Sunday, August 10, 2008

Windmills & Salmon

1) The windmills coming in through the Port of Sacramento for the new wind farm by Rio Vista and they are some pretty big guys, as reported by Bob Shallit.

An excerpt.

“In a boon for the port's summer business, Escondido-based enXco Inc. is delivering 11 shiploads of massive components destined for the company's new Shiloh II wind farm near Rio Vista.

“About half of the parts – made in Germany and South Korea – are sitting on the ground at the port's West Sacramento facility. The rest are due in coming weeks.

“Once all have arrived, they'll be transported to the Shiloh site, where 75 turbines are expected to be in operation by year's end, eventually producing 150 megawatts of electricity for PG&E, says enXco spokeswoman Sandra Briner.

“These are big turbines, 271 feet high. Each has four sections and three blades that are 148 feet long. A complete unit weighs about 277 tons.

“Multiply that by 75 and you have better than 20,700 tons of energy-producing parts coming through the port. It's a huge piece of business – worth about $275,000, Luken says – and likely to grow, given federal tax credits offered to wind farmers.”

2) The salmon in the American River are a central part of the allure of the Parkway and that is why one of our guiding principles is: “What’s good for the salmon is good for the river.” With the settlement of people in the valley and the continued growth of our region, the need for dams to hold back the flood waters and provide for additional water storage became a priority, and to retain the salmon in the river, hatcheries are used.

While it is understandable (many folks romantasize wildness) to revere the wild salmon over those from the hatchery, as this opinion in the Bee does, the reality is that hatchery salmon, as with most species helped by human beings throughout history, have become an important part of the aquatic ecosystem and readily breed with the wild salmon, resulting in time—one assumes—in a stronger and more adaptable species that has learned to live within the world man has shaped by his need for water, the same water so beautifully populated by salmon—wild and hatchery.