Company Wants to Generate Hydro Power in Keene

An existing dam in Keene may soon generate electricity. The dam was built in the 1800s. It hasn’t generated electricity. A locally owned company, West Street Hydro, recently applied for permission from the city and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to modify the dam so it can be used to generate electricity.

The dam is on the Ashuelot River.

A New Way to Save Money and the Planet

New technology lets people insulate and seal leaks in homes and other buildings cheaply. An infrared video camera with a portable screen attached lets anyone see cold air entering a building through cracks and gaps, while a fan creates negative pressure inside the building. Then people can seal the gaps with inexpensive caulk or “foam in a can.” Finally, a so-called “blower door test” is done to make sure the building isn’t so airtight that it will be unhealthy for the people inside. A photo of the equipment used for this test is at:

Keene Will Spend $2 Million on Solar Panels, Energy Efficiency

On December 16, the Keene city council voted to spend about $2 million on energy efficiency and solar power for city-owned buildings. In 12 years, the investment will pay for itself. After that, the city will be making a profit from the investment.

The move means the city will be significantly reducing air pollution and its contribution to global warming.

Solar panels will go up at city hall. More efficient space heating and lights will be installed in municipal buildings.

Photos: Volunteers Install a Solar Water Heater

On May 22, volunteers from the Greenfield-based group Co-op Power installed a solar water heater near Brattleboro. Farmer Elizabeth Wood showed one of the volunteers her dairy goats. To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image." More information is at photos by Eesha Williams

Mass., Vermont Plan for Clean Energy, Universal High-Speed Internet

In a move that could be repeated in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the state of Vermont is poised to discourage companies from building cell phone towers that look like fake trees and will offer subsidies to encourage the companies to instead build electricity-generating windmills to hold up their cell phone antennas.