Handmade Hydro Homestead PDF Download

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In 1975, Matt and Roseanne Olson’s diesel generator died. Faced with an expensive repair, Matt figured this was as good a time as any to build the hydro plant which he’d been collecting parts for over the past four years. With the help of his good neighbor and friend, Rod Ward, he set to work building a temporary fix for his generator problems. Eighteen years later, that “temporary” fix is still producing clean, renewable electricity. The old diesel plant has long since been traded for spare parts.

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Handmade Hydro Homestead PDF Download

Handmade Hydro Homestead PDF Download

Location is Everything Matt and Rosie live at the confluence of Methodist Creek and the Salmon River in Northern California. Their homesite lies in the western part of the Klamath National Forest. This river corridor is still very scenic and colorful, despite placer mining before and during the 1930s, the ravages of two major fires, and extensive road building and timber cutting by the Forest Service over the past 30 years. The beauty of the Salmon River Country is due in no small part to reclamation by folks like the Olsons and small-scale miners along the river who have adopted an attitude of stewardship and living with the land rather than from it. This country is a dandy place for low impact micro hydro because of the many creeks and springs which feed the Salmon River. The nearest electric utility lines are 23 miles away through one of the steepest, most picturesque river canyons in California. Even if the locals wanted utility power — which they don’t —and even if the utility was willing to provide it— which they aren’t — the cost and visual impact to the area would be prohibitive. So it’s a case of using what Mother Nature provides on-site and learning to live on her terms. Not a bad philosophy for all of us.

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