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Ground broken for Lodi Energy Center, which aims to provide cheap energy

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Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 6:00 am | Updated: 5:51 am, Wed Jul 14, 2010.

Seven months ago Larry Hansen held his new baby granddaughter for the first time. Yesterday, he announced the groundbreaking of Lodi’s new energy center. The Lodi city councilman was hard-pressed to decide which moment was more precious.

As a chairman of the Northern California Power Agency, the nonprofit organization in charge of the plant, Hansen has watched this project grow from its initial inception six years ago. He said the Lodi Energy Center will create new jobs; provide clean, cheaper and more reliable energy to Lodians; beneficially utilize Lodi’s sewage treatment water; and add a steady stream of funding to the city.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Kevin Paglia posted at 1:23 pm on Mon, Aug 16, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    Jerome: Saw this and immediately remembered our discussion here. NOT saying this is what I have in mind but it's getting us closer.


  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:01 pm on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    Since I engaged in the alternative power debate I thoughtIi would pass on this story from my home page http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6671WK20100708?feedType=RSS&feedName=scienceNews&rpc=76

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 11:26 am on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    I agree with ideas and thoughts from both Kevin and Jerome,
    I think we should not go backwards but go forward with technology and improve upon what is already developed. However, I think Kevin’s ideas and other ideas like his should be included in the mix and be an alternative for those who think like Kevin. This should not be an either or situation.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:13 am on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    Oh I hope we can do better as well. I've heard of a few alternatives to fossil fuels (algae of all things was one of them http://www.technologyreview.com/biztech/20319/ ). I'd still pedal myself everywhere I could, I grew up on a bike and love the feel of providing my own power. But Our current turmoil will NOT solve itself until we think differently than what we did to get ourselves into this mess.

    My big push is that I don't want to wait until we HAVE to develop the tech to work on it. I'd rather start aggressively now and have 50 years of development before we really need it.

    If we had an open forum on here I would go into the top 5 techs I think need to be developed NOW before we need them in 50 years. Boy would that spur some discourse. Maybe I'll do a LTE.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 8:40 am on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I appreciate the civil discourse, Mr. Paglia - at this point with your invention still in R&D and the nation in turmoil I'll stick with my little blue car. Of course my main point is that for a country who put a man on the moon and built a space station (and those are just for starters), I'm hopeful we can do better than a manually-powered cycle to transport us along the Interstate and to the Super Wal-Mart.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:22 am on Wed, Jul 14, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    JRK, In order of your letter: Who ever gets this kind of tech going doesn't need to get get people behind it, the market will do that itself. When gas starts hitting 5$ a gallon as a norm then people will be screaming for a non-gas solution. If I did the advertising my commercials would be just a bunch of gas prices and some guy shooting by.

    America has a real problem with it's weight. One of the simplistically beautiful side-effects of my "contraption" is that it will help a little with that. Let's see, save on gas, lose weight, live longer help the environment, where's the problem with that. And have you been on the freeways lately? I see many electric cars out there. My concept may not be perfect for everyone, but even just 1/2% of the total cars replaced with my idea would have a real impact, one million cars+ of less pollution.

    And thinking advance is exactly what this is doing. At some point in the future we WILL run out of gas. Do we wait until we are out before we plan for it or start now. My Contraption may be impractical to most, but maybe it inspires someone else to build a better contraption. Doing what we are doing now is not the solution. Thinking beyond our generation is.

    I'll grant most of you last paragraph. We should be exploiting our own resources and get off of foreign powers for our energy needs.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:45 pm on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Mr. Paglia, while I applaud your efforts, getting enough people behind such technology to make any real difference will be inherently difficult, if not impossible.

    Personally, I don't accept that current situations mandate that we revert to times similar to the Great Depression or even before the Industrial Revolution. Are we so devoid of imagination that the best we can do is modify a pedal-powered contraption that would have someone perform manual labor for 10-15 minutes to relax for an hour under whatever power it might generate? And on a highway designed for high speed?

    I sense your idea of “changing our mentality” is actually doing an about face on everything we’ve accomplished so far. We need to advance; not retreat.

    We've got bigger problems than worrying about burning a few extra gallons of gasoline. We're sitting on millions of barrels of oil that has gone untouched because of junk science (global warming) and an administration bent on bankrupting the nation under Cap and Trade. The current Gulf debacle could have been managed had the President of the United States not dithered while oil reached the beaches. Does anyone think this wasn't done by design? If Obama is as smart as everyone believed (past tense) him to be, there's no way he didn't know what he was doing. The question is - what IS he doing?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:58 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    Huh? why the duplicate posting? And with one inbetween.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:52 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    My theoretical car can look like any other car out there or radically different depending on the drivers needs. During bouts of insomnia I've envisioned single person, two person truck, and family versions. (Can you see the family trip now: Billy stop hitting your sister, you have that mush energy engage your pedals and drive.) Even if the pedaling doesn't supply enough power creative use of Tesla coils can amp up the power. If this were as viable as I think it is then pollution and oil dependance would become a thing of the past.

    There are alternatives to fossil fuels, it just takes changing our mentality to make it work.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:47 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2111

    Jerome, I have to disagree with your last paragraph there. Pedal power is a real alternative for saving on fossil fuels. Since I got my 4-wheel bike I save about a fill-up a month (maybe 2 fillups every 3 months), as many errand as I can is ran on it. All that time pedaling has given me a differant perspective. That is that pedal power is viable for town travel. Here's how using current tech (and i wish I had the money to get thisstarted):

    First there are crank generators out there that can be powered by cycling. Using a fly-wheel and increasing gear ratios with little more energy that walking or a slow cruise on a bike, you can crank the generator with pleanty of power to supply a battery assembly. Those batteries would inturn power an electric engine. Current electric engines can maintain highway speeds. Once the engine is in motion then gears on the axils would crank a second set of cranks to return energy to secondary generators which recharge teh batteries. I know there will be energy loss but long distances are possible in this configuration. A power guage would replace the fuel gauge. A driver may only have to pedal 10-15 minutes for every hour driving. Add to that solar panels to charge the car and power can be built even when sitting still. Passanger assists will add even more.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:04 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Mr. Bransom, regarding those nifty electric cars and bicycling: nice pie-in-the-sky thinking, but hardly practical. There's been talk of electric vehicles for a very long time, but I believe it's the batteries that keep them going that have them stumped still. The components are incredibly expensive, not necessarily eco-friendly and then there's the issue of what to do with them once they've worn out (to name but a few obstacles).

    As for manual labor to propel folks around, riding a bicycle for fun and exercise are all they're good for. I suspect that the notion of using them in any serious effort to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels will be minimal.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:57 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Let's see - actually hard-pressed wondering which was more "precious," holding one's newborn grandchild for the first time or shoveling a few pounds of dirt?

    I wonder how the parents of his new granddaughter felt about this quandary. Hansen might very well be proud of this accomplishment, but someone clearly needs to get his priorities in order. Or perhaps the reporter took a statement out of context?

    Regardless, I would think the answer would have been a no-brainer.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 9:54 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Spend money to save money? How long does this new plant have to operate before it is at a "break even" point? If it is like most goverment projects that will be NEVER. And, what does this mean for Lodi Electricity rate payers? Future reductions in electric bills? If you believe that, I have some very valuable swampland in Florida I will sell you cheap.

  • Jerry Bransom posted at 6:19 am on Tue, Jul 13, 2010.

    Jerry Bransom Posts: 364

    This is a progressive use of funds. I am happy to see it. America's communities need to focus more on new technology and get away from the "Business as usual" practices that some think are a better choice. Now, on to electric cars and more bicycling awareness..



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