By: Mark Klosterman
Hello everyone! As you have probably noticed, it is easy to be a negative Nancy when writing about environmental issues and climate change, but people are making great efforts to correct this, and it is okay to write about that too. Hopefully I can make this a recurring blog theme that I will call…”The Good News Blog!”
Let’s begin with some good local news. First off, Google, in an effort to make clean energy more affordable has invested $100 million in a giant wind farm here in Oregon. The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, which will be the largest in the world, is set to be completed next year near Arlington, OR and will provide enough energy to power 235,000 homes. Nice work Google!
In other good news here in Oregon, roofs are turning into roads! It’s true; Portland’s Northwest Shingle Recyclers grind oil from useless roof shingles that would otherwise be tossed in the dump, and then process the oil back into asphalt for roads. One ton of shingle refuse equates to one barrel of oil that can be reclaimed as asphalt. Hats off to you, Northwest Shingle Recyclers!
Had enough? Well prepare to be pummeled with more good news from around the country. On the East coast, the off-shore wind farm called the Cape Wind Project, that had been opposed by Cape Cod residents, or nimby’s (the “not in my backyard” folks), is finally getting the green light. The wind farm construction is set to begin early this fall, and, according to Reuters, “once fully operational, the wind farm will produce enough electricity to power about 400,000 homes on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.” Go Cape Wind, go!
Finally, I am not a Philadelphia Eagles fan, but it’s hard not to be when they make plans to have their football stadium off the grid by the Eagles opening day in September. The Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field plans to incorporate 2,500 solar panels, 100 wind turbines, along with a cogeneration plant that runs on biodiesel and natural gas. The upgrades will help the stadium generate more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, or enough energy to power about 260,000 homes. They expect to be making money from energy they add to the electric grid in about 20 years. So I guess, go Eagles! (When will my Bengals get on board? C’mon Bengals, you’re making me look bad—again!)