Evergreen Conservancy Indiana, Pennsylvania
Project Title: Renewable Energy Expansion at Tanoma AMD Wetlands
With the help of a Captain Planet Foundation Small Grant a new water turbine has been installed at Tanoma Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) Wetlands and is generating hydroelectricity. Tanoma AMD Wetlands is a passive mine drainage treatment system that utilizes wetland ponds to treat the pollutants that seep up from the abandoned mines below.
The renewable energy produced is stored in batteries and then used in several ways at Tanoma. The major environmental impact is that the energy generated is used to improve the treatment of the Tanoma abandoned mine discharge. With the new water turbine, Evergreen Conservancy has provided more energy to run aerators to increase the level of dissolved oxygen in the water. Greater aeration helps remove iron pollution from the water before it enters a local stream, Crooked Creek.
However, they recently learned that the level of aeration required for the system is much greater than our current aerators can provide. They are pursuing additional means to treat the discharge. Thus the Renewable Energy system will still be active at Tanoma but will serve as a demonstration piece, rather than the primary means for aeration in the ponds. Additionally, the expansion of the renewable energy project has allowed Tanoma to remain off-the-grid. The water turbine has proven to be a consistent, reliable source of power. The renewable energy is also used to power the pavilion and charge batteries for the electric lawn mower and weed eater. These amenities are essential in order to maintain the grounds and keep Tanoma a welcoming place for programs and a place for the public to visit.
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