Lessons from Raccoon Mountain

Ever try throttling back a nuclear power plant? Yeah right! Failing that, what would you do with the excess capacity? Engineers with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) faced these same challenges in the late 1960s.

Their solution was to build TVA’s largest hydroelectric facility on the top of a mountain. What??? No really, the top of the mountain. Construction began in 1970 and was completed in 1978. The Raccoon Mountain project uses excess nuclear capacity for pumping water to a reservoir on top of the mountain.

Then, when demand is high, they can tap the potential of 107 billion gallons of water, held back by a 230 foot high and 8,500 foot long dam, to generate up to 1,616 megawatts of electricity.

What can the homesteader on a hill learn from this example? Could we build home-scale Raccoon Mountains to help in balancing our own electricity generating potentials and demands? Fact is, we could. We have more options than ever before.

With the right combination of solar, wind, and hydro generators, together with a great variety of new battery solutions, we can develop more dependable ways of powering energy efficient home appliances.

In the meantime, that compost pile over there is outgassing. Any ideas?

Consider the Source

 Consider the First Source!

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word choreographed an assembly of amino acids into an exquisite array of specific proteins. Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” In so doing God demonstrated a penchant for genomic writing, preceeded by an amazing series of prebiotic events, in a highly orchestrated presentation of evolutionary overcontrol.

More about God’s Handiwork!

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