(Video) Former Delaware Sierra Club officer makes case for data center

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A former officer in the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club is backing the Data Centers project in Newark.
Jim Black is the Founder of the Partnership for Sustainability in Delaware. He has served as Chair of the Executive Committee for the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club and as a lobbyist for the Clean Air Council.

In a recently released video, he makes the case on why a data center at the former Chrysler site in Newark, Delaware, would be a smart move.
The project has drawn opposition from neighbors and some elements of the environmental communty in Delaware, who have cited everything from noise to the proximity of the project to a park as reasons for opposing the $1.1 billion development that could bring thousands of construction jobs and hundreds of permanent positions.
In the video, Black says the project would be far less noisy and much more environmentally friendly than the Chrysler plant.

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  1. Jim Black is a sell-out and a shameful legacy of the Delaware Chapter of the Sierra Club. Although he may have helped found the Partnership for Sustainability in Delaware he was cast out and is a shameful example of a person who has placed money over correct policy. Offer him enough cash and he’ll be anyone’s puppet on a string. Caesar Rodney Institute frequently uses bad data in their assertions relating to environmental policy . They are a Koch Bros. financed mis-information gadfly that responsible people should pay no attention to. These flat-earthers would have us believing that the continued operation of the PBF refinery in Delaware City is actually making the air cleaner; Oh, that’s right, they already are. Pay no attention to the paid-off wonks, stick with real science and real scientists like Dr. Amy Roe. We need real information to make a decision about this power plant, not newspeak Orwellian drivel. The real jobs are located at the data center which is a good project. There is absolutely no need to build a power plant on this site as there is ample power running right next to the property from 3 different suppliers.

    • The Data Center is based on never going down and under its engineering design has to produce its own power to ensure that feature. Otherwise, companies will simply build data centers in places where people put up with the diesel engines that typically provide back-up power. Fuel cells, wind and solar can’t provide that power on site at an affordable cost.

  2. The first aspect to review in this project is whether the 279MW is even required. The power densities stated by TDC are not realistic, so they would likely generate more power than needed allowing them to sell much of it to the grid. As neighbors we have the right to challenge a project that in our view does not fit the zoning. If this amount of power is really needed TDC should have no problem answering our questions and proving it is an actual accessory use. The DEDO infrastructure grant application to obtain $7.5 million is especially damning because it states TDC “will” get a 100MW connection to the PJM grid. This was not disclosed clearly to the city or residents at the public meetings. Let’s not blindly accept projects without plenty community involvement. After all it is what the State of Delaware recommended to TDC in November of 2011…

  3. The new business development model:
    1. Determine how to make the most money.
    2. Convince the public that there is no other potential option.
    3. When an alternative is suggested, threaten a loss of jobs and returning to environmental risks we’ve already moved beyond.

  4. Black has been a problem for a long time.

    He promoted a garbage incinerator in Wilmington. He promoted a “biomass” burner in Newport. (Neither went anywhere.)

    Now he’s promoting the very dubious “Data Center” project which he obviously knows nothing about.

    Not a credible guy at all. In a way, I’m glad to see him outing himself for what he is.

    Black has worked for the so-called “Clean Air Council,” which has mostly a bad history in Delaware.

    The Delaware Chapter of Sierra Club also has mostly a bad history. Recently, with Amy Roe as Conservation Chair, things seem much improved.

  5. In case anyone is wondering about what the Sierra Club REALLY thinks about this proposed power plant, despite the deceptive title of this video and the misleading or outright false statements made by Mr. Black, Gene Kern and other proponents of the project, read this: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20131120/OPINION07/311200008/Sierra-Club-disputes-claims-about-proposed-data-center?nclick_check=1

    I also know several employees and members of the Clean Air Council who are also absolutely not in favor of this project and are upset at the attempts to co-opt the name of their organization. I would urge anyone who is curious about Mr. Black’s environmental credentials to also google the “Partnership for Sustainability in Delaware” and see if you can find any other members or actions this supposed group has ever taken.

    In response to Mr. Rainey’s comment above about the Data Center needing to “never” go down:
    It has been well documented by University Professors and other experts that there are 3 high level power lines coming into the STAR Campus. These are on two different industrial scale electricity grids that unlike the regional residential grid (that may go out for a few hours when say a tree falls on a line) will only go down if we have total grid failure. The likelihood of total grid failure is much much lower than the likelihood of an incident or issue that would cause natural gas turbines to go down. However, total grid does happen sometimes. For example, several years ago there was that mass power outage from Canada to New York and other parts of the North East. But in the event that this were to happen the pumping stations and gas lines which provide power to the power plant would go down with the grid, leaving the power plant without any gas to power their power plant.

    It would seems that this idea of “100% up time” repeatedly touted my Gene Kern and TDC proponents is at best an artfully crafted tool to deceive the public on why the power plant is needed and at worst a complete lack of competence and understanding of how the electric grid works. Either way, do we really this guy in charge of a massive power plant less than 1000 feet from homes and within a mile of several schools?

  6. Ms. Herron, speaking of people who don’t know what they are talking about include yourself. Many facilities have backup generating systems, such as hospitals, refrigerated warehouses, Wall Street and I’m sure STAR. If the grid does go out backup power would come on line to maintain the flow of gas. I think more accurately STAR wants it’s own Generating Capacity because it would be much less expensive than tying into the Grid. The problem with both the pro and con arguments is they rely on emotion and not facts or business principles.
    Remember just a few short years ago that Stem Cell Research was going to produce cures and we even had “Hollywood” trotting out their pathetic’s to plead with the Legislatures. Turns out Stem Cell research hasn’t been very productive has it? Just emotion.

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