Protecting Afognak’s Native Species
The preservation of natural forest habitat is essential for the continued survival of these species. The Afognak wildlife and Native peoples co-existed for centuries on the island before the towering Sitka spruce trees first took hold some 800 years ago. Afognak is home to a 200-year-old forest. This pristine environment also has an increasingly important environmental value: the old-growth trees sequester millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide. This creates a new resource opportunity for the forest and habitat based on their environmental benefits. The Afognak forest carbon project has retained large tracts of undisturbed native trees (180-250 years old) and regenerated trees' growth over the past 30 years. Besides protecting the habitat, the project also prevents land disruption from logging and GHG emissions from the logging process.
Energizing the Soul of Montana
In the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Northwest Montana, just south of the Canadian border, lies an area that is known for its forests, lakes, and rivers that create a picturesque landscape of the American West. This area is known for its rugged wilderness and 71 species of mammals, ranging from the tiny pygmy shew to the majestic elk to the wolverine (currently a threatened endangered species) – most of which is protected by Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park. This little slice of Heaven is known as Flathead Valley, and in the center of it sits the town of Kalispell, MT – the Soul of Montana. Kalispell is home to many residents and hosts thousands of adventurers who come into the valley to ski, camp, hike, fish, and explore. So, with all this year-round beauty, how can there possibly be an issue here? Well, as is the case with anywhere there are people, there is also trash. Lots of trash, which creates environmental issues. Fortunately, with more people also comes the need for more energy, which in itself creates opportunity.
In 2009, in partnership with the Flathead County Landfill, Flathead Electric Cooperative created the first landfill gas-to-energy plant in Montana. This new project offered many benefits to the community, including a new source of clean energy, job opportunities, reduced greenhouse gases, odor control, and improved air and water quality.
Educating the Next Energy Generation Workforce
Set on a 36,000-acre plot in South Dakota and comprising of 108 1.5MW wind turbines, the Crow Lake Wind Farm displaces fossil fuel-generated energy, meeting growing demands with clean energy and helping drive a low carbon future for the mid-west. In addition to generating clean energy, the project is building the next generation-in-energy workforce. American wind power supports more than 120,000 jobs. Mitchell Technical College, located in Mitchell, South Dakota, created a Wind Turbine Technology program in 2009 to give local students a new career option. The program teaches students how to meet the workforce challenges of the wind industry and provides a fast track to these high-demand, well-paying jobs. The college received a generous donation of a wind turbine from NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the Crow Lake Wind Farm owner and operator, to provide their students with hands-on training.
Sustainable Development Through Clean Energy
Solar projects generate renewable, clean energy from the sun. The Gujarat Solar Project in India has a capacity of 25 MW that will generate electricity for export to the regional electricity grid under a power purchase agreement with the Gujarat State Electricity Utility (Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited). This project also contributes to sustainable development by bringing social, economic, environmental, and technological well-being to the area where it is implemented. It has led to local employment in the region, creating direct and indirect economic benefits, development of local infrastructure, and improved electricity generation capacity to the grid.