Green Communities

July 25, 2008

How much more Green could one be than to live in a community powered completely by alternative energy? There are several communities where you can do just that if you so desire.

Johnny Depp’s island may be getting most of the press this week. Three years ago, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star purchased a 35 acre island in the Bahamas. Now Depp is purchasing a solar hydrogen energy system from New Jersey engineer Mike Strizki. The system first generates electricity via solar cells. Excess electricity powers an electrolyzer which separates a tank of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is released into the atmosphere and the hydrogen is stored, to be used in the winter or other times when the solar panels do not generate enough electricity. The price tag makes this system less than practical for most, ranging from $250,000 - $500,000, depending on the size of the home.

Rock Port, Missouri has become the first US town to be solely powered via wind generators owned by the Loess Hill Wind Farm. The rural town of 1,300 is in the midst of 75 wind turbines spread over three counties. However, only 4 turbines are needed to power all of Rock Port.

Drake Landing, a bedroom community of 52 homes, in Alberta, Canada is powered solely by solar energy. 800 solar panels line garage roofs supply 1.5 megawatts of electricity on a typical summer day. The homes have other green features including upgraded insulation, recycled materials incorporated into the drywall, superior insulation and more.

Rizhao, China is another solar powered city. Solar water heaters are used by 99% of all homes and the price of a new solar water heater is very close to that of a conventional water heater. Solar energy also powers traffic and street lights as well as 60,000 greenhouses.

All in all, these are some exciting starts to Greenifying our communities!


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