Getting Rid of the Grid: Part 1

Yesterday was one of those red-letter days. I’m sure it’s hard to imagine what might be so special about hanging around an industrial power plant that burns oil to make steam. It’s hot. It’s really, really loud and there’s not a lot of action.

But nevertheless, this day was special, as Crane ran its first trial to replace #6 fuel oil with bio-fuel. All indications are that the trial went well. I’ll report on the results pretty soon.

What this trial run represented was one of the first of several steps Crane is taking to end its use of fossil fuel, both as a source of heat and for electricity. In other words – getting rid of the grid. Instead, make a fuel right at Crane that can be burned to make steam for heat and papermaking, and as fuel for generating electricity.

Power that’s not just sent back to the grid and exported from the area, but power that’s used to make local products, employ local families, and support the local economy.

This story will unfold in several parts, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are some “steam punk” images from the power plant:

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