Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Little Power Plant That Could... and does!

Just imagine if you could take old pallets, wood chips that would otherwise be forest fire fuel and other wood waste and turn it into POWER. That’s just what Greenleaf Power’s Honey Lake Power Plant as been doing since 1989. I recently got to tour HLP thanks to Public Relations Manager at LMUD Theresa Phillips and Plant Manager Ralph Sanders. Ralph has been Plant Manager since before HLP was even completed, he did retire for 5 years in 2012 but he’s back. I asked our own Mr Wizard, Martin Balding owner of Balding Energy Enterprise, if he would like to go with me. This place is seriously cool. Really cool, even when you’re standing by the furnace. The air smells wonderful like a forest, no belching smoke here. What you see coming from the chimneys is steam, so much steam I asked if it was starting to rain. A small footprint that creates power, enough power to run all of LMUD. Incredible. To me it will always be the little power plant that could. All that wood waste is reduced by 98% by the time it is turned to ash. Wow 

When a truck arrives it backs onto the lift and after the driver has safely exited the truck is lifted to a 62* angle to unload. I asked Ralph why they do it this way, other than it is quite a sight to see, he told me it takes 8 minutes to unload this way. Theresa pointed out she can’t unload her groceries in 8 minutes. Truly, I don’t know how this plant could be more efficient and kind to our Honey Lake Valley. Oh wait, did I mention they use the existing geothermal to preheat? Yeah, that too. What an operation. It was one of the best field trips I’ve ever taken. Every year Johnstonville School gets to tour and HLP sometimes opens to the general public for a day in the fall, if they do this year I’ll let you know.

Thanks LMUD and HLP for working together to keep us ENERGIZED!

*Green Grocerette tip of the week~ Keep cutting boards beautiful by rubbing with a little olive oil after washing.*

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Stan Bales

One of my very favorite things when I lived in town was the trail system in Susanville Ranch Park. Rick and I spent many lunch hours out on our mountain bikes on what we, and a bunch of LoCaL riders referred to as recess! Some would even head out for night rides. It was A BIG FAT BLAST! I don't ride as much as I used to and since I live outside of town now it's easier to get on my road bike when I do. BUT. I think that may all change soon.                                                 
BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Stan Bales likes nothing better than to create and share all the great outdoor opportunities right out our backdoor, he’s been doing it for what seems like forever. As a matter of fact I once heard that when Isaac Roop arrived here he was standing on the high ground overlooking the site where the depot now sits. Roop looked over to his right hand man and said “Stan, this would be a great place for a railroad depot.” Okay. Maybe not THAT long, but still. Anyway, for awhile now he’s been telling me about the new trails on Bald Mountain. I had no idea how developed this trail system was AND it’s only going to grow. The plan is to have 6 different loops so you can ride, walk, run, as many or few as you like.
The trails are accessed off Byers Pass Rd. Currently equestrians, mountain bikers, runners and walkers are out there enjoying 360* views of the Honey Lake Valley! Bring your pooch! How lucky are we to live in such a gorgeous, outdoorsy place?

Thank you Stan Bales for all you do!

*Green Grocerette tip of the week~ clothespins make great bag clips for a fraction of the price!*

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