Renewable Energy iPod MP3 Walking Tour
Tour Description: Renewable energy is energy which comes from natural resources typically defined as sunlight, wind, water from the flow of rivers and tides, ocean waves and geothermal heat, which are renewable, meaning that they are naturally replenished. On a global scale, renewables account for about 18% of electricity generation with 15% of global electricity coming from hydroelectricity and 3% from wind and solar. In Washington State, we are blessed with three plentiful types of renewable energy: wind, solar and hydroelectric. On this tour, you will see all three.
Located about 140 miles from Seattle or just east of Ellensburg, the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility operated by Puget Sound Energy allows visitors to see how the energy of the wind and sun are turned into electricity. Displays developed in partnership with Central Washington University lead visitors on a trail of discovery that highlights wind and solar technology and the areas unique natural history. Set on a ridge above the Kittitas Valley, the Facility offers up-close views of the wind turbines and solar arrays, as well as the Cascade mountain range. Central Washington''s Kittitas Valley has long been known for its vigorous winds. The 127 turbines each at 350 feet tall churning above the barren mountaintop landscape is a truly spectacular site.
About 78 miles north of the Wild Horse Facility is the Rocky Reach Hydro Project. It is located about seven miles upstream from the city of Wenatchee. People throughout the Northwest benefit from clean, renewable energy produced at Rocky Reach. The project is also nationally recognized for efforts to protect the environment. A first-of-its-kind juvenile fish bypass system was completed in 2003 to help young salmon and steelhead on their way to the ocean. A major powerhouse upgrade started in 1995 includes new turbines that are more fish friendly. The tour provides visitors with views of the full length of the powerhouse, the spillway, fish ladder and Columbia River.
Located about 98 miles north of the Rocky Reach Dam, the Grand Coulee Dam is the largest electric power-producing facility in the United States. Its average annual energy output is about 2,300 megawatts, or enough power to continuously supply the needs of two cities the size of Seattle. Containing nearly 12 million cubic yards of concrete, the Grand Coulee Dam is one of the largest concrete structures in the world.
Stops on This Tour: 1) Introduction, 2) Solar Power, 3) Wind Power, 4) Native Americans, Lewis and Clark, 5) The First Settlers, 6) Rocky Reach Dam, 7) Salmon and Steelhead Lifecycle, 8) Rocky Reach Dam Juvenile Fish Bypass System, 9) Rocky Reach Dam Fish Ladder, 10) How Hydroelectric Power is Generated, 11) The Grand Coulee Dam, 12) John W. Keys III Pump-Generating Plant.