Thursday, June 10, 2010

Zucchini, collards, and NJ wind power

Both sex therapies on my zucchini flowers were successful! I will harvest at least two zucchini in the next few days. Until two years ago I harvested my first zucchini on June 26, and last year I was surprised that it was June 21. This year I expect to have zucchini dinner on June 13.

Oddly enough, none of my broccolis are showing any signs of heading. Usually I harvest broccoli weeks before zucchini. Life is endlessly surprising.

We had our first full meal yesterday with snap peas as the vegetable. We're each eating a small tomato every day this week, which is early but pleasant. We have enormous quantities of collards, Chinese cabbage, and lettuce, so we're eating well. Other good news is that I still do have sugar snap vines.

I forward below first a message from Gray Russell, Montclair's Environmental Outreach Coordinator in response to my query about local wind power.


Montclair's Water Bureau employs two wind turbines which are small, helix-type generators. That means their blades look more like an egg-beater than a wind mill. They are really experimental, but serve as a good model for further wind technologies. Although these are small turbines, Montclair is one of the only towns in NJ with any wind power at all.

Of course, we have the beautiful 7.5-megawatt (MW) Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm in Atlantic City - visible from the Atlantic City Expressway (more than 30 million visitors see it every year) - which is the first coastal wind farm in the United States. It consists of five (5) 397-foot-tall wind turbines, each generating 1.5 MW of electricity. The project produces approximately 19 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is enough emission-free energy to power over 2,000 homes. The electricity is used by both the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) Wastewater Treatment Plant, and delivered to the regional electric grid.

And the NJ BPU is studying plans for the nation's first off-shore wind farms, off the coast of NJ, which could host as many as 300 wind turbines and supply 3,000 megawatts - far more than a nuclear power plant - while helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent in the next decade.


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