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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Solar Power Project News

"I’d put my money on the Sun and Solar Energy, what a source of Power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out, before we tackle that." -Thomas Edison

From time to time I like to check up on what is going on for new solar power projects in the planning stages or the construction phase across America. It is simply amazing to me to see how large some of the proposed solar projects are going to be when just a few years back a large project was a few solar panels on a companies roof that pushed out a few watts. Now they measure the size of a new photovoltaic power generating plant in (MW) mega watts and thousands of homes that it could power. Even twenty years ago (1990 if you do the math) it was a rarity to even hear about a solar powered electric generation plant unless it was a science fiction story.

Is it time to change the old saying “Now your cooking with gas.” to “Now your cooking with Solar?” Here is a win-win situation that construction and installation of solar panels across an entire school district is slated to start in March of 2010.

Largest District Solar Project Planned
Will save district an estimated $17 million over the next 20 years.

The Irvine Unified School District in Southern California has confirmed plans to install solar panels in 21 of its 38 facilities. The installation is predicted to save the district some $17 million over the next 20 years.

In November 2009, Irvine finalized an agreement with SPG Solar, Inc., project developers and designers of solar power systems.

“Irvine was groundbreaking,” says Thomas Rooney, CEO and president of SPG Solar. “It was the largest and most ambitious solar project for a K12 school in the country.”

Irvine agreed to lease solar panels through SunEdison, a solar energy company that finances, operates and monitors solar plants, and purchase the electricity generated at each site at a fixed rate over a 20-year payout.
- District Administration

Moving over to the private sector we come to the tech industry with the mover and shaker Intel Corp bellying up to the solar power bar. Intel is gearing up for eight new solar projects in four states that they are planning to complete in seven months.

Added factoids from this article are that Walmart is the largest retail chain with on site solar power generation in the country. And check out this link to the that tracks green power use from all businesses within the United States.

Intel is building 2.5MW of new solar generation in 8 states; continues to lead all US companies in green energy purchases.

The world’s largest chip maker, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), made a huge incursion into solar power generation today with the announcement that it is adding to its clean energy portfolio with 2.5 megawatts worth of new solar power projects at eight U.S. locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon.

In addition to the new on-site generation, Intel is also upping its renewable energy purchases by 10 percent to 1.43 billion kilowatt-hours a year of renewable energy certificates. The move solidifies the company’s position as the largest voluntary purchaser of green power in the United States.
- Earth and Industry 1/27/2010

Not to be outdone by Intel Corp is the United States Army where being all that you can be is going to be a 100% self sufficient solar powered electric way of life by 2022 at Fort Irwin in California. Typical of anything the military does the price tag is rather large at $2 Billion USD.

Far from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Department of Defense is setting its own target list to achieve energy independence for the Army's biggest bases.

First, California's Fort Irwin has just begun a multi-year march toward 1,000 MW in solar energy capacity and self-sufficiency from the desert sun.
- Green Chip Stocks 10/2009

Then we have Arizona Public Service (APS) is heating up the race for the biggest solar concentrating plant in the world with its Solana plant 70 miles west of Phoenix.

It will produce enough energy to serve 70,000 APS customers when operating at full capacity. The plant will be built by Abengoa Solar Inc., and is scheduled to provide renewable energy beginning in 2012.

Spanish for “sunny place,” Solana will not emit greenhouse gases and will provide APS with more solar electricity per customer than any utility in the U.S. The facility also would be the largest solar power plant in the world if in operation today.
- APS Green Choice 2/21/2010

Next up is great news coming from the federal government on putting the deserts of the United States to work generating solar power for 140,000 homes in California starting in 2012. Again, a huge price tag but we've all heard the stories about a certain amount of acres in the desert if used for just solar power generation could power all of the country...

The Energy Department on Monday announced a "conditional" $1.4 billion loan guarantee for a solar thermal power complex in the Mojave Desert that would ultimately produce as much as 392 megawatts of electricity. - Washington Post 2/23/2010

Break out the marshmallows because the solar power market is on fire. I'm off to fetch another bag of marshmallows seeing that the first ones keep burning to a crisp.


Email us at papamoka (at) hotmail (dot) com with your companies latest news if you are in the solar power industry or want to advertise your company here on this page.

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Blogger Sue said...

Mat this is awesome news! We need to hear more of this and not the bad news stuff I just posted! Terrific sweetie! xo

2:06 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I'll keep ya posted on any new projects I see happening in your area Sue. Hugs at ya sis!

4:00 PM  

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