We’ve always said that community is at the heart of what we do.
The Alpha 311 team has just spent time in Chicago, where we think we can make a difference and help deal with the plague of fuel poverty. But it’s important that communities understand the benefits of renewables and are comfortable with them.
All towns and cities have their own unique issues, and Chicago is no different. There are empty buildings and towering landfill sites scattered around the city, and many areas suffer from a distinct lack of infrastructure.
Other parts of the city are completely dominated by enormous industrial plants, forming what locals refer to as “the toxic donut.”
One constant, though, is the inequality in access to affordable energy.
Getting an environmental project off the ground is as complex in the US as it is in the UK; from getting government backing to convincing residents that they should benefit from local energy generation.
Alpha 311 and Chicago are a match made in sustainable heaven.
The thousands of miles of roads that serve Chicagoans are lined by hundreds of thousands of lighting columns, each one a potential home for an Alpha 311 VAWT, where it can harvest the natural wind and displaced air from passing vehicles.
The city may not have actually got its famous Windy City nickname because of the weather, but we can testify that the chilly winds that sweep through the city from Lake Michigan are very real and just begging to be harnessed.
Finally, the additional social and economic challenges faced by communities in and around Chicago are precisely why we created this business and why we’re so excited to be working in the US with Dr. Karen DeGannes, a trusted advisor and strategist in the energy, public utilities and environmental sectors.
By generating electricity where it’s needed and creating an additional revenue source for communities, we think we can be part of the solution to making Chicago a fairer and more equitable city.