Idaho is home to a plethora of renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy. The Post Falls hydroelectric project on the Spokane River in northern Idaho has been providing electricity to local industries since 1906. All energy sources have some effect on our environment, but fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas cause much more harm than renewable energy sources. This includes air and water contamination, damage to public health, loss of wildlife and habitat, water use, land use, and emissions that cause global warming. The Post Falls project has been a major source of electricity for operating mines, mills, factories, cities, businesses and railroads in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.
Biomass energy can be produced from a variety of sources such as energy crops (switchgrass), agricultural waste, manure, forest products and waste, and urban waste. Michele Drake is the environmental compliance coordinator for Avista Corporation, which owns the Post Falls plant. In the early 1990s, a group of citizens from the community of Post Falls built Falls Park along the North Channel of the Spokane River to improve recreational opportunities.
Geothermal power plantsalso vary in terms of the technology used to convert the resource into electricity (direct steam, flash or binary) and the type of cooling technology used (water-cooled and air-cooled).
In other regions, improved geothermal systems may allow broader access to geothermal energy. The long-term benefits of utilizing energy resources in Post Falls are far-reaching. The hydroelectric project has been providing electricity for more than a century and has helped to power mines located nearly 100 miles away through the world's longest high-voltage transmission line. Biomass energy can help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while providing a renewable source of energy.
Geothermal power plants can provide clean energy with minimal environmental impact. The use of renewable energy resources in Post Falls has had a positive effect on the local economy and environment. It has provided reliable electricity for more than a century while reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The development of Falls Park has also improved recreational opportunities for local residents.
As more renewable energy sources are developed in Post Falls, it is essential to consider their long-term benefits on the environment and local economy.