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.*

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