One Third of North Dakota’s Natural Gas is Flared at the Source

According to the Energy Information Administration “about one-third of the natural gas North Dakota has produced in recent years has been flared rather than sold to customers or consumed on-site.” Meaning, that 33% of all of the natural gas in North Dakota is being burnt rather than collected. I’m guessing that 33% is not being calculated into the “efficiency” of burning natural gas, but you can bet it is included in the market price.

Why do they burn the gas?

First, natural gas is made mostly of methane which is a much worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Burning it prevents free methane in the atmosphere. North Dakota law also prohibits venting natural gas into the atmosphere without first burning it.

Why don’t they collect it?

The easy answer is that there is not the infrastructure to do so. Over the last 4 years the output of North Dakota’s oil reservoirs has increased 391%. The increase output requires more infrastructure to collect, process, and move all of the associated gas rather than flaring them.

What’s going to happen?

It’s going to take time for us to move to a 100% renewable energy economy. In the meantime, North Dakota’s Industrial Commission has set goals to decrease the volume of flared gas over the next few years. By 2016, the Commission aims to reduce flaring to 15% or less of total volume.

What infrastructure is needed?

Oil and gas producers need bigger, better, and more pipelines, and more importantly they need more land (and permission from public and private landowners) to build those pipelines.

Gas Flares

Guess Who Will Receive a Free Solar System

ELC building

After a careful vetting process and a vote from the neutral volunteer panel a non-profit was chosen as the potential recipient for our solar array donation. Notice we said potential. Today the following press release will go out in the Edmonds news. We are still looking for more people to sign up for solar in order to reach our goal of 50 systems during the Solarzie campaign. Read on and if you are thinking about solar hurry and let us know. It’s not too late to get this system donated!

Edmonds, WA – Edmonds Lutheran Church (ELC) and Annie’s Community Kitchen will receive a donated solar photovoltaic system to generate renewable energy for their facility if enough homes in Edmonds, Lynnwood, and Mountlake Terrace neighborhoods choose to install solar electric systems in the coming months.

The free solar system serves as a community award for participation in Solarize South County, a project of Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) and Snohomish PUD that is designed to accelerate solar energy installations through a group purchase of solar electric systems at a discounted price.  Participants in the project attend a free public workshop to learn how solar energy works in South Snohomish County and to qualify for a free site assessment for their home or small business.

The solar electric system will be donated by A&R Solar, the Solarize South County project’s competitively-selected solar installation team, if 50 project participants sign contracts to install solar.

“Donating a system is our way of saying ‘thanks’ and giving back to a community that supported us, while also raising awareness to the fact that solar works in western Washington,” says Dave Kozin of A&R Solar.  “By setting aside a small portion of the profit from each project, each customer is essentially investing in an asset that will pay dividends to the community down the road.”

ELC and Annie’s Kitchen were selected by the Solarize South County Community Coalition, a volunteer group of individuals who led the award selection process.  The competitive application process took into account the suitability of the facility to generate solar electricity on site and to serve as a public educational tool.

Wanna See What Living the Green Dream Looks Like?

Meet David!

A microbiologist by profession and a self-proclaimed environmental activist by experience, David has centered his life around planet conscious living.

A few years ago he took that effort into his home. It started with an exhaustive 6 month search for the perfect house to Go Solar in! (We really like that part!)

Once he found the home the first move was actually to install a heat pump. In the photo above you can see him standing next to his gas line. It’s capped.

He has not used any gas for a full two years.

The second step was to do weatherizing and upgrades to the home to make it more efficient. And then…finally… it was time for a solar array.

David actually had a smaller array installed to begin with; 10 kilowatts total. The original system covered his needs efficiently enough, but then…………he bought the Tesla!

This is a hot car. It has been called a man’s vehicle but David assures us that it gets the attention of quite a few ladies. (This gal can attest, the car is beautiful.) There is nothing gender biased about it. But the car deserved solar power to run on so an upgrade to a larger array was necessary.


Currently David’s home can generate up to 13.2kw of power! If you are new to the concept of solar what you need to know is that is A LOT!

Right now he is producing 160% of what he actually uses. Because of the way net metering works, (net metering in WA is a little complicated so make sure to give this a look to learn more), he actually gives some power back to the PUD every year. This is on top of what he uses and what he is incentivized by the state!

For David this is not a problem. He made an active choice to get an array that was larger than his energy use demanded.

FYI our standard is to sell people an array that provides as close to 100% coverage as possible. What this means is that they only buy a system that is sized to fit their needs.

In his own words David says, “My allegiance to fossil fuels is no longer.” If you are looking to him with a bit of envy you are not alone. His green life is a Dream for many of us.

This month David and his wife will be making a pilgrimage with the Tesla; a cross country trip covering a span of 8000 miles with intent to show off how an electric car can now traverse the USA. The trip will be taking him all the way to New York, by way of Florida, just in time for the UN meeting on Climate Change.

As a member of the Citizens Climate Lobby his intent is to attend the Peoples March For Climate Change Action on the 21st of September. The hope is to draw the attention of the UN to the simple fact that ACTION needs to be taken NOW in regard to the looming climate crisis.

David has promised me he will be blogging throughout this so stay tuned. We will periodically post his updates on facebook and twitter.

This link opens a pdf copy of the electric “bill” David just got from Snohomish PUD. Bill is in quotations because he does not pay the electric company. What you see is a credit owed to him from the electric utility.

Actually he has not paid the electric company in two years either!

You know, an assessment of your home is a free no-obligation low pressure experience……………..
Just sayin!
Have a great week All,

At this time we want to extend a special thank you to David and his wife for hosting our second successful Solar Open House this past weekend. As one of our most outspoken advocates and fans WE APPRECIATE YOU!!!!!