Rio Solare

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With the troubles facing us in modern times, ideas of great magnitude are needed that reset destiny and purpose. America is at this crossroad. To remain the greatest nation the world has known, America must embrace its heart light. This is the time and this is the idea. :

With the troubles facing us in modern times, ideas of great magnitude are needed that reset destiny and purpose. America is at this crossroad. To remain the greatest nation the world has known, America must embrace its heart light. This is the time and this is the idea.

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I share a dream of national and global achievement. I have no greater initiative than this in my life as it would benefit the world with such magnitude and game changing potential that I would compare it to the Renaissance of Europe via Florence. It would be the literal beginning to a new era of human development and one which would resonate throughout history. I present the idea of “Rio Solare ” or River of the Sun.

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Just like other cities and regions of the past and present that serve as a nation’s portal or gateway to progress, “Rio Solare ” will have the same iconic agreement with the masses. Whether it was Plymouth Rock from the beginning, to San Francisco for the gold rush or Detroit, America’s birthplace of its auto- industrial revolution, each geographical center was indicative in its role as a gateway city or region. This was dictated by an area’s natural resources and adds to our ever developing American culture as form would follow function. Whether for logistical importance or mineral richness in these special places, our objectives were driven forward by grand ideas that make America great. The concept of “Rio Solare ” is a culmination of creativity like any other civilizations search for survival. I believe this concept is America’s new inspiration and a global example of our nations resolve. Essentially, “Rio Solare ” is a self-sustained, closed loop society, similar to other global projects known as “ Kacare “in Saudi Arabia or “ Masdar “ in Abu Dhabi, but this concept is beyond those. What I envision is an “Epcot Center” approach that allows for demonstration of various ideas of sustainability on a “World’s First” standard along the Colorado River.

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Like Walt Disney did with Epcot Center at Disney World, this expose of technologies showcases imagination, creativity, and application like no other think tank can do. Here in the American West we have the famous Colorado River which is known worldwide as being a source of renewal, progress, and energy. We sit on a set of extraordinary circumstances along this string of uncanny ingredients that make this vision the perfect storm of innovation in a world class setting. I believe the US West has become our source of wonderment and inspiration for over 2 hundred years and will be the very place we find our new start.

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We now have approximately 5 Billion dollars of solar projects proposed in this area for the next 3 years. With the rest of the southwest region of our nation, you can add another 5 billion dollars easily. “Rio Solare ” is the gateway that our nation needs to envision its possibilities. The “Rio Solare ” project starts from a northern point along a 22 mile stretch of the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada to Needles, California with Arizona as the linking point in this multi pronged regional approach. The project at this time includes 5 major installations along this route, each of which is a world’s first demonstration of proven technologies that exist today. With this compelling knowledge you too will understand the magnitude of “Rio Solare ” and see the vision as I have dreamed will come true.

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THE LAUGHLIN SOLAR TOWER

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At the moment you’re reading this what was the World’s Largest Coal Slurry Plant (Mohave Generating Station) is being demolished. It was built by Southern California Edison in 1971 and supplied electricity to 395,000 homes primarily to California. The plant was officially shut down in 2005 because of a battle lost to the EPA. The operation including smoke stack, cooling towers, and storage ponds have been demolished. My vision is to convert it to a CSP facility (Concentrated Solar Power ), much the same as companies like “ Brightsource ” and “ Abengoa ” have installed all over the world for decades. This blank canvas of hundreds of acres with transmission towers intact makes this a very appealing proposition.

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Also at this time the Chinese company, ENN Solar, is negotiating with the State of Nevada and town of Laughlin to construct a PV (Photo Voltaic) manufacturing plant in the same area involving a 4 to 6 billion dollar investment with 2000 permanent jobs. The project includes a self-sustaining solar city which will be the home of its factory personnel. Also Laughlin is a community that sees 5 million visitors annually to its casino and river attractions. The pull of state funding to allow for such a thing as this idea to become a reality is the fact that Senator Harry Reid has announced this project (coal to solar) as a special interest of his at a recent town hall meeting in Laughlin, NV. These events, coupled with the “Rio Solare ” concept, make this a dream come true with political will.

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EMERALD RIVER ECO PARK

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For 15+ years, “The Emerald River Golf Course/Casino Hotel Project” has waned and vacated for lack of funding. The existing towers (14 stories and 6 stories) will be the center point of the project that will encompass the Nation’s First Vertical Farm. These towers entail acres of under roof hydroponics on a scale not found in the world and certainly not in this country. This center point attraction in “Rio Solare ” will be the gemstone in a crowning achievement, bringing together all other 5 installations. In this all encompassing demonstration of sustainability, this project not only wins the heart and mind of those like First Lady Michelle Obama and her fresh food crusade for the masses but also lends itself to other forms of sustainability. Aside from the idea that urban communities are very rich in unoccupied and recyclable structures that lend themselves to vertical farming, these buildings will showcase other forms of technology that put it far and away from any other installation like it in the world. I’ve spoken with Dr. Dickson Despommier (The “Godfather of Vertical Farming” at Columbia www.verticalfarm.com ) and he agrees in this unique opportunity but it’s a matter of connecting the right people including the owner of the property (Nick Azouz / www.nickazouz.com ) who I’ve spoken with briefly about the idea. You can go to his site and view the existing Casino/Hotel plan on the property. The buildings will be covered with solar panels that are activated to angle according to a computer driven tracking system that allows the exterior of the building to behave like petals of a flower following the sun. The buildings would be living and behaving in a natural way, moving in rhythm with the sun’s rays. The top of the building will also lend itself to wind turbines as well, utilizing the high wind concentration in the Colorado River Valley. Also in the building be will the World’s first communication center for all things green. There will be radio and TV studios that will broadcast from this world class destination on all things sustainable like the “Planet Green Channel” or an entirely new network yet to evolve. Interviews with leaders in sustainability will be held under roof and this center of learning and recreation will be the backdrop.

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Included in this building and adding to its menu of alternative energy processes will be a bio digester. What makes this idea of energy from food waste in this facility feasible is that we have a 5 million visitor a year host (casinos) to provide the said food waste. I can’t say enough about how much this idea is dependent on the local casino business but the fact we have a made to order existing attraction in the casino visitor is a definite asset. The idea is to make this closed loop concept as much as it can be integrated, not only in our small community of 50 thousand residents in this 22 mile stretch of river, but also outside of this incubator into real world solutions. This is why the idea will work simply because we have the food waste now in abundance from the casinos. The energy created will offset the buildings power usage and will be able to sell back to the grid. The flip side to this idea is that the casinos are also the biggest customer of fruit and vegetable produce. We grow the produce in the vertical farm not only for the casinos but also to the general public which makes the idea financially sustainable. Showcasing the idea of this wonderful place where organic food is grown, we would have a world class restaurant specializing in organic cooking. I’m sure the Food Channel may have suggestions of their own which can be integrated into this crucible of ideas revolving around healthy eating and lifestyle.

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Also in this ironic landscape and extreme weather, imagine a 12 story high atrium with ice climbers on a 5 foot thick ice wall mimicking a frozen waterfall in the desert when it’s 115 degrees outside. The highest indoor ice wall is now in the UK ( www.ice-factor.co.uk ) but this would be about 75 ft higher making it the world’s largest. Below, people are dining on the best and healthiest food available in a world class restaurant with shopping venues along its flanks where you can buy mementos and native indian art from your visit. Keep in mind the river culture is much a part of “Rio Solare ” which also includes a marina and a Venice-like canal system integrated into this 300 acre prime riverfront property. A competitive kayak course can be engineered with waterfalls and rapids and will fit very well into the theme. The existing golf course is also a prime asset and can be either redesigned or resurrected to its original plan. Also integrated into the theme would be various examples of different climatic zones much like miniature biospheres mingled about. The Emerald River Eco Park will be without parallel and become a world destination for learning and recreation.

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MOHAVE COMMUNITY COLLEGE NREL SATELLITE CAMPUS

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Moving south, down river from the Emerald River Eco Park at about 3 miles away, will be a center of learning like no other that encompasses a new curriculum devoted to alternative energy production. The State of Arizona has about 280 acres directly across from the existing college on Route 95 in Bullhead City that continues to the river’s shore. Beyond the river going west is the adjacent property along Nevada’s river shore with another 500 acres of blank canvas consisting of desert. I believe between the NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab), The University of Arizona, and UNLV, a world class incubator of developmental projects like PV array fields and CSP can happen. Imagine a 1000 acres of energy producing solar that would generate in the neighborhood of 100 megawatts plus and surpassing anything of its kind especially since this is also a collaborative effort in large part from corporate involvement. Just like Monsanto, Cargill and ADM have an interest in college funding for agricultural curriculum so would companies like Siemens, BP, Kyocera, Sanyo, Sharp, GE and many more have in this prime proving ground for Solar Power. With the prospect of a new bridge, the access roads would go straight through these acres of solar panels. This is another example of how the public can get up close and personal to solar on a grand scale like driving past the wind farms in Palm Springs or the Tehachapi Pass. This would the first combined effort between state governments, universities and corporations like no other place in the world.

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MOHAVE TRIBAL NATION AND AMERICA’S FIRST CELLULOSIC ETHANOL PLANT FROM SUGAR CANE

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South of the NREL / MCC Campus about 5 miles, is the tribal nation of the Fort Mohave Indian. Most of the area in the “Rio Solare ” project is Tribal owned and makes up over ten thousand acres of prime farmland on both sides of the river in Nevada and Arizona. Water rights are exclusive to the tribe in ways that allow for such farming to occur in one of the most arid lands in the country. The prominent crops are alfalfa, cotton and hay, all of which are very water intensive and not the best use of this land in regards to water scarcity. The answer regarding better water usage and the viability of Sugar Cane for ethanol is sub surface drip irrigation. Drip irrigation in sugarcane production is a relatively new innovative technology that will conserve water, energy and increase profits. As such, drip irrigation technology may help solve three important problems in water scarcity, rising pumping costs and depressed farm profits. The tribe is also in the energy business on this reservation with investment in a natural gas plant run by Calpine called “The South Point Energy Center.” They sell their power to Southern California and it produces a base load of 520 megawatts. The truth is that the tribe is familiar with energy production for profit and would likely be interested in opportunities such as Sugar Cane Ethanol when the right proposal came along. Couple this idea with cellulosic energy production from the stalks and other combustible materials from processing the sugarcane and you have an energy production source for both transportation and electricity. This is just another example of closed loop energy production in a given community. The tribe also operates its own casino too, which of course would allow for more energy from food waste and disposables. Closed loop societies are not new, in fact this concept of using natural resources to sustain a given community has been pioneered by all indigenous people throughout the world. The “Rio Solare ” project is yet another way to honor the good sense of our Native Americans with utmost respect to the land.

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AMERICA’S FIRST HIGH SPEED MAG LEV TRAIN

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At the southern end of this 22 mile string of cosmic circumstances is an example of things to come regarding alternative energy. The future beyond popular forms of alternative energy, such as solar and wind power, will be eclipsed by magnetic levitation ( Mag Lev) technology. With its historic past grounded as a strategic transportation hub, Needles, California is located on the widely travelled US Route 40 making accessibility to “Rio Solare ” ideal. Imagine the adventurous traveler parking in Needles and boarding the Mag Lev train whisking passengers up the famous Colorado River. Their destinations may include a round of golf at the Emerald River Eco Park, gambling at a casino or even a tour of the Laughlin Solar Tower. Since it was founded in 1883 with the coming of the railroad to the fabled history of Route 66, Needles commands a strategic position in the evolution of the west and our nation’s recovery and future. These elements of technology and location make Needles, California the prime setting for America’s first high speed Mag Lev train which solidifies this historic effort that becomes “Rio Solare ” .

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The existing downtown train depot will become a satellite campus of “The National High Magnetic Field Lab” of Florida State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory. The train terminal campus will serve as a demonstration of Mag Lev technology with college school rooms and labs. The Mag Lev train will begin in Needles and terminate at the new Laughlin Solar Tower interlacing 3 states along the way while crossing the Colorado River. Stops along the way will visit the tribal sugar cane ethanol plant, the college of alternative energy studies at the MCC campus and the Emerald River Eco Park. Mag Lev will become a significant strength in a global technology renaissance that will change distributed power dramatically. Think of Mag Lev as what hydraulics are to leveraged force. In other words, Mag Lev is the way to leverage energy production in a frictionless environment requiring a minimum amount of force to overcome the task of producing energy. This means you can have affordable distributed power in our new cordless reality at low investment.

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