A reservation in South Dakota is going but modern, with a huge new project ensuring all of the transmission lines stay underground, incorporating over 37 conditions to be conscientious of threatened species and cultural resources on the land.

"Lookout Solar expects to complete construction of the $100 million facility, built on approximately 810 acres on the Pine Ridge Reservation, by the second quarter of 2021. The proposed project is expected to include up to 500,000 solar panels, an energy storage facility, access roads, underground 34.5 kV electrical collector lines, an underground fiber-optic cable, a collection substation, an operations and maintenance facility and temporary construction areas.
“The one thing that I want to highlight in this particular project is the fact that these folks are placing their transmission line underground. We’ve not seen that anywhere else. Much to their credit, this applicant has chosen the underground option to ensure there’s minimal impact on the viewscape. I certainly appreciate them making that effort,” said PUC Vice Chairman Chris Nelson."

"The lease agreement is the first of its kind for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The company involved with the reservation to build the solar project has agreed to follow 37 conditions during construction related to restoration, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources reporting and other requirements."

The Pine Ridge project, capable of generating up to 110 megawatts of electricity, will have 500,000 solar panels in arrays across 250 acres. "



Community projects "greenlit" in NY State.

"Community solar ... allows households to receive the benefits of solar energy without having to install panels on a rooftop. Roughly half of residences in the U.S. can’t host a solar installation because the occupants don’t own the property, or the roof is too old, too shady, or faces the wrong way for optimal sun exposure. Community solar eliminates these issues. Instead of buying and installing solar panels on a home or property, a person can subscribe to a portion of a large solar project nearby, often with a number of other people who live in the area. A portion of the electricity generated by these projects gets credited directly to a subscriber’s utility bill and the subscriber typically gets a discount on their total electricity costs. "


(2/n) cont'd :yoda:

When I happened across an article titled "We Don't Mine Enough Rare Earth Metals to Replace Fossil Fuels With Renewable Energy", my internal skeptic kicked in.

So of course, my first instinct was to look for more sources: other established experts whose professional opinions align. What do they mean, exactly, when they say "Rare Earth", and how are they applying it there?

Such research can take a person deep down the rabbit hole. Research into the legitimacy of opposing and differing views, however, is *always* worth it; a attitude ought to be open to information from multiple angles, even if it's info that "interferes" with an established world view.

:rainbowsheep: :yaysun:

That metals, plastic, and even industrial waste are just about everywhere is a of modern society as it exists today. One of the biggest problems with global industrialism is the built-in (but probably erroneous) assumption that everything should be scaled out to "production" quality and transported as far as it can be transported for limitless business growth.

That's a stupid assumption, obviously, because the greater the distance of transport, the more middlemen need to get involved. Like everything else involving supply-chains, it's the middlemen who tend to do the most damage.

BTW should I mention that while my employer* includes the best metallurgists on the planet, Ecosteader is an entirely non-affiliated side project I started before I was hired. All digital-based work I do here is for the public benefit (we are legally a B Corp). No income from this project has ever been collected.

* ecosteader.com/@indie/10283303

More reading:


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How about a break from all of the climate-related fire and storm disaster news for a nice prose-infusion on a based community infrastructure? :bio_mech:

Distributed and decentralized is the path to infrastructure amid escalating climate uncertainty.

A locally-administered Mastodon instance is to the Fediverse what a neighborhood microgrid is to the backup potential of the grid as a whole.

A is an independent electric grid that can operate as a node independent of the central power grid. It allows for a steady power supply even when an outage on the main grid happens. Several types of energy can be used to "collaborate" on a microgrid's design (See "The Neighbors Theory" on QE) for energy and informational storage capacity ideas.

Some big IFs to keep in mind:

(1) Photovoltaic panels make use of (and therefore contribute to the mining of) rare earth materials; mined materials are not sustainable. Continents with a hefty or spreading desert / problem are evidence of this.

(2) Electricity generation from renewable sources can be intermittent and variable depending on many factors including time of day and weather. What kind of energy your grid should be powered on depends on how well you can predict climate change.

(3) Distribution protection: when power generation happens within the distribution system, energy flows both ways, making voltage regulation especially difficult.

(4) While "rare earth" metal recycling can be done, recycling on the whole ought to be preceded by "Reduce, Reuse". What do you care enough to reuse? What does your town care enough to recycle?



Interesting design making agriculture in "hot and dry coastal regions" all the more efficient...

It a seawater-powered and it's engineered to work with the variety of climatological region that has easy access to salt water, but maybe not fresh water... yet still do water-intensive agriculture.

"A greenhouse produces crops year-round in hot dry areas using only seawater and sunlight. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce, strawberries, herbs—anything that can be grown in traditional greenhouses—can be grown in seawater greenhouses. The award-winning technology, invented by Seawater Greenhouse Ltd. founder Charlie Paton, was inspired by the natural water cycle where seawater heated by the sun evaporates, cools to form clouds, and returns to earth as precipitation."

"The idea behind the process is simple. It combines two unlimited resources - sunlight and seawater - to provide ideal growing conditions for crops in hot, arid environments.

The innovation [uses] the cooling and humidifying power of water vapor produced from evaporating salt water. Using modeling and simulation techniques developed in collaboration with our partners at Aston University, we are able to process local climate data to predict greenhouse performance and inform the design. The combined effect of reducing temperature and increasing humidity, together with providing a protected environment for crops, results in up to 90% reduction in Evapotranspiration. This to greatly reduced irrigation requirements, which can be provided by desalination, and improved growing conditions."

Sources: blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/02/


This one is for my pals @sunbeam.city 🤟

So in July of 1974, the "old-timey hippie" generation (my parents' generation) was in their mid 20's to mid 30-ish. Those hippies had just barely just convinced the world that it probably wasn't the best idea to go on with the catastrophic pollution crisis which Mother Jones so bluntly captured here: motherjones.com/politics/2011/

They were pioneers of their own right, showing that those toxic chemicals were a poor replacement for the natural energy of the sun, which can be used to meet all of our human needs for energy in one form or another.

From the magazine featured below, they shared a design of a . It's based on the concept of a Fresnel Lens, a sort of "grooved" lens that is specifically designed to concentrate rays into a high-heat situation to cook food or make an oven!

Just goes to show that high-tech does not need to be elite-tech.

Happy Memorial Day to the generation that knew we didn't need GUNS to make peace.


Melg'puguasit, we stand with Wet'suwet'en. Decolonize: "Traditional Ecological Knowledge" (TEK) is the only thing that can help humans as a colonized planet continues to sink deeper into the chaos and destruction of broken, inequitable, and faulty systems that value money over Earth's many forms of life. We encourage you to join us on a better path as we build and participate in an Ecological Democracy that includes #AllThePeople as envisioned by Mark Charles, a Navajo Nation member running as an Independent candidate for President. #LivingWalls, not border walls. The Earth does not sustain white supremacists.