Sustainable NE Seattle

Connecting for a sustainable community

Power Sustainability for Communities

I have had a great interest in alternative energy and distributed generation for many years. I am slowly working on my home out on the Olympic Peninsula and will eventually be self-sustaining out there. I plan to provide my own electricity and tap water, sewer and some food.
Here in the city, it concerns me that the distribution lines are all running at or near capacity, and will have to be replaced with larger conductors to continue on this centralized generation that we seem so locked into.
Distributed generation on a micro scale is a viable solution to this issue. With many dwellings and small businesses producing some or all of the energy they consume and trickling it back onto the lines, we could feasibly build energy sustainable communities that require no upsizing of transmission equipment and could help neighboring communities with local power as well.
With the global value of energy and it's consumption, the residential consumers have little to say about where our energy comes from and at what price unless we begin to produce some of our own energy and consume less by altering our lifestyles a little and upgrading the devices we own that require electricity.
As more communities become active in power production, and reduce consumption, it seems as though energy will loss it's luster and become a lesser issue on a global scale.

"Some may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" John Lennon

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Comment by Sue McGann on June 8, 2010 at 12:13am
its my understanding that Seattle gets approx 75% of the annual sunlight that LA gets!!...
and that Germany, the leading country still in solar PV, get about 75% of what Seattle gets annually!
It just so happens that we get about 80% of our annual dose between the spring equinox and the fall equinox - the other 20% during the other half of the year!
"Make hay while the sun shines!"
Thankfully we still have really good hydro during the winter months with our public utility (Seattle City Light) that acts as our "battery" so we aren't getting the roughly 30% losses of trying to save energy in Pb batteries... and we also have the lowest rates in the country (BC hydro is lower up above the border) which of course makes PV supposedly "uneconomical" according to conventional "economics" - at least as it stands now temporarily...
Comment by Lonnie Fuller on June 5, 2010 at 5:55pm
I agree that home energy production will "help" us deal with peak oil and avoid some of the need for improving the grid. That said, I am curious, how are you planning on providing your own electricity in Seattle? There are so many cloudy days.

Thanks for Sharing (I may move to Seattle this summer)

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