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July 3, 2008 - 10:02pm

Did You See That?

Did you see it -- today at 3:00 PM?  The future rolled right through Batavia, right down Main Street.

You may have seen it and not recognized it for what it is.  Perhaps you thought it was an ordinary shed on a trailer being pulled by a red pick up truck.  In fact, it's part of a display from Homearama 2008 in Perinton that came through Batavia on its way home .

Look carefully and you'll see Dick Gammell reflected in the panes of glass in the door.  Dick is the owner of Canadice Construction Corp. in Springwater, and he's come up with a wind/solar generator that has limitless applications.  He developed the original unit to attach to a standard construction trailer to provide sufficient power to run hand tools and small pieces of equipment on site.  This somewhat portable, combination wind and solar generator replaces the gasoline and diesel varieties (up to 7,000 watts), resulting in the reduction of the use of at least 5 gallons of gas for every 8 hour work day -- per site.   One set of solar panels on half the roof (see photo) and one small wind turbine (stored in the shed for today's trip) does the trick.

In western New York, as in many geographic locations in the Northeast, we have an abundance of wind in the colder months and enough sunshine in the warmer months to power this kind of generator.  This unique "shed" provides all the portable power Dick needs to make his small construction company more cost effective, more independent, and more environmentally friendly.

But Dick didn't stop there!  He's applied his green thinking to golf greens.  This week-end, you can see his Green Cart at Dande Farms Country Club in Akron (see the ad in this week's Genesee Valley Pennysaver).  To test the most far-reaching application of his technology, he recently purchased a plug-in, electric vehicle and hopes to generate 10-14 kilowatts per day to power the car for 40-50 miles at once -- with no emissions!

Dick Gammell is an unassuming, straightforward businessman who saw a need and decided to do something about it.  He works every day at making his idea better.  The successful development of a highly  efficient wind/solar generator for use in generating up to 10-20 kilowatt hours per day of power for a family business may seem like a drop in the bucket, but imagine if we could engage MANY small businessmen in energy conservation and the use of alternative power sources!  It may be the only way to protect this nation's energy security.  I applaud Dick's efforts. 

You can read more at: http://www.canadiceconstruction.com/alternativeenergy.nxg    

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