I agree, partially, with the author's idea as it's time to abandon the experimental coal scrubber, and now gas conversion ("A solar farm for Springfield," Oct. 6). Let's make some healthy progress for the citizens of Springfield. Solar and wind energy have a future, and it needs to be explored for our region. I eagerly welcome discussions around renewables and a solar farm is a perfect solution for the city of Springfield.
However, I diverge from the author's premise when he completely shuns nuclear as a viable alternative. It's true there are byproducts that have lasting impacts, but the same can be said for large capacity batteries. Likewise, it takes a large, concentrated effort to stand up a new reactor. However, nuclear is going to be a player in the energy sector for years to come. This will only be more apparent when the technology around Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) increase.
Lastly, there is one other thing the author and I agree on, and that's transparency within CWLP. We, as citizens, have witnessed how the department likes to present forgone conclusions (coal scrubber, gas conversion, Hunter Lake, etc.) to the taxpayers. We have even witnessed this on a small scale with the recent power outages. Transparency is key, and we need more of it.
SOLAR IS CHEAPER
Look at all the "experts" claiming things like burning coal is cleaner than solar and wind, as if coal isn't just about the filthiest, most-destructive mined thing, taking out whole mountains, destroying streams and groundwater and people's lives. There is zero scientific evidence that says solar and wind energy are somehow "less green" than coal and gas.
Are there environmental costs to solar and wind? Yes. Are they significant? Yes. Can they be mitigated more easily than coal and gas? Yes.
Can solar and wind power everything right now? No, not yet. But that's not the point. We must achieve a huge reduction in carbon and methane pollution, and this is how it's done.
A 200-megawatt solar farm in Morgan County with a current capacity factor of 40% was built for a little over $200 million. Dallman 4 is a 200-megawatt coal plant. Its capacity factor through June 30 this year was just 33%. It cost $600 million to build the stupid thing in 2007.
THANKS FOR SUPPORT
On behalf of the Jewish Federation of Springfield, we would like to thank the Springfield community for the overwhelming support of the Violins of Hope display at the Illinois State Museum and the six musical presentations in Springfield between Sept. 7-13 ("Violins of beauty, history and remembrance," Aug. 31). Being able to share these violins with the community was a unique opportunity to showcase a piece of history and how it currently continues to affect our lives. We thank our community partners for financial and in-kind support as well as the many behind-the-scene volunteers who helped to make the week-long event a success.
Thank you again. We hope we can continue to bring more events to our community that encourage education and unity within Springfield.
Karen Westbrook and Merle Shiffman, co-chairs of VOH
DO IT YOURSELF
I must be that one out of 20 that still writes checks to pay my bills ("The death of checks," Sept. 28). I want receipts for proof of payment; people who are depending on the receiver of their automatic payments are just plain foolish. When I get my checking account statement, I balance the account. Those checks that have not cleared the account need an explanation. I have due dates written down for where my payments are made, along with the amounts.
How are those people who depend on the business to do what they are supposed to do, actually doing it? I'll also bet that the people who no longer use the checking account balance system are the same people that rely on day care for raising their children, then complain when something happens they do not like.