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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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A Town Is Its Own Power Plant

A Town Is Its Own Power Plant

Mutterholtz solar paneled building (credit: D'Alsace Centrale)

What if your a town or city produced all the power ir required from energy efficiency, solar panels, and hydro-power turbines? Mutterholtz in France has been doing just that for over 15 years. The town in the Alsace region of southern France redesigned itself into a renewable energy 'power plant'. Solar panels were installed on public buildings and a micro-hydro plant was installed on the river that runs through the town. Already, the energy generated from these energy upgrades covers Mutterholtz's electricity needs and by insulating public buildings the town has reduced its yearly energy demand by 40%. When everything was taken into account, the Mayor's office began to save $45,000/year in expenses. The excess power that was generated is now exported into the regional power grid producing $63,000/year in revenues. With the success demonstrated so far from renewable energy, the town now plans to begin hooking-up the homes of its residents.

A video shows how the micro-hydro generator works on the river that runs through Mutterholtz.

This French village has shown that sustainable power supplies are possible when technology innovation, public dedication, and renewable energy technologies are put to work. WHB

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