Build the Energy Farm
With a national agenda and global outreach via the Solar Server, the Energy Farm will be located in the regional Southeastern United States. While California, the Pacific Northwest and New England are represented in the move towards sustainable energy, the Deep South often lags behind in the implementation of new technologies.
The Energy Farm addresses this gap by placing the Deep South on the renewable energy horizon. Our name has a folksy appeal, and this is not by accident. Consider the potential for small farmers in rural areas to turn to small-scale energy production as a viable and profitable use of their land. The methods of energy harvesting explored at the Energy Farm may one day empower the American small farmer to become an independent energy producer.
The conjunction of agriculture and energy promises tremendous benefits for all, and especially those in traditionally agrarian regions that often seem left behind by technological changes sweeping the rest of the country. Agricultural regions in the U.S. now have a unique opportunity to transcend the tech sector, producing instead the “Mother of All Technology”: raw electrical power.
The Energy Farm intends to implement and study as many sustainable energy technologies as possible; thus a rather unique site is mandated. Our non-invasive hydroelectric research dictates a creek, stream, or river with an average flow of <100 gpm and a vertical declination (head) of 50 – 100 ft. Sufficient level ground is required to build structures and engage in limited biomass tillage. A nearby ridge would offer an ideal location for wind turbines.
The southern Appalachian foothills seem most promising, as this area offers a blend of terraforms most suitable to the Energy Farm’s agenda. Sites in eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and northwest Georgia are under consideration.
State incentives are also being examined, and will to some extent dictate site selection. For instance, a state net-metering law will be an absolute necessity. Arkansas offers considerable government incentives for the development and deployment of renewable energy technology. Mississippi offers a generous loan program. North Carolina offers tax credits. Each is being weighed carefully.
Endow and Build the Fuller Library
The completion of the Fuller Library will signal the beginning of the Energy Farm’s educational and media missions. The idea is to pool sustainable energy resources â€“ and the Fuller Library will be that pool. This goal is attained upon the raising of the library structure, an initial acquisition of books and other information resources, and the securing of an adequate endowment to sustain the library.
Bring the Solar Server online
This goal is accomplished with the emergence of the Solar Server on the World Wide Web â€“ powered entirely by renewable energy. This union of computer technology and renewable energy technology effectively underscores the viability of renewable energy in a technological society. This is an important message: Sustainable living is not antithetical to our high-tech culture. Indeed, it dovetails with it quite nicely.
Self-sufficiency and Co-generation
During its initial phases, the Energy Farm facility will use more energy that it can produce. As parallel production systems are brought into service, our energy draw from utility sources will steadily diminish, leading eventually to an appreciable net surplus. Energy production goals are to be met in two phases: self-sufficiency and co-generation.
1) The goal of self-sufficiency is met when the Farm’s annual energy production meets or exceeds annual onsite energy consumption. Surpluses during this time are to be directed to a deficit account representing the energy used in the early phases of the project. Once the goal of self-sufficiency is met, we turn our sights to the next goal: co-generation.
2) The goal of co-generation is met when the Energy Farm has recouped the electrical energy expended in the construction phase of the project and surplus green energy flows continually onto the North American power grid. These surpluses will be reflected by cash reimbursements from the local utility as required under net-metering law, making the Energy Farm a not-for-profit provider of Green Energy certificates.
The sale of surplus renewable electricity on the open market fulfills the concept of energy farming.
We expect the work done at the Energy Farm to produce a considerable amount of viable and practical information pertaining to the “nuts-and-bolts” of renewable energy application. This information will be made available to the general public via the Solar Server. Such practical advice and experience will play a crucial role in helping ordinary Americans make the switch to renewable energy.
The Energy Farm expects to play an ever-expanding role in the switch to renewable energy. We seek to share the knowledge of renewable energy with young and old alike. Our plans call for primary and secondary school outreach â€“ including school visits, field trips, and in-school educational displays and kiosks.
College and university outreach will include cooperative projects with engineering departments, campus lectures, and the general engagement of college students in the political and environmental questions relevant to a paradigm shift in United States energy practices. Our proposed co-generation facility offers an outstanding environment for classes seeking hands-on experience with renewable energy technology and techniques.
The Energy Farm’s dynamic Web presence, via the Solar Server, offers continuing education, breaking news, and a wellspring of information to the public at large. It is our intention to continually disseminate the facts and statistics necessary for Americans to make informed energy decisions. This represents an educational outreach to the American public.
Last but certainly not least, the borderless nature of the World Wide Web ensures that our advocacy will reach far beyond U.S. borders to the other nations around the world facing the same energy and environmental issues now facing these United States.
The Energy Farm will pursue its goal of a sustainable energy future for the United States of America through lean and smart media placements and public relations activities. These are to include press releases, public service announcements, magazine ads, personal availability for interviews and debates â€“ in addition to the aforementioned educational outreach. Our message is to be upbeat, emphasizing the positive potentials of a clean energy conversion.
We trust our friends in the broader environmental movement to emphasize the negative consequences of undisciplined fossil fuel consumption. The Energy Farm’s approach is distinctly different: We will present the changeover to clean energy as a matter of national security, economic stability and personal freedom.
Our appeal is to the patriotism of Americans, rather than their environmental consciences; and this approach is certain to bring new life and wider consensus to the growing cause of renewable energy.
The revolution in American energy technology begins at home. The Energy Farm, via the Solar Server, will keep the American consumer apprised of changes and improvements in domestic energy-saving technology. By tracking the cost-effectiveness of these technologies, we offer the general public a vital resource in deciding when and how to take part in the changeover to energy-efficient living.