MORE NEWS, 10-28: BIGGEST U.S. PV SUN COMES ON; U.S. DOESN’T KNOW CAP™ DEAL – DAKOTA WIND TO SOUTHEAST; NEW WAVE FOR SF
BIGGEST U.S. PV SUN COMES ON
Largest solar panel plant in US rises in Fla.
Christine Armario, October 23, 2009 (AP)
"…For nearly a year, construction workers and engineers…have been building the nation's largest solar panel energy plant. Testing will soon be complete, and the facility will begin directly converting sunlight into energy…The Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will power a small fraction of Florida Power & Light's 4-million plus customer base; nevertheless, at 25 megawatts, it will generate nearly twice as much energy as the second-largest photovoltaic facility in the U.S.…President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the facility…when it officially goes online and begins producing power for the electric grid.
"As demand grows and more states create mandates requiring a certain percentage of their energy come from renewable sources, the size of the plants is increasing. The southwest Florida facility will soon be eclipsed by larger projects announced in Nevada and California…"
Soon to be the biggest PV solar plant in the U.S. (click to enlarge)
"Despite its nickname, the Sunshine State hasn't been at the forefront of solar power. Less than 4 percent of Florida's energy has come from renewable sources in recent years. And unlike California and many other states, Florida lawmakers haven't agreed to setting clean energy quotas for electric companies to reach in the years ahead…California, New Jersey and Colorado have led the country in installing photovoltaic systems; now Florida is set to jump closer to the top with the nation's largest plant yet.
"The Desoto facility and two other solar projects Florida Power & Light is spearheading will generate 110 megawatts of power, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3.5 million tons. Combined, that's the equivalent of taking 25,000 cars off the road…The investment isn't cheap: The Desoto project cost $150 million to build…But there are some economic benefits: It created 400 jobs for draftsmen, carpenters and others whose work dried up as…the recession set in…"
First Solar will expand the El Dorado installation to 48 megawatts of PV power next year. Will Florida respond to the challenge? (click to enlarge)
"There are two means of producing electricity from the sun: photovoltaic cells that directly convert sunlight; and thermal power, which uses mirrors to heat fluid and produce steam to run a turbine power generator…[A] one- or two-megawatt project was considered large not long ago. The size has slowly increased each year…
"Spain and Germany have made larger per capita commitments to solar power because of aggressive government policies…And China has announced plans to pay up to 50 percent of the price of solar power systems of more than 500 megawatts…In April, Arizona-based manufacturer First Solar Inc. announced plans to build a 48-megawatt plant in Nevada, producing power for about 30,000 homes. Even that pales compared to recently announced plans for a 2 gigawatt facility in China. First Solar has initial approval to build it."
NEW WAVE FOR SF
BioPower Systems Collaborates With City of San Francisco on Wave Energy Project
October 22, 2009 (PRNewswire via Reuters)
"Australia's ocean energy company, BioPower Systems…entered into a collaborative agreement with the City of San Francisco to investigate the generation of wave energy from the Pacific Ocean.
"…BioPower will work with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to assess the feasibility of a project located eight kilometres (five miles) off San Francisco's western beaches with a generating capacity of between 10MW and 100MW. The proposed Oceanside Wave Energy Project would consider installation of a wave farm using BioPower's modular wave energy system, bioWAVET."
BioPower's unique wave energy device. (click to enlarge)
"…Pending the results of a feasibility study, BioPower and the City of San Francisco will work together to develop the project aimed at supplying clean renewable electricity into the City's power grid by 2012."
Biopower has a similar tidal energy device. (click to enlarge)
"The bioWAVET system is designed to supply utility-scale grid-connected renewable energy while being out of view, and without affecting marine life. The unique system sways in tune with the forces of the ocean, and naturally streamlines when extreme conditions prevail, leading to cost-competitive lightweight designs. Multiple bioWAVET devices, each with a capacity of 1MW, would be installed as an undersea wave energy farm, with the combined power output supplied to the on-land grid via subsea cable…
"BioPower's CEO, Dr Tim Finnigan, said the collaboration was further endorsement of the clear potential of the company's proprietary…bioWAVETM and bioSTREAMTM technologies…"