Alternative Energy and Passive Income

by Scott on August 18, 2008

Bass Lake PG&E Crane Valley Hydroelectric Project
photo credit: The Passive Dad

This weekend my family traveled out of town to attend another cousins wedding near Bass Lake, CA. Absolutely beautiful country that is very close to Yosemite and offers some great outdoor activities. Bass lake is surrounded by towering pine trees and we found the perfect place to park the car and take the kids down to the water to relax. When we got out of the car, the first sign I noticed was posted by PG&E and was a notice of a hydroelectric project. PG&E is Pacific Gas and Electric, and also happens to power our house and city too. I had no idea that PG&E generated power using tidal waves from Bass Lake, nor was it the first hydroelectric damns built by them. Of course, since the hydroelectric project was underwater and near the damn, I couldn’t take any pictures or see the actual plant. I did snap a quick picture of the sign and would be curious if anyone knows of this or other hydroelectric projects in California?

Besides being cool and green to the environment, hydroelectricity offers a consistent power generation through waves, and should also be considered passive power. Just like passive income, passive power may require some up front costs, but provides consistent power for years. Of course the cost of a hydroelectric damn would costs thousands if not millions to build, but the concept is the same and will allow consistent energy generation for years.

Windmills over the Altamont Pass #3
photo credit: The Passive Dad

Traveling back home we drove over the Altamont Pass, which bridges the San Joaquin Valley and Livermore. I’ve gone over the Altamont Pass hundreds of times and am always fascinated by the wind turbines that cover the hills and that they are always moving. Over the years the look has changed from large wind turbines to the smaller ones now occupied, but they continue to generate power. With the cost of natural gas and oil being at all time highs, I would think the owner of this wind farm would be making some money on this alternative “green” investment. Wind turbines are also passive income, they carry an upfront investment and the wind creates consistent profits for years to come. Do you have a wind farm near your house or city? Have you considered offsetting your home electricity with a wind turbine or solar panels?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jj-momscashblog August 18, 2008 at 10:40 am

Hi Scott, I found your post interesting about the power plant in Ca. and how you hook it up with Passive Income. I am still going to get with you on the ING and I would like to get it on my site. I’m busy right now trying to get my blog up and running to it’s optimal speed. Once I get all of those little (really big) things done and I can relax for a minute I’m going to get back to you. I’m glad you had a nice weekend with your family. Thanks for the post.

2 Blake@youngdough August 20, 2008 at 12:09 pm

We don’t have anything near our house, but there are a ton of wind farms in Iowa. I get a kick every time I drive by one. We haven’t seriously considered supplementing our house’s power with solar or wind, but it’s a definite possibility in the future.

The people who really benefit from the passive income from wind farms are the landowners. They make a pretty penny just leasing the space for the turbines, and they hardly take up any ground space at all. Plus, they don’t have to do ANYTHING. It’d be a sweet deal.

3 Online Dividends August 21, 2008 at 1:59 pm

I would love to learn to use solar panels as an alternative income stream. Do you have any idea about the numbers?

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