Last night I enjoyed my dinner and ice-cream with Thai-Laos gang and walked through the street passed by beautiful building around myself in town. I feel really appreciate with classic view of Helena. Today is an alternative energy day! I wake up about 7.30 a.m. and take a shower. After that, I go to have breakfast in the restaurant of hotel with Dr. Len Broberg, Mei, Aling, May, X-men, Andrew and Zin. At 9 o’clock, we start this morning on lecturing about Balancing Environmental and Energy Needs at Holiday Inn, Helena which is the capitol city of Montana. The topic is discussed by Mr. Kerry berg and representative of The Northwest Power and Conservation Council. This Pacific Northwest Electric Power locates in Columbia River Basin, cover the area of some part of Canada and 4 states in U.S.; Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Washington. Therefore, they have significant benefits through coordinated river management. On the 5th December 1980, The Northwest Power Act was signed by governors of 4 states in U.S. and it gave council 3 core responsibilities that are Electric Power Provision, Fish and Wildlife provisions and Subbasin Planing. This act also requires the Council to develop and plan the next 20 years to show that the electric power plant has more resources enough to operate energy with cost-effectively. It must to provide reservation to balance bull trout in the upstream and protect salmon habitat to increase their population in the downstream when it turn to be spring and summer season. Moreover, to implement this project need to educate and highly public all of stakeholders by using website, sending e-mail, paper information and meeting group every month.

In my thought, even hydro system is clean source energy that benefits to produce the electric for residential instrument for instance; microwave, heater and air conditioner, it also causes impact to climate change and ecosystem. However, this energy is effect to those less than another resource especially coal and natural gas. It is a useful case study of U.S.-Canada cooperation to compare with our Southeast Asia, maekhong river issue.

Lecture in the Elkhorn Room B at Holiday Inn Hotel, Helena

We leave from Helena to Butte and have lunch at Pepperoni pizza buffet. I enjoy eating fresh pizza homemade and plenty of vegetable in salad for 1 hour. After I take a seat on Mel’s car, she points the huge orange mountain far away that it is the place which used to be mining. It makes me so surprised and feel can’t wait to see what it’s going to be right now. When I arrives the Berkeley pit and lay my leg down on the ground, I look forward to see this big mining and realize that this area is hard to restoration and very difficult to become life again. It’s so sad to confront with this contamination and environmental problem. Because of the high quality and quantity of mining, especially high grade of 60% Cu, Zn, Mn, Pb, Mo, Ag and Au. The Berkery pit started to be large mining by British Petroleum since 1880. There are mine-shafts and cable to work up and down in the pit about 2,000-3,000 feet. The Copper mines were pumped and dehydrated to the surface until the pump station was shut down in 1982. It causes that the underground water system has been flooding and because of the soil in this area include pyrites (FeS2) which is the compound of Sulfur elements that have bad smell. Therefore, when
the water is rising up, the pyrites have oxidation with water and turn to be Sulfuric acid (H2S), the metals toxic dissolve and pH decrease to 2.5-3 (strong acid). Mr. Darryl reed says that they try to solve this problem by treat water before rising and run down to contaminate the creek where is the source of ground water contamination and the place of aquatic livings. The best way to do, but has expensive cost is to inject lime in the hole that’s about 1,000 feet below and it will increase pH.
Now, the student in the University of Montana is doing the research about Biodegradation by tolerance species of algae, fungus and bacteria to recover this problem.

Although this mountain can’t recover as soon as people hope to be, but I think it is the very good place to remind that we must to think about the effect of natural resource before we have already over use it. I realize that the worst of environmental degradation is not the exhaustion, but it is the decadence which is caused by utilization that never been end up.

Have lunch with Pizza and Salad at Butte

Thailand SUSI 2013 with Mr. Darryl Reed at the Berkeley pit

After we spend so long time in Berkeley pit, we continue move forward to Butte Basin Creek Natural Gas Fired Plant where is the first power plant and produce maximum electric energy in Montana since July 2006. It’s very excited for me to see that how this plant system is going on, because natural gas from Thai guff is the most natural resources that we use to produce the electricity. We must to wear couple ear plugs for protecting the loud noise of machine and then, we keep follow the speaker. There are 9 engines in this plant to generates electric power 54 Mw and the net is 51.8 Mw. They fill 11,000,000 cubic natural gases per day from Canada. The process starts by taking natural gas into the gas house and feed them pass through pipes in to the engines.
After that, the pistons that grease the oil work and produce heat air into generators which have Cu wires and turn electromagnetic energy that make current electricity to people houses. To maintain the engines, they need large cooling fans to blow the air to electric generation. The system of this plant controls automatically by using specific computer program such as to balance the glycol, new oil and used oil tank and the operator that show real time date of temperature, ignition time and burn time on the screen. After he finishes explain system, I ask him that “what is the most alternative energy that Montana uses to make electricity?” Answer is the coal (2,700 Mw), wind (500-700 Mw), hydro (450 Mw) and natural gas (200 Mw), respectively.

SUSI 2013 participants with speaker at Butte Basin Creek Natural Gas Fired Plant

This is the end of our program today. We’re so tired and take a nap in the car during come back to Missoula. However, We (Thai and Laos gang) ride a bicycle to have dinner at the river wok Asian grill restaurant where is a chef comes from Hongkong. It’s so spicy, delicious and make us miss Thai-Laos food. We enjoy and relax with this left time today before arrive Miller Hall.

Riding a bicycle to have dinner with friends

Infront of River Wok Asian Grill Restaurant

Pineapple fried rice