QUICK NEWS, 10-27: BIGGEST CPV POWER PLANT ON LINE; BETTER DATA, BETTER WIND; SUN FLOATING ON TREATED WATER
BIGGEST CPV POWER PLANT ON LINE
NextEra Energy Resources powers up North America's largest concentrated photovoltaic solar power plant
19 October 2011 (NextEra Energy)
"NextEra Energy Resources, LLC…[commissioned] the Hatch Solar Center, located in Hatch, N.M…The 5-megawatt Hatch facility is comprised of 84 Amonix 60-kilowatt units, and began operation in June 2011. The plant is the largest operating concentrated photovoltaic solar power plant in North America…
"NextEra Energy Resources owns and operates the plant and sells the power to El Paso Electric under a 25-year power purchase agreement."
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"NextEra Energy Resources has partnered with Amonix, Inc., a leader in solar systems design and manufacturing, for the Hatch Solar Energy Center…
"The plant uses Amonix’s innovative concentrated photovoltaic solar power systems, which incorporate dual-axis tracking to maximize energy production throughout the day…"
BETTER DATA, BETTER WIND
How to grow wind energy? Faster, more powerful data crunching
24 October 2011 (Greenbang)
…[P]lacing turbines in the right places [with the best wind] can make the difference between a really good investment in renewable energy, and a losing bet…But accounting for all the variables that together determine the “right place” hasn’t been easy…[T]here are just so many variables: changing weather patterns, prevailing wind directions, turbulence, the presence (or lack of) trees in the area, even aesthetics…[and they] interact in complex ways…[so] if one changes, many of the others will also change.
"Running those kinds of data through wind-turbine computer models used to take weeks. But IBM says it can now help wind-energy companies do those calculations in an hour or less…In fact, Big Blue has just started working with Danish wind-energy giant Vestas to do just that: crunch myriad facts and figures fast to help the company make the best siting decisions possible for its turbines."
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"Coupled with its Firestorm supercomputer, IBM is providing Vestas with speedier turbine location guidance using its InfoSphere BigInsights software. The software took 200-plus IBM research scientists and four years of effort to develop, and can process and store terabyte- or petabyte-levels of data to create “what-if” scenarios for turbine placements. Vestas is using that to analyze huge volumes of data: weather reports, tidal phases, geospatial and sensor data, satellite images, deforestation maps and weather modeling research…
"Once each turbine is installed, Vestas engineers plan to use the IBM technology to predict turbine performance, analyze how each blade reacts to weather changes, and determine the best times to schedule maintenance. Over the next four years, the wind-energy company expects to crunch over 20 petabytes of data in an effort to continue fine-tuning its siting strategies…"
SUN FLOATING ON TREATED WATER
Solar Array Designed To Float On Treatment-Plant Reservoir
20 October 2011 (Solar Industry)
New Jersey American Water has energized a 135 kW solar array that floats atop a reservoir at the company's Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Millburn, N.J… ENERActive Solutions of Asbury Park, N.J., designed and built the project, which consists of 538 modules."
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[Bob Biehler, senior project manager, New Jersey American Water:] "The support structure of the anchored array features a unique mooring system that allows it to rise and fall with the water level of the reservoir...The solar panels are fixed at a 14-degree angle and were specially made to endure the severe weather conditions - such as heavy wind, rain, snow and ice - that are not uncommon during northern New Jersey winters…"