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Re: E-M:/ Letter to the Editor, Christian Science Monitor



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Enviro-Mich message from David Wright <wrightda@comcast.net>
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Traverse City Light and Power is investigating a biomass-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) plant to provide electricity and district heating to Traverse City. A summary of the conference can be found at the TCLP website www.tclp.org. Traverse City was also the first utility to do a green power program and installed the first utility scale wind turbine in Michigan.

We tend to focus on the environmental issues related to the burning of coal in power plants while not looking too closely at the issues related to the extraction and processing of coal. Mountains in Appalachia are being raised to get to coal seams. The debris is being deposited into the rivers and streams in the region. Once the coal is extracted, it is then "washed" to remove impurities. The waste from the washing is kept in impoundments. In October 2000 an impoundment in Martin, Kentucky failed. 245 million gallons of coal slurry containing heavy metals and other nasty compounds washed down the Big Sandy River in Kentucky. The immediate aftermath resulted in the closing of 5 municipal water treatment plants. Slurry still washes out of the region today. To learn more about these issues check out the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC) website, www.ohvec.org.

We have the know-how to efficiently create and use clean energy. The waste heat examples Alex described, the efficiency examples being implemented by Urban Options, and the example TCLP and other municipal utilities are implementing are all pieces of the solution. Building more coal-fired power plants is not the answer for Michigan when we have many untapped opportunities to improve our efficiency and to begin using local, renewable resources.

David Wright

At 02:23 AM 4/9/2006, Alexander J. Sagady wrote:

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Enviro-Mich message from "Alexander J. Sagady" <ajs@sagady.com>
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At 08:29 PM 04/07/2006, William Tobler wrote:
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>Enviro-Mich message from William Tobler <williamtobler@critterswoods.org>
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>
>The "waste" heat is a big percentage of the total.
>It's been a long time since I studied powerplants, but I expect
>the thermal efficiency to be something on the order of 40%, which means
>60% is waste heat that could be used for lower level industrial processes
>and lastly for space heating.
>
>Instead, we use the "high quality" energy (electricity) and turn it into
>low quality energy (space heating).

Bill, here are two Michigan entities that "get it" when it comes to
combined heat and power that uses the "waste" heat from electricity generation:


MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

http://www.chems.msu.edu/classes/321/powerplant/

http://environmental.jrn.msu.edu/football/powerfootballfull.html

AND

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

http://www.p2000.umich.edu/energy_conservation/ec4.htm

http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/9697/May20_97/artcl11.htm

http://www.plant.bf.umich.edu/utilities/CentralPowerPlant/

http://www.umich.edu/~urecord/0506/Dec12_05/12.shtml


I think Wayne State University participates in district heating provided by DTE Energy.

I think CMU is using biomass-fired co-generation, but I couldn't
find any web resources on their facility.



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==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"
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