At a Downtown Commission meeting July 14, Assistant City Manager Rachel Wood said that portions of the 60-day downtown safety and cleanliness pilot have transitioned into ongoing services.
The microgrid includes 2 megawatts of solar panel capacity and 4.4 MW of battery storage. Those resources are enough to power the entire town for an extended period if its connection to the main grid is disrupted.
“Chemical defoliation creates an environmental eyesore that detracts from the natural beauty, which has gotten uglier and uglier week by week.”
“I have found out that Duke has a cutoff date of May 31 for each year, and then they pocket my excess energy.”
“So this city/area that gets its tourists from its mountain beauty is going to have a new landmark in its center? Trees, etc., give way to a maze of ‘electric hardware’?”
“If you want candle power for Asheville, go for it.”
“We need more trees, not less!”
“What may have initially made sense on a map fails completely in reality.”
Both Buncombe County and the city of Asheville have resolved that, by the end of 2030, government operations will be powered entirely by renewable energy. With less than eight years until that deadline, what progress has been made toward the energy goals?
The land, purchased by Conserving Carolina, falls roughly halfway between the current Island Ford and Hap Simpson Park access points, which are separated by nearly 10 miles of river. Morrow Landing’s placement will therefore facilitate shorter trips by less experienced river users and improve access for emergency responders.
A study conducted by MountainTrue found an average of 19 microplastic particles — pieces smaller than 5 millimeters, formed by the breakdown of larger plastics — per liter of water in local river systems. Exposure to microplastics has been tied to allergic reactions and other health impacts in humans, as well as negative effects on fish.
“But Duke Energy has filed a proposal with the N.C. Utilities Commission that would eliminate the financial benefits of these systems and destroy several thousand good jobs.”
The charging station program, funded by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality from part of the state’s allocation in the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal, partially defrays the cost of installing Level 2 infrastructure, which can recharge electric vehicles up to seven times as quickly as a standard 120-volt outlet.
“Many items that are now standard construction practices have been removed from our checklist, while we have added opportunities to gain points for new technologies,” explained Maggie Leslie, the nonprofit’s program director.
“We can all breathe easier knowing that fracked gas has suffered a significant setback!”
“I greatly appreciate the information.”
County government only plans to keep about $3 million of the state allocation; the remainder would be distributed to Buncombe’s municipalities and fire districts using the same formula as for county sales tax. Asheville would receive roughly $944,000, or 21% of the money, with the Skyland Fire District receiving the next largest award of nearly $67,000, or 1.5%.
At an April 21 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners lent their unanimous support to designating 16,000 acres of the Pisgah National Forest in the county’s northeast as the Craggy Mountain Wilderness and National Scenic Area. And on April 28, Duke Energy unveiled the most detailed public explanation to date of how company leaders are thinking about the longer-term future.
Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, the county’s interim health director, said during a March 20 press conference that the decision was made primarily to conserve resources for “the long haul” in Buncombe’s management of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“The loss of life and damage caused by current global warming demonstrates that the Earth is already too hot for safety,” states the document approved by a 6-0 vote of Asheville City Council on Jan. 28. “Restoring a safe and stable climate requires an emergency climate mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II.”
Whether going with the flow at the Metropolitan Sewerage District or climbing a Fairview mountain in search of herbicide helicopters, Daniel Walton had quite the eventful year. The Xpress Green Scene editor shares his pick of moments and stories from 2019.