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The bright side

Dear Editor:

The new electrical generation plans brought online in the first two months of 2014 were 92 percent renewable energy in the United States. Six new wind farms were commissioned, three geothermal facilities were brought on line and 25 new solar PV plants were connected to the grid of power transmission. In the first two months.

Only one new natural gas electric plant was brought on-line during this period of time.

One wind farm provides 73 megawatts. Four solar arrays provide 73 megawatts for California Con-Ed to replace the two huge nuclear reactors at San Onofre located between LA and San Diego along the coast line. They have been shut down and are attempting decommissioning activities.

Illinois has 91 communities that have achieved 100-percent renewable electric energy. Each of the communities used group buying power to purchase electricity with renewable energy credits. The state is one of six that allows community choice aggregation (CCA), a system where residents can use their bulk purchasing to solicit bids from energy providers. The other states are New Jersey, Ohio, California, Rhode Island, Massachusetts. The 91 communities represent 1.7-million people Oak Park Village, Ill. as first U.S. city to achieve 100-percent renewable electric generation.

The wind in Spain blows mostly on the plain.

In 2013 wind power beat out nuclear power as the top source of electric energy in Spain. 17,056 megawatts were produced by wind at 3:49 p.m. one day. Solar PV and wind accounted for 49.1 percent of total installed capacity.

Wind farms in the U.S. last year saved 36.5 billion gallons of water that would have been evaporated to cool coal and nuclear power plants to produce the same amount of power.

James Bruvold

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.