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Sat Oct 13, 2012, 06:27 AM

U.S. approves land set-aside for large solar power plants

Source: Associated Press

Federal officials on Friday approved a plan that sets aside 285,000 acres of public land for the development of large-scale solar power plants, cementing a new government approach to renewable energy development in the West after years of delays and false starts.

<snip>

The plan replaces the department's previous first-come, first-served system of approving solar projects, which let developers choose where they wanted to build utility-scale solar sites and allowed for land speculation.

<snip>

The government is establishing 17 new "solar energy zones" on 285,000 acres in six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. Most of the land - 153,627 acres - is in Southern California.

<snip>

The new solar energy zones were chosen because they are near existing power lines, allowing for quick delivery to energy-hungry cities. Also, the chosen sites have fewer of the environmental concerns - such as endangered desert tortoise habitat - that have plagued other projects.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20121013_U_S__approves_land_set-aside_for_large_solar_power_plants.html




Let's get these built ASAP!

11 replies, 2372 views

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Reply U.S. approves land set-aside for large solar power plants (Original post)
bananas Oct 2012 OP
bananas Oct 2012 #1
silvershadow Oct 2012 #2
Turborama Oct 2012 #3
Scuba Oct 2012 #5
Scuba Oct 2012 #4
William Seger Oct 2012 #6
lovuian Oct 2012 #7
railsback Oct 2012 #8
truthisfreedom Oct 2012 #10
railsback Oct 2012 #11
railsback Oct 2012 #9

Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 06:30 AM

1. Climate Progress: New Solar Energy Program Signals A Paradigm Shift In Our Approach To Energy Develo

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/12/993881/new-solar-energy-program-signals-a-paradigm-shift-in-our-approach-to-energy-development-on-public-lands/

New Solar Energy Program Signals A Paradigm Shift In Our Approach To Energy Development On Public Lands

By Public Lands Team on Oct 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

by Jessica Goad

The way that solar energy is sited and built on federal public lands just got more simpler. Earlier today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed into law a new plan outlining the best places for solar to be developed on public lands and incentives for avoiding places that are ecologically sensitive.

<snip>

Importantly, this announcement reflects a major step forward in the philosophy about how our public lands are used for energy development. Up until now, the priority use of public lands for energy has been fossil fuels — oil, gas, and coal. Although a handful of wind and geothermal projects were up and running, it wasn’t until this year that any solar projects started generating electricity.

The solar decision follows an announcement earlier this week from the Department of the Interior that 10,000 megawatts of solar, wind, and geothermal energy have been authorized on public lands. This meets a goal for the agency laid out by Congress in 2005 of approving 10,000 megawatts of non-hydro renewable energy on public lands by 2015, which was echoed by President Obama in this year’s State of the Union address.

<snip>

The Center for American Progress has called on the agencies to institute a new goal of ensuring that 35 percent of the electricity from resources from public lands and waters is renewable by 2035. Currently, 66 percent of the resources from public lands used for electricity are from coal, while only 1 percent is from wind, solar, and geothermal combined. Establishing a “clean resources standard” will help bring coal and renewable energy sourced from public lands back into balance and continue to help us transition the use of our lands for energy development from fossil to clean.

<snip>

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 06:38 AM

2. Here's to hoping... n/t

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 08:38 AM

3. Excellent News! Help me out with the math on this, please...

It'd be interesting how close to this it would be...


Consider the solar energy potential of one square mile of land. A square mile is 640 acres. One square mile of sunshine has the potential of providing (640 acres x 7.26 megawatt-hours) 4,646 megawatt-hours per day of electricity using existing CSP technology at 30% efficiency.

Ten thousand square miles is a plot of land 100 miles long by 100 miles wide. Multiply 640 acres by 10,000 square miles equals 6,400,000 acres. With a yield of 7.26 megawatt-hours of electricity per day per acre, a CSP system receiving 6,400,000 acres of sunshine would produce about 46,464,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per day.


Much more here:

A solar farm 100 miles long by 100 miles wide could produce enough electricity for America!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=115x203056

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Response to Turborama (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 09:10 AM

5. Very interesting, thanks for the link. I'm not sure if the articles advocate for one large farm ...

... or if they use that model to make the concept simpler to describe.

I would advocate for distributed farms across the country to reduce signal loss and increase redundancy/availability.

Somewhere here on DU I learned of a project trying to embed the solar cells in the highway system, which obviously adds some durability issues but also creates a number of interesting opportunities. Might have been in Oregon; sorry I can't find a link.

Thanks again.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 08:58 AM

4. This is great, but we still need large-scale investment in solar ...

Perhaps some small portion of our billions in tax subsidies to big oil could be diverted to solar.

Nah, probably not.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 09:42 AM

6. Great idea: "solar gardens"

My town has two or these already: Instead of having solar panels on your roof, you can buy one or more panels installed on a large collective farm. The power goes into the grid and you get a credit for it on your electric bill. You can start with one panel, just getting a partial discount on your bill, or you can buy enough to cover your whole bill or even enough to get a rebate every month.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 02:59 PM

7. There we go America

Good show lets put out money there

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 03:28 PM

8. And when the Republicans cry

 

Last edited Sat Oct 13, 2012, 04:02 PM - Edit history (1)

all you have to do is point to Germany, whose solar power grids produce around the same amount of power as 20 nuclear plants.

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Response to railsback (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 03:30 PM

10. whose

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Response to truthisfreedom (Reply #10)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 04:02 PM

11. Correct

 

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Response to bananas (Original post)

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