News

Slow Money

As stated by the Slow Money Initiative, thousands of Americans are supporting a new direction for the economy, called Slow Money.

Slow Money is bringing people together around a shared vision about what it means to be an investor in the 21st Century:

It starts with the soil: The soil teaches us that we must put back as much as we take out to ensure long term health and a strong, secure, restorative economy. Life in the soil is all about diversity and regeneration, a large number of small organisms working together in a healthy system. When we erode our soil, we erode our social capital, we erode community.

Entrepreneurs are the seeds: In contrast to far-flung multi-national corporations and financial institutions that are too large to understand, small food enterprises are comprehensible. We live near them. We can connect to them directly. Their entrepreneurs are our fellow community members. They create jobs, promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity, and build robust local food systems.

Investors are the water: Money can erode. Or money can nurture. Millions of us, slowing just a little of our money down, can begin to create the nurture capital industry—as important to the next generation as venture capital has been to this generation. Looking at philanthropy and investment through the lens of food, soil and place, we will find new ways to rebuild trust and to support millions of small acts of entrepreneurial care.

Saving farmland, supporting a new generation of small and mid-size organic farmers, rebuilding local and regional food processing and distribution, improving nutrition and otherwise remedying the imbalances of a food system that is too consolidated, too global and too industrial—where will the money come from? From Wall Street? From philanthropy? From government programs? From consumers?

One thing is certain: a new generation of entrepreneurs is starting to rebuild local food systems and the capital available to them is insufficient. If we want this capital to start flowing today, this year, this decade, if we share the belief that we don’t have another generation to wait for “them” to figure it out or be pushed in this direction by disruption or collapse, then we have to roll up our sleeves, sink our hands into the soil of the economy and start planting.

Intermountain Sustainability Summit

www.intermountainsustainabilitysummit.com

The 4th Annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit will be held on February 28th and March 1st, 2013 in the Shepherd Union Building at Weber State University.

Lots of exciting things are in store for this year’s Summit, including a big name keynote speaker, professional certification workshops, new partnerships with internationally renowned corporations, and quality seminars on a variety of topics. Be sure to check our website for the most up to date information.

The Intermountain Sustainability Summit aims to bring together civic leaders, sustainability professionals, businesses, educators, students, and interested public together to learn, network, and develop new strategies for implementing sustainability in homes and businesses. Now in its fourth year, the Summit continues to grow and provide exceptional value for its attendees.

Vendor booths and sponsorships are available.

For more information, see www.intermountainsustainabilitysummit.com

Save the Date!

 The inaugural National Energy Extension Educator Summit will bring together those who focus on developing and delivering energy extension. Although current research related to renewable energy and efficiency will be discussed, the Summit will focus on educational programming and techniques, especially concerning energy efficiency, small-scale renewables (e.g. geothermal, solar, small wind), and community-scale projects (e.g. biomass, hydro, large wind). Planned agenda items include:

  • Panel discussions of individual state education efforts and best practices;
  • Profiles of consumer, agricultural, youth, volunteer, and community energy education programs;
  • Keynote addresses concerning the role of Extension and land-grant Universities in energy education;
  • Forums for networking and collaboration; and
  • Tours of CSU energy facilities. 

Registration information and additional details to follow in early winter.

Organizers include: Montana State University Extension, Colorado State University Extension, and University of Wyoming Extension.

Logan City Installs Nascent Solar Farm

Logan City has installed a nascent solar farm as a pilot project!

Realtime operation can be found here:
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/fppn74367 With continual effort by the Renewable Energy Advisory Board, last year Logan Light and Power, under Director Jeff White, purchased and installed the equipment. It has been up and running since April — and running beautifully — and a buy-in for interested Logan customers is in the works. A BRIEF HISTORY…
In the spring of 2007, the Logan City Council — citing both environmental and financial concerns — voted to reject further participation in coal-fired power. In the aftermath of that decision, the council decided to form a Renewable Energy Advisory Board. In the past five years, the board, working closely with Logan City Environmental Department and the city council, has initiated and supported a collection of actions — from conservation, to efficiency, to hydro, to wind… and now to solar. A CITY-OWNED SOLAR FARM
Initially the city subsidized installation of solar on private homes. But ultimately this was seen as an inefficient; the city had no control over the panels — from maintenance to location. They're only a worthy investment if they're working properly and adding to the grid in the local community. The notion with a city-owned solar farm is that the photovoltaic panels can be ideally located to take maximum advantage of sun, and can be properly and efficiently maintained. Logan Light and Power purchased approximately 80 panels and installed them as a pilot project. Now the energy needs to be sold to finance more. THE PLAN
The basic plan moving forward, is to allow Logan power customers to purchase blocks of solar energy. The "average" Logan residence uses about 600 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per month. The nascent solar farm panels, averaged over a full year, produce about 2400 kWh per month. The thought is to sell blocks of 100-kWh, which means enough for 24 people — or perhaps blocks of 50 kWh, meaning enough for 48 pilot project participants. THE COST
Amortizing the cost of the project over it's projected 25-year lifetime, the Renewable Energy Advisory board developed a cost of about 18 cents per kWh. HOWEVER, there are already plans to double the size of the farm. And prices have come down dramatically. Once that installation is in place, the new price will likely be around 14 cents / kWh. Putting this in context, logan residents currently pay 8.5 cents / kWh for heavily subsidized coal-fired power. Hence, purchasing a block of 100 kwH (currently) would add only about $9.50 to your monthly power bill. And once the next phase is in, this would drop to only $6.50 extra per month (roughly). HOW YOU CAN PARTICIPATE
Given that this is a pilot project; its success will depend on the public's interest. Administratively, the city isn't quite ready to begin selling the power (issues with billing software). But it is coming soon. In the meantime, the Renewable Energy Advisory Board is looking compile a waiting list of customers for the power. If you would like to buy-in to this project, you can email or call Emily Malik at Logan City's Environmental Department.

Emily Malik
emily.malik@loganutah.org
435-716-9792

Additional questions can be directed to:
Robert Davies
redaka1@mac.com

Edible Wasatch Fall Issue Released

Edible Wasatch is a locally and independently owned member of Edible Communities Inc. Their mission is to inspire readers to explore the regional food system and support local producers, restaurants and related businesses by voting with their forks. In the magazine and on the website, you will find stories about the hard work and delicious payoffs that growers, chefs and food artisans contribute to our community. As awareness grows about how urgently we need to rethink our relationships to food, more and more people are seeking out good food and finding new ways to engage every day. Edible Wasatch invites you to join us in celebrating their efforts.

Previous editions can be found at: http://www.ediblewasatch.com/online-editions