NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, July 28: WYOMING MEGA-WIND MOVES AHEAD; THIN FILM SUN UPS EFFICIENCY; NOT YET SMART ABOUT SMART GRID; BUILDING A SOLAR POWER PLANT

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    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    QUICK NEWS, July 28: WYOMING MEGA-WIND MOVES AHEAD; THIN FILM SUN UPS EFFICIENCY; NOT YET SMART ABOUT SMART GRID; BUILDING A SOLAR POWER PLANT

    WYOMING MEGA-WIND MOVES AHEAD
    BLM Publishes Draft EIS For PCW's Wyoming Wind Project
    25 July 2011 (North American Windpower)

    "The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released its draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, a 2 GW to 3 GW wind farm proposed by the Power Company of Wyoming LLC (PCW)…[This] begins a 90-day comment period.

    "The approximately 1,100-page draft EIS document results from more than three years of analysis, public input and collaboration among federal, state and local cooperating agencies…"


    (from the BLM EIS - click to enlarge

    "…The report informs the public of various factors associated with the wind power plant, including its ecological, aesthetic, cultural, economic and social effects. BLM is preparing this EIS pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA], as about half of the PCW wind project is sited on federal land…

    "The project is expected to include up to 1,000 turbines that will be located on a 320,000-acre working cattle ranch in Carbon County, Wyo. The ranch's outstanding wind resources, coupled with efficient turbine siting, will allow PCW to produce approximately 2.5 GW of renewable energy yet permanently use less than 2,000 acres of land, according to PCW…"



    THIN FILM SUN UPS EFFICIENCY
    First Solar Cadmium-Telluride Cell Hits 17.3 Percent Efficiency
    26 July 2011 (Solar Industry)

    "…[T]he U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has confirmed that [First Solar’s] cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic solar cell has reached a new world record in efficiency: 17.3%...The average efficiency of First Solar modules produced in the first quarter of 2011 was 11.7%, up from 11.1% a year earlier…"

    click to enlarge

    "…[First Solar] has recorded full-module efficiencies over 13.5%, with a 13.4% module confirmed by NREL…First Solar notes that its module efficiency roadmap sets a goal for production-module efficiencies of 13.5% to 14.5% by the end of 2014. The 17.3% efficiency figure was reached with a test cell constructed using commercial-scale manufacturing equipment and materials."


    NOT YET SMART ABOUT SMART GRID
    Survey Shows Smart Grid Education Still Lacking
    21 July 2011 (Renew Grid)

    "A new survey released by Danfoss and conducted by the Ivanovich Group shows consumer education on the smart grid is still lacking and reveals perceived barriers to and benefits of the smart grid.

    "…[A majority of] senior executives in facilities and plant services for industrial, K-12 schools, university campuses, commercial offices and government facilities; senior executives in engineering firms; and senior executives for HVAC product manufacturers… believe that elements of the smart grid will be in place within three to five years, [but] 43% feel it is unlikely the smart grid will be substantially complete in that same time frame. More than half (52%) of the participants, however, indicated that they are currently engaged in some form of smart grid activities."


    click to enlarge

    "The research also confirms that any smart grid investment made by building owners competes with other potential investments…[B]uilding owners listed costs as the number one barrier to investment in the smart grid…[T]hat investment may include retro-commissioning or retrofits to ensure buildings can take advantage of the benefits the smart grid offers.

    "Respondents also cited better access to information as one of the leading reasons to support the smart grid. Shorter duration of power outages was also important to building owners…"



    BUILDING A SOLAR POWER PLANT
    CSP site logistics: the secret to smooth installation; CSP projects cover vast tracts of land, often on exposed, remote sites, and involve the installation of large, breakable components. So, what are the key variables affecting the cost of site logistics – and how best can they be contained?
    Andrew Williams, 25 July 2011 (CSP Today)

    "… Many of the sites that Bechtel managea are very large - so it is vital that workers [who assemble the thousands of heliostats, parabolic troughs, boilers, turbines and/or storage systems] are able to reach work areas as quickly possible. It is also critical that material and equipment is available constantly so that they can be as productive as possible…[A]n extra hour of field work for each of 200,000 heliostats [could] cost more than $10 million assuming all-in cost for labour and support is $50/hour - which is low…

    lots of parts to coordinate (click to enlarge)

    "…[T]he early definition and agreement of project designs with all relevant agencies can help to avoid unnecessary costs. It is also useful to base plant design on an established reference plant or block design…Other ways to minimise costs include the integration of experienced construction teams at the design phase, the application of Six Sigma/Lean Construction techniques in the analysis and design of field processes, the establishment of step-by-step construction procedures, the performance of simulations/time motion studies and the development of risk registers and mitigation measures."


    "…[T]he maximisation of modularisation, integration of ‘multi-discipline’ elements, careful selection and testing of construction equipment, understanding of permit conditions and critical ‘red team reviews of execution plans before going to the field are also vital…[I]ssues taking a dollar to solve in planning, cost $10 to solve in detailed design, and $100 to solve in the field…

    lots of parts to coordinate (click to enlarge)

    "Local community engagement can be a huge benefit in ensuring successful execution of projects…[T]he best way to quickly engage the local community and mitigate any communication or cultural barriers is to put local hires on the project team early in the project, bring them up to speed on project goals as quickly as possible, and use them as primary liaisons with the local community and to help set strategies for mitigation of any issues that may arise…"

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