Ride The wind

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 06/16/2006 - 15:54.


I sent this to the GCRTA in February and again in May to a couple people who were suggested as appropriate.  I have never received a response.





Greater Cleveland’s Rapid Transit is already an organization of which the community is proud. The Transit is forward thinking and has been on the cusp of green developments from bike carriers on buses to allowing bikes on the rail cars. The RTA’s “smart commute” home mortgage-help program, its computerized “trip planner”, and the art on the bus initiatives show that the RTA knows how to leverage its community transportation responsibility towards positive goals.  

As energy costs skyrocket, it is more and more feasible to utilize renewable sources to provide electricity to power the electrified RTA rail. See urban wind turbine photos at http://www.mpshq.com/products_wind.htm  

Following is a suggestion which, if implemented, would allow the RTA to stand at the forefront of the transportation industry – by installing wind turbines on or near the RTA ROW, and grid -connecting those turbines, the RTA could maximize the value of the electricity generated by wind by eliminating or minimizing wheeling charges, and under the Ohio net metering regulations, directly offset the RTA’s commercial electrical meter charges.  


There is an easy and inexpensive way to find out: issue an RFP. 

If the RTA were to issue a “request for proposal” calling for, say 10 to 20 megawatts of wind turbine capacity, and see that the RFP were delivered to each of the several dozen global wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm developers, these manufacturers – many of whom own and operate their own wind farms – and developers would study the wind regime along the ROW, review the sites offered by the RTA, and then inform the RTA that they would or would not be interested. 

Let’s say the RTA offers an arrangement where the RTA guarantees to consume all electricity produced while leasing the various sites to a turn-key turbine developer. This would be the best arrangement because the RTA would obtain the highest possible return for the electricity – the same rate that the RTA is now charged for electricity provided by First Energy and the First Energy CPP grid.  Or, the RTA could choose to buy the turbines and enter into a long term service contract.  

Another option would be for the RTA to collaborate with another entity such as Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland School District, Cleveland Public Power, or the Port Authority to obtain other sites, financing, or a larger electrical demand base.  

If the RTA wishes to explore the idea further, I would be glad to arrange a more detailed presentation at your convenience. In the past several years I have made similar presentations at Case for the Regional Economics Initiative headed by Ed Morrison, and elsewhere. Some day perhaps, the RTA’s customers can say “We ride the Wind”! 

Thanks for your consideration. 

Jeff Buster













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You are the NEO Wind Tsar, Jeff... what's next?... No SCLOGing!

I love it and everything else you propose... nice to see your ideas hitting the open source space again... it feels like REI is back without the cookies and Gehry.

  • You have always made clear your intent to bring wind power and related industry to NEO and those who follow the open source economic development space know that.
  • Unfortunately, the "industrial" approach to bringing wind power or any alternative energy strategy and action to NEO is so top down and failed - embarassing - that your vision has been obfuscated by bad planners and self-sustainers who have convinced foundations to fund circling wagons of lawyers and industrialists to sell the sustinability space to the next Enron, who they want to be industry's "friends".... see something wrong with this ecology strategy... reward the polluters... so UNREAL NEO.
  • So, as usual, new industry opportunity here is viewed as a take-away of good strategies from small struggling creators to give to rich lawyers and corporations - we need to change that, and your proposal here is a great start.
  • Now, get out those RFPs to everyone but the people here who are completely ruining the possibility of NEO taking any sort of a lead with wind power - PA already won for the early adoptor role in our sector - NYNY will be the rising star - no matter what, NEO is not an originator or innovator in this space, as you have wanted, but a late laggard if participant at all... right now we're a joke.
  • I'm so glad you are now putting your ideas in the open source space - so everyone knows you are the innovator - now take it away from RTA, which is not a visionary organization - and find visionaries to take it forward with you and other partners
  • Let's have an open source wind working group as soon as you return to NEO and see if we can't do something to get a real turbine on the horizen somewhere in EAST CLEVELAND - not on some farm in Lorain
  • If at all possible, I'd immediately love a small turbine or whole line of them at the Star Complex - we could start on a sturdy rooftop over 40 feet up and add a tower to get to 60+, I imagine - a small turbine there, at that level, would be very productive and visible over the tracks looking from Euclid Avenue and could be seen from University Circle - students and researchers from Case could study the initiative and help - and what a beacon of the new economy for a community we are now bringing over many wide divides
  • This symbol will mean so much versus the complete waste of steel and money of the Science Center Lawn Ornament (SCLO), located at the most wasteful development area in Ohio... the Carney lakefront... you couldn't have a bigger failure than that of the Science Center Lawn Ornament Group (SCLOG), who are SCLOGging our alternative energy sector just when the rest of the world is taking action.
  • I want you and Martha and any other REAL NEO sustainability stars to help us take the Star Complex completely OFF THE GRID with this and solar (no trees taller than our buildings)... please go ahead and ask for donations - help - demonstration equipment - inventors - anything alternative energy we can test here to really get entrepreneurship and environmentalism out of this unsustainable SCLOG state and make us sincerely off the grid... contact every eco-scientist in town
  • Anything else anyone else can come up with to move the Star off the grid? Let's make the Star Complex the sustainability think tank for the region, instead of waiting for some foundations and lawyers to suck more oxygen out of the unsustainable environemnt now here in NEO.
  • There are tall bluffs all around East Cleveland and a 1.5 sq. mile park... and MacGregor has big land where more alternaitve solutions could be placed - could we take Forest Hills Park off the grid, as we make it WiFi? How about MacGregor...
  • Of course, you can plan and operate all this and run the think tank from the Star Incubator (is Great Lakes Wind joining us?) - when you get to ther manufacturing stage, you can assemble the turbines in one of the many industrial buildings here - Go Jeff Go!

Good Behavior in the Civic Space


Cleveland lags behind other cities in understanding and practicing good behavior in the civic space.  At an REI meeting that Craig and Sue James creatively hosted in the rotunda of Cleveland City Hall (Cultural Community – Its Currency – and the Connection with Economic Development) Jay Yoo, of Koyono http://www.koyono.com/company/about.html, was a participant. Unfortunately, I am continually reminded of one of his comments about trying to start up his company in Cleveland.  He said that when he tried to contact people to discuss his product etc., he never received calls or mail back.  He reported that when he went to Seattle and contacted Microsoft, he had a meeting with a high level player within a few days.

Jurgen Faust reported similar "call back" issues at another REI meeting.

Are we frightened that if we recognize somebody/something new and different, they/it might actually exist and we would lose control?  The pervasive lack of openness and real sharing may benefit a few, but it hurts all of us as members of NEO.

We need more training from Ed Morrison.  What if this training were required for the region's government and business leaders?


Problem is a century of bad behavior, and bad hires

It's unfair to put the weight on Ed Morrison - the problem with REI was he didn't have good support from his institutional leaders - Hundert, Turner, whoever that dean at weathered-head is, being now insignificant - and the Case board. Case still refuses to get rid of their board... I read the list of people selecting the new presdent and not one student or active public change leader... I'd love to see the average age, net worth and racial mix of the committee as that alone will be enough to tell me if they are the right team. So our largest university is out and may be for another cycle of administration as the seemingly failed reselection process is again probably flawed. Then, you have Case fighting with all the 22 other colleges and such in the area - and I can't say I've found any of the other schools better about collaborating or really healing NEO - all in it for themselves - no good leaders, so they are ruining all the young people. So, we teach our children wrong, in the wrong places, the wrong ways... the smart one leave the region. If anyone stays or comes back, they have to navigate through a dysfunctional maze of competing "entrepreneurship" services, programs and such - a complete waste of time for everyone. Add the corrupt GCP/Cose chamber of corporate charity and we all know there is nothing in the "business development" space but hacks being paid huge money to protect the current elite of the biggest companies from the possibility someone may come up to compete in the big world - entrepreneurs are the enemy of GCP, and Sustainable Cleveland, etc. Add that all the non-profits that claim space in the change space enslave themselves to the GCP, their big companies, their big funders, and the largely second-generation second-rate leadership, and you start to get at the problem. Add that this is a small town in a huge, sucking region, where the pockets of angel wealth is spread thin and you realize there are like five supposed sources of funds for innovators, and none of them are at all "sexy" or progressive. So what's left... very little... lots of churn and competition (just for daylight and air) and no good outcomes for anyone, including the schools and angels, etc - a toxic mix. Jay Yoo and I were in the same entrepreneurs program at EDI where Osher was our group leader - it was very cool but nothing connected to it, and we didn't have anyplace here to go with what we leaned - Jay Yoo and I each left to find smarter money and teams - others from the group have found support here, now that the new JumpStart, etc. are gaining some traction. But, bottom line, we need a revolution that is led by an army of new leaders not at all associated with the falures of the past industrial century, and all the revolutionaries need to work together, if they care. Otherwise, we're all just pockets of innovative thinkers growing our own isolated successes, often bitter against each other and those at the top. All the dysfunctional "network mapping" in the world won't change that - we need our own "newspaper" (for example, REALNEO), headquarters (for example, Star Complex), new forces armed with the best technology, and a new country to view as our homeland, even if only in spirit (for example, East Cleveland), and a shared mission - being nothing less than to save the world! If we're all about little successes for ourselves, and the money before the change, we are no better than the dirty dealers of our past century.

Training government and business leaders

I was thinking today about your comment and eradicating lead. I arranged a meeting between a city economic development director and Robin Brown, the founder of Concerned Citizens Organized Against Lead - she is the parent of a lead poisoned child and the only person I know who can actually get a lead-cold heart to understand lead poisoning. I can arrange her to meet with 1,000s of people in the streets and she may get through to all of them eventually, at great cost, or I can connect her with one economic development director and she can change a city... codes, enforcement, broad scale communications... the entire community leadership structure and response. I've seen the same good result educating many community leaders about lead and that is how we will win that war - top down. But, it only works because Robin is real. In the entrepreneur space, we tend to say everyone is an entrepreneur, whether Starbucks franchise owner or biotech startup, and the industrial complex just wants lots of people to make enough money to be part of the complex - it is not looking for change or innovation for the sake of any of that - so a franchisee is the same as an open source innovator and all are ignored as busines as usual, if they make it great - they're bankrupts if not. Since there are not "experts" and not leaders in the innovation and entrepreneurship space, who cares what any of them say - I'm more interested in Ed Morrison's experience as an entrepreneur in NEO, now that he has had to develop start up I-Open, than I am in his knowledge of networks and open space work in indiana.... No, let us get together an activist group of really angry, loud, articulate entrepreneurs to write the book on economic development in NEO - bring back REI-like open space brainstorming - we have the space for anyone to meet - we'll host roundtables - I have a projector - time to organize an army and connect that with the entrepreneur world outside NEO - think abundance and global and stop worrying about the failed leaders here... if we should educate them about anything new, make it lead poison... they can learn all they need to know about open source economic development in cyberspace...

Regarding money, business and the environment

If you watch PBS NOW then in the last two weeks you saw how all the auto manufacturers colluded to destroy good progress with electric cars as an alternative to gas guzzlers (the documentary comes out June 28th), and yesterday you saw how oil companies corrupted the White House, under Clinton and Bush, to drill deeper into the Gulf of Mexico without paying royalties to the  Government - at like $60 billion in corporate charity so far, and still counting. With lead poisoning, the government health sector was infiltrated by the lead industry to protect lead and pain companies from massive litigation losses - they are losing anyway, and it is costing them anyway, and the stuff is illegal now, but it is worth it to them to spend $ billions to lose fewer $ billions. Why do I keep hearing people talk about big corporations and corrupt government and community leaders who have been responsible for huge death counts like they can even be at the table finding solutions. Big companies sell stuff - some deadly and  some okay for now but always can be better - if environmentalism requires their good stuff, we need to talk to big business about getting fair prices - besides that, big businesses and their leaders need to be watched, regulated and taken out when they go over any lines.

wind turbine as art

Might I suggest you submit your proposal as art for Puritas or 55th Street station? It can't hurt. You'll know which site is best for what kind of wind. It could be a place to start, and visible for many transit riders. Since Greg Peckham of Cleveland Public Art is knowledgeable and interested in renewable energy, it might get a second look. I feel certain he is involved in the decision making process. Rich Enty who is charged with Transit Waiting Environments is also an energy conserver. Here's the link published in CoolCleveland yesterday. Government entities can be slow to respond. Hang in there and keep trying. Not unlike the 60s and 70s, sometimes here in Cleveland you have to take a sleeping bag and install yourself in front of someone's door to get them to listen to your proposal. Don't take offense. They have a long list of concerns to slog through.  http://www.riderta.com/bc_contractopps.asp