Cavness ‘09.5 Picking Moss, Taking Names in Iceland

It’s always fun to see what the Watson Fellows are up to (like before). And so it’s worth checking in with Cully Cavness ‘09.5 and his blog: (mis)adventures of a roaming coloradan. Here’s an article pre-departure of Cavness’ plans which are now in full swing.

He’s now in Iceland. Posting yesterday from Reykjavik, he says:

I have assumed responsibility for shipping and insuring a half-million-dollar turbine gear from Iceland to Germany via the Netherlands. It’s a complex task to say the least, and surprisingly educational. I’ve also spent a few days talking with the owner of This website is the de facto source for all news geothermal. The site’s owner is also the Director of Sustainable Energy at the Bank of Iceland, so I’ve enjoyed a few top-floor powwows in the Islandsbanki headquarters.

… I called up the Director of Safety at Calpine, which operates The Geysirs geothermal field in California (largest geothermal development field in the world), and told him about Landsvirkjun’s gas problem. He literally laughed at the policy – achieve 99.5% abatement in 4 years. It took Calpine 30 years and hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve the same results. He told me to “queue up the mission impossible music,”…


Biomass Ready to Rock

As if Middlebury weren’t green enough, New York Times blog Green Inc. wrote us up in a blog post titled, “Colleges Turn to Wood Chips for Heat — and education.” Our new biomass plant is live as of yesterday. Groups, including several J-term classes have been getting tours all of this past week.

Fun fact? Apprently it takes 60 tons of wood chips DAILY to fire up that sucker. The chips are delivered three times a day… What’s inside? Think sifters and chippers — they think they might have an issue keeping all that glass clean.