New Micro-hydro Plant Amps Up – Adds Power for Two Neighborhoods
above: Spillway at the new micro-hydro installation.
At long last, the second micro-hydro station at Earthaven is up and running, serving the delighted residents of Medicine Wheel and Bellavia Gardens neighborhoods.
Through an ingenious design by neighbor Leon Birstein, each neighborhood is served differently so that their residents’ not-quite-adequate solar arrays are boosted and bolstered by the steady flow of creek water through the landscape.
Suiting the different ways our neighborhoods are set up—one with a large common house and the other with several separate homes—Medicine Wheel’s micro-hydropower is constant, while neighbors’ batteries at Bellavia Gardens are boosted at intervals during the day and night with modest but adequate backup charges.
The dream of a second micro-hydro station has been alive since Earthaven’s first micro-hydro was built in the Village Center in ’96. The first station serves the Village Center and Hickory Knob, home of the White Owl, and has been known to offer backup power to several nearby homesites.
right: Travis Robb treads carefully beside the trench that will direct more power into his Bellavia Gardens neighborhood.