Monday, October 13, 2008

Fremont 79 Goes Green!

I can't believe how proud a moment this is! Could it be that I'm teaching in one of the greenest school districts in the state? While I don't have trouble showing my environmentally green colors, my own Fremont District 79 is planning to power itself using sustainable wind power! This is Illinois, right? While we do have some green initiatives, we are no California or Vermont. One could probably count the amount of wind turbines in Illinois on one hand. Just to offer some evidence, this picture from Lee County, Illinois proves that turbines do, actually exist here.

The original report from the Chicago Tribune states that a recent "study of area wind patterns presented to the School Board... determined the breeze blows strong enough to provide energy for the school district, confirming what many had suspected. Estimates suggest the district would tap only 80 percent of the electricity generated."

You mean we'd actually have power left over? That means that Fremont would be able to sell that power back to the grid, and actually make money off of this initiative.

The economy is having troubles, if you haven't heard. While I'm excited that this district is reacting to economic issues in such a positive way, I wonder: is this the beginning of a "green economy" in America? I mean, instead of us worrying about whether or not we go into another depression, is it possible that, instead, we emerge from this economic stress utilizing green technology as a way to help us cut costs and save money?

This is certainly evidence that one district is taking matters into it's own hands, and leading a charge that could definitely cause a domino effect. How much does the Chicago Public School system pay in electric bills? Could we soon see the completely underutilized Lake Michigan as a haven for wind or water turbines? Wisconsin has been trying to build wind turbines on the lake for about 5 years, and that plight is highlighted in this Washington Post article. They still won't see any action on their plan until 2009.

Whether it be because of global warming or economics, the fact that Fremont and other districts are finally turning to alternative energies is a good, positive reaction from this economic stress. Now, maybe the lowly consumer can get a break- soon- with these alternatives.

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