"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." - Robert Swan
McDowell is in the process of planning for and installing two Archimedes Screws at the dam on Clear Creek.
This ancient technology has been used for centuries to pump water out of low-lying coastal areas in Holland. The Archimedes screw can also be reversed to produce hydro-electricity. The plan is to install two screws on a 25-foot section of the dam. Flowing creek water will turn the screws and a turbine which will generate electricity seven months of the year.
During rainy times of the year, the turbine will produce an abundance of energy which will be stored in batteries for use during low flow. Spaans Babcock, a company in the Netherlands that has produced these screws for 120 years, will produce two specifically for Camp McDowell to use on Clear Creek. The simple steel and concrete screw turbines are designed for reliability and minimal operating costs with many operating for over 30 years.
Solar energy, which is energy captured from the sun, is the most abundant form of energy on the planet. It is a clean, renewable energy resource, and is assumed to play an important part in the global energy future.
Camp McDowell partnered with Eagle Solar and Light and completed a large-scale solar installation in early 2018. This included the installation of 298 solar panels on three buildings, plus a ground-mounted solar array to power two additional buildings. The total capacity of the project is approximately 86.4 kilowatts. Click HERE for details. Savings realized on the monthly power bill for the five buildings goes into a reserve fund that will be used to finance future developments in energy independence at McDowell.
Buildings currently using solar power include the Green Street Market Barn, Doug Carpenter Hall, St. John's Pool House, Phifer Hall, the Chapel of St. Francis, and the Johnston Welcome Center.
In 2019, we saved $15,641 from solar production.
Geothermal energy is an energy source that is carried to the earth's surface by water or steam from underground. We use this type of energy, which we derive from Sloan Lake, to heat and cool several of the buildings in Bethany Village, including the lodges and cabins. Sloan Lake was created during the construction of the newest section of McDowell, Bethany Village, in 2015.
By transferring heat through a closed system of pipes, geothermal makes our HVAC systems more efficient. Using the near-constant temperature at the bottom of Sloan Lake to assist heat pumps and cooling units, we reduce Camp’s carbon consumption.
Geothermal energy is a renewable source of energy because it's a source that has almost an unlimited amount of heat generated by the Earth's core.