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Stanford energy facility to cut carbon in half

Original post made on Oct 10, 2012

A new Stanford energy facility that could reduce campus carbon emissions by 50 percent, cut water use by 18 percent and save the university an estimated $300 million in the next 35 years broke ground Wednesday, the university announced.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 10:59 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

This is a bit confusing. Based on these two statements—

> save the university an estimated $300 million in the
> next 35 years

> The $438 million energy system would move Stanford

Is the University spending $438M to save $300M (over 35 years)? Or is there something missing here? If true—how is the University not losing $138M (or more, when all of the maintenance costs over the next 35 years is factored into the tally)?


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm

>The new electric facility allows the university to obtain electricity from numerous sources, including renewable energy such as wind and solar. A Stanford-developed automated-control system allows obtaining the most cost-efficient electricity available at any time, the university said.

It seems to me that Stanford is making a wise and appropriate decision, regarding heat capture. However, is Stanford proposing to put wind tubine and photovoltaic farms in the Stanford foothills? Or are they just transferring those farms to the open wildnerness in other areas? If Stanford wants to make a statement, then those wind/solar industrial farms should be in our own foothills. Otherwise, we end up with an 'out-of-sight,out-of-mind' hypocricy issue.


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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Oct 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

>>"those wind/solar industrial farms should be in our own foothills. Otherwise, we end up with an 'out-of-sight,out-of-mind' hypocricy issue. "

Absolutely right. And that's why it will never happen. Remember the "vocal minority" that forced Stanford to provide hiking trails to the Dish? What do you think they will do if solar panels were put on that hillside.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm

>Remember the "vocal minority" that forced Stanford to provide hiking trails to the Dish? What do you think they will do if solar panels were put on that hillside.

That is the point. If local folks want to reduce the local carbon footprint, it should be done locally, as they usually say. Industrializing the Stanford foothills, with wind turbines and solar panels, would make a statement for those who want to walk the talk. Otherwise, they are hypocrits...they want to make other people suffer the industrialization of THEIR hills and wild lands.

I think the Stanford people should speak to this issue.


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Posted by Jan H.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Jan H. is a registered user.

The problem with many less polluting and energy saving alternatives, such as solar, for instance, is that they take decades to break even. They are also very expensive to purchase and install. Until things evolve and improve enough to make them affordable for a majority of people, and have a faster payoff, there will not be enough use of them to make any real difference. Fortunately for Stanford, they seem to have an endless supply of money from benefactors and rich and famous alumni.



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