So the final dimensions (please correct me if i’m off) are about
running boron-hydrogen aneutronically at about 4 kilograms a year (assuming 10 e6 joules per second and 8.7 e6 eV released per boron)
10 megawatts is quite a lot, the average home is stipulated to use 2 kw, so if you had a community of 500 such homes, you’d use up a tenth of that energy. Has anybody thought about templating how to structure a co-op power plant run by local communities? what kind of duties/rolls need to be satisfied to run such a facility? or is this too pinko-commie to be given much thought?
I have thought a lot about this possibility and I would love to see my own community become independent of the local grid, but what would it take?
Using somewhat more conservative figures, let us assume 5MW per plant. We have 7,500 homes, and let’s allow for air conditioning and electric ranges and use an average of 4KW per house. My experience as a local electrician would support this higher figure. We do the math, and six plants could supply my town’s needs. Add two more for occasional peak needs and backup for shutdowns to do maintenance, and we have eight. At, as I have read, $250,000 per plant, total cost is $2Mil. Selling the citizens on a bond issue for this amount would be very feasible, especially considering how their electric bills would dwindle by perhaps a factor of ten.
However, two areas of difficulty remain — one technical and the other economic/political.
Power is supplied by Southern California Edison to my community by three mainlines which march in parallel down the coast about a half mile apart. Perpendicular to these and linking to them is another mainline right through the middle of town to the ocean. From our perspective we have seven lines radiating outward to other communities and ultimately to the generators. Sometimes power goes one way, sometimes the other. This is the grid. Approximately ten times the power travels through our town than we extract and use ourselves. We could not readily isolate ourselves from this encumbrance to become truly independent. But . . . By state law, any entity can generate electricity and the power company is compelled to purchase it, so my town could generate enough watts for its citizens, sell it to SCE and remit the bulk of the price to the consumers. This raises the second area of difficulty.
Many individuals resent the concept of government taking part in any enterprise which could be monopolized by the private sector and yield a profit. Occasionally here, an attempt is made to privatize water companies, trash collection, and other services. There has been considerable success privatizing law enforcement and prison administration. I can hear the screams already if my town sought to usurp the power company’s prerogatives. I am not saying that this would be impossible to overcome, but there would be a struggle.