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John Hall proposes Energy R&D Campus at Indian Point

April 19, 2006

Crotonblog: Letters to the Editor, Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520
Last night at the Croton Free Library a crowd of 140 local residents gathered for a Candidate Forum of the six Democratic hopefuls who want to challenge Sue Kelly in November. During the forum, Congressional candidate John Hall announced a proposal to convert Indian Point (news) from a nuclear power plant to a long-term sustainable energy research and development campus.

The 36-page policy proposal addresses employment retention, business development and, most importantly, the actual capacity that exists today for several renewable energy sources.

Hall proposes that the Indian Point (news) shift from sole reliance on generating nuclear power to a diverse crop of alternative power sources. Under Halls proposal, Indian Point would become a demonstration site for using biodiesel and tidal power to produce electricity. Power output from biodiesel at IP would come from locally obtained plant oil, which burns much more cleanly than petroleum diesel and can use the same combustion equipment. An on site algae pond would grow the needed plant matter. Power output from tidal sources would come from harnessing the Hudsons daily tides with new state of the art low flow tide turbines. Crotonites are no strangers to tide power!

Beyond demonstration power sources, the IP R&D campus would study other renewable energy technologies: Hydroelectric sources: Low head water power is now feasible where gravity drops a water course only a few meters. Using low dams and channeling weirs that minimize fish impact, New York States hydroelectric power output could increase five fold—enough to match the power output one nuclear reactor at IP. Wind power: Cities are often located in inherently windy sites near large bodies of water; cities have the grid and rooftops already available; hence urban wind farms have an untapped potential. Solar electricity: The center would act as a test platform for emerging photovoltaic technologies and modes of installation and on theories of land use that would facilitate future PV expansion.

Halls policy proposal also addresses job retention, green architecture, and real time metering—in which we would pay the spot market price for electricity to smooth out the demand spikes. In short Halls white paper contains ideas whose proven technology exists today and could be implemented tomorrowif the political will existed.

I strongly recommend all local energy consumers read Halls impressive Indian Point sustainable energy proposal. Andy Mele, former director of Clearwater, who prepared drafted the white paper at Halls suggestion, is a widely recognized authority of long standing on these topics from his early days warning us about the pollution hazards of two stroke boat engines.

Written in everyday English, the proposal has the backing of an equally impressive coalition of other energy analysts and activists who hail from Riverkeeper, Apollo Alliance, Friends of the Bay, Sierra Club and Clearwater.

Count me as a John Hall supporter!

— Leo A. W. Wiegman Trustee (search), Village of Croton-on-Hudson


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