. To take down a distributed power system, you need millions of squirrels, at least one per home. Squirrels and humans can live in peace, as long as we don’t put all of our eggs in one Grid. Maintaining the existing grid and distributed renewable power are the future of the Ozarks, not more 345,000 Volt transmission lines.
He is an Austin TX resident, with a vacation home in Eureka Springs Arkansas.
He was trained in Martial Arts to respect others and have a lead and take action with a calm mind and determination.
When in doubt, he asks himself "what would Bugs Bunny do?" that helps him think out of the box, take a chance, and hope for the best.
He feels that we are here for a reason, we will be gone soon, and we need to make a difference in what matters - good friends, mother earth, our common house, are important to him.
He plans to make a $100 contribution to the Save the Squirrels Foundation.