Idea 3. Redeployment of the 500+ acres at the Valmont power plant as a Boulder’s Carbon Eraser Energy Park could be Boulder’s crowning Decarbonization and Resiliency accomplishment

Microgridswitching would be added to the current Valmont switching station, as well as a several hundred MW utility grade solar garden, and possibly some concentrator solar or other distributed generation. Additionally, the adaptive reuse of the massive retired coal turbine space in the power plant would be an amazing memorialization of Boulder’s decarbonization and could house uses as diverse as an arts venue or commercially sized indoor produce gardens. The one remaining natural gas turbine would provide the backup that a sustainable carbon free resilient future may require.

The adaptive reuse and redeployment of this acreage will require coal ash cleanupas a substantial component of payment for the land, which would benefit oureconomy and environment, in many ways bringing Boulder hundreds of megawatts ofcarbon free energy. In addition, low-cost land with beautiful views wouldprovide space for affordable housing of a variety of descriptions. Thesewell-located acres could also house other hard-to-meet city andcounty needs, like affordably priced 501c3 office space, arts venues andstudios, and of course, some well-located open space. Additional innovation onour part and that of others could include a system that allows for peer-to-peertransactions of distributed generation, allowing users to over-generate anddonate to their churches/schools, sell to their neighbors, sell to utilities asancillary service, pair with direct current fast charging for EV’s, and avariety of not yet imagined wonders. 

Decarbonization involves billions of dollars of opportunity. The most obvious involve lower carbon energy, such as solar, wind, and hydrogen, as well as microgrids, mobility, electric heat pump building heating. Other opportunities include built environment adaptive reuse and redeployment, solutions to health care and to relocation challenges. The story is big enough for us all to be a part of it.

An example would be launching a Climate Change guaranteed Cryptocurrency like a 1000kW CE.

1000 kW CE blockchain cryptocurrency token

A 1000 kW CE is a coin and trading unit that utilizes blockchain to create a self-contained carbon market. This is a cryptocurrency like a bitcoin; however, its value would be stabilized by green speculation and climate change.

Inaddition to other monetary value conveyed A 1000 kW CE is titleto the non-energy attributes of the carbon-free generation of 1000 kilowatthours of energy. Each block in the chain is title to aspecific 1000 kW hours of carbon-free energy generated at a specific location, e.g. a particular hydro turbine, windmill or rooftop solar address. The blockchain ledger memorializes the data attributes ofa REC (Renewable Energy Certificate), including its history fromgeneration through monetization and retirement.

The advantage of what CE calls “Coin & Catalog” over other energy credit token designs is that it facilitates both a high volume of small transactions, e.g. rooftop REC contract sales, as well as large and complicated carbon offset contracts. The CE point of differentiation is the ability to quickly find and execute a transactional solution that maintains the mission integrity of the credit while fulfilling the buyer’s economic goals.

Perhaps the most important reason to implement a coordinated suite of CE decarbonization strategies in a city like Boulder is the local energy security and control that distributed-generation-based grid resiliency can provide. For technical clarification please see this NREL report titled Distributed Energy Generation for Climate Resilience.

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