Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

The G.O.R.E. Project: The Race to Build the Biggest Wind Farm

BusinessWeek’s Green Business section has a post from Adam Aston detailing the new race to build the nation’s largest wind farm—and the leading contender is…an oil man! From the article:
UK-based New Energy Finance released a note today summarizing some news in the wind market that really blew my mind. In fairly short order, the US has become home to the largest wind farms in the world. The title today is held by Texas’ Horse Hollow wind farm with 291 turbines and 735MW of capacity. The way things are going, that’s going to look meager in a few years. Oil-billionaire and newly minted green evangelist T. Boone Pickens (father of the Pickens Plan) is proceeding with a 4,000MW project in the Texas panhandle. Last week, an even bigger project stole Picken’s thunder: BP Alternative Energy and Clipper Windpower, a turbine maker, announced a project to treble their Rolling Thunder project in South Dakota to over 5,000MW. The project would involve some 2,000 turbines.
It’s great to see that wind is now being taken seriously. The technology has been around long enough and matured to a point that it is now being seen as proven in the eyes of big-money energy investors. I’m also glad to see such initiatives taking root in the heart of Oil Country. The only problem I see with giant wind farms is that they do little to help decentralize our energy production. This means that electricity created in southern Texas will need to travel hundreds—if not thousands—of miles over inefficient energy lines before it reaches its point of use. This could mean that a large portion of the electricity generated could be lost to system inefficiencies. The solution is community wind projects, if possible. Or even a wind tower for every home (which we’ll cover for The GORE Project soon). SkyStream seems to be the leading manufacturer of residentially-sized wind turbines. [Worth noting: a home wind turbine could just as easily be integrated into MIT’s ground-breaking energy storage system as photovoltaic panels—allowing the production of electricity when the wind isn’t blowing.] How SkyStream Works SkyStream in Action


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..

A Man Apart: Remembering Bill Coperthwaite’s Radical Life

A Man Apart is the story—part family memoir and part biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s longtime friendship with Bill Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life), whose unusual, and even radical, life and fierce ideals helped them examine and understand their own. Framed by Coperthwaite’s sudden death and brought alive through the month-long adventure of building with […] Read More..