The following is cross-posted from my blog
, but I thought it important enough to put here as well. Here in Mendocino County, friends of mine have established a true oasis of renewable technology and design, incorporating photovoltaics extensively, permaculture landscaping, passive solar buildings, and all kinds of wonderful things.
I not only know a lot of the people at the Solar Living Institute- my wife used to work for Real Goods (the for-profit operation affiliated with the institute), and my own company maintains a biodiesel pump there.
The context of the following entry is, of course, the crazy storm that just blew through our nick of the woods...
Below is a picture from Solfest 2004, showing our biodiesel station (along with someone next to it, for some perspective on its size).
Note the geodesic dome in the background- imagine a 30-foot diameter version of that, sitting on a nice raised, impermanent foundation. The mental picture you have in your head is the intern/workshop dome located next to the Solar Living Center's parking lot. I helped Jennifer, of Biofuel Oasis, teach a class there recently. What follows are pictures (taken by SLI interns) of what the storm did to our biodiesel station, and what it did to the big dome, and to the entire site in general.
The dome was attached to a propane line that busted when it floated off:
Here's a rather large, heavy shipping container that was tossed around by the flood waters:
And finally, a look at the chaos that was our beautiful renewable oasis, next to Highway 101:
The important thing is, nobody was hurt. Now everyone is trying to pick up the pieces. We don't know if water got into the biodiesel tank (which was full), but it probably didn't. We're reasonably sure the pump is busted- we'll be testing that later this week.
The Solar Living Institute, not to mention some of its interns/staff (at least one of whom I know lost a vehicle in the flooding), has taken a tremendous hit. They are currently trying to raise $150,000 as quickly as possible. The official fundraising website should be in operation by tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can go to www.solarliving.org and make your donation through there.
Yokayo Biofuels has given thousands of dollars to the institute as automatic donations each time someone buys our fuel there. It is something we are tremendously proud of, and we can't wait to get that station online again- with us being such a small, cash-strapped company, this is really the biggest way we can contribute. Perhaps you can find a way as well. Please tell everyone you know about their current needs!