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jpak

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,427

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Sioux Tribes Collaborate on Biggest US Wind Farm (1-2 GW)

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25036

In an unprecedented move, six Sioux tribes are coming together to develop the largest wind farm in the US and one of the world’s largest.

The six South Dakota tribes want to develop an interconnected grid of wind farms totaling a massive 1-2 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, over at least six reservations.

Funding for the project, which will cost between $1.75 billion to $3 billion, would come from the sale of bonds by a new Multi-Tribal Power Authority.

The project was revealed during the Clinton Global Initiative last month. "It gives Native tribes who aren't in populous areas and don't have casino revenue a chance to earn some real money that can then be used to reinvest into the community to diversify the economic base that exists," said President Clinton at the event, according to SF Gate.

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Los Angeles Goes All In on Rooftop Solar Panels

http://www.triplepundit.com/2013/07/los-angeles-all-rooftop-solar-panels/

Don’t think it’s possible to provide clean and renewable energy that creates jobs and fuels private investment? Think again and then check out CLEAN LA Solar.

A program developed and supported by the Los Angeles Business Council, a coalition of environmental, business, health and research organizations, and the CLEAN LA Coalition, it’s the largest urban rooftop solar program in the nation. Its five-year goal is to power more than 34,000 homes while creating some 4,500 construction, installation, design engineering, maintenance and administrative jobs in Los Angeles.

CLEAN LA Solar allows businesses and commercial property-owners to generate energy for the city’s power grid through rooftop solar panels, and then sell the power to the Department of Water and Power (DWP). This policy is known as a feed-in-tariff (FiT), and is a great way to promote clean, solar energy.

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The goal is to generate 150 megawatts of solar electricity, or enough power for 30,000 homes. The business council hopes to attract investments totaling about $500 million from a group of companies that want to invest in the city’s push to go green. The program’s first project site is an 80-unit apartment building in North Hollywood that went online with 336 250-watt panels (for 84 kW of installed capacity) on June 26.

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Solar Power Cheaper Than Coal Foreseen By German Solar CEO

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/10/solar-power-cheaper-than-coal-foreseen-by-german-solar-mogul/

In a new interview with Deutsche Welle, the CEO of a Germany-based global solar developer made a good case for the potential for solar power to become cheaper than coal sooner rather than later.

That would be Bernhard Beck, CEO of BELECTRIC. In the interview Beck had some interesting things to say about the direction of the global solar market and the potential for growth in large-scale solar power generating plants, and if anything, we think his forecast could come true even sooner than he thinks.

BELECTRIC specializes in utility-scale solar power plants as well as rooftop solar, and the former area is where the focus of the Deutsche Welle interview takes place.
According to Beck, large scale solar power in Germany is already “approaching the costs” of conventional power, at 10 euro cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Beck was reluctant to lay out a specific timetable, but he did predict that with additional technological improvements, the cost of solar power in Germany (and by extension, other relatively sun-poor countries), will ultimately fall below the cost of conventional energy.

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World's Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Switched On in Britain

http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/green-tech/wind/worlds-biggest-offshore-wind-farm-switched-on-in-britain

Around a year and a half ago, the Walney wind farm in the Irish Sea started spinning and prepared to relish the title of being "biggest in the world." It ended up enjoying that status a bit longer than expected, but the London Array, off the coast of Kent, now leaves Walney and its 367 megawatts in the dust.

Some numbers: 175 turbines. 630 megawatts. Half a million homes. 100 square kilometers. 450 kilometers of offshore cabling.

In other words, it's pretty big. The speed at which these enormous projects are popping around in the waters around the U.K. is impressive, especially considering the ongoing difficulties with getting even a single offshore turbine up and running in the U.S. (Cape Wind might have one by next year! Maybe!) There are now around 20 distinct offshore wind farms around the U.K., generating enough power for 2.3 million homes; when all offshore turbines that are spinning, in construction, or planned are combined, they total 15 gigawatts of capacity—about a quarter of the entire U.S. onshore wind power capabilities.

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BREAKING: Germany Sets Solar Power Record (Again) — 23.9 GW

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/07/breaking-germany-sets-solar-power-record-again-23-9-gw/

It has been a very sunny day here in western Poland, so I knew it was basically the same in Germany (it always is) and that there was a good chance Germany would break its previous solar power output record. So, I’ve been keeping an eye on SMA Solar Technology’s live solar power output tool for the country.

Sure enough, a few hours ago, solar output climbed above the 22.68 GW solar power output record Germany set in April. Not long after, it climbed above the 23.4 GW solar power output record set in June. At its peak at about 1:45pm local time (one hour ago), the output got up to 23.9 GW. (Actually, I thought I saw it reach 24 GW at that time, but the replay isn’t showing it go above 23.9 GW.)

I’m sure an official number still needs to be confirmed, but a full 0.5 GW increase according to SMA’s site makes for a very safe conclusion that we have a new record. It is an estimate based on the output of thousands of SMA solar power systems spread across the country.

Germany’s peak electricity demand at midday is about 60 GW, so at 1:45pm or so, solar power was providing about 40% of the country’s electricity demand. Impressive. Approximately 1.3–1.4 million solar power systems were involved in creating that massive electricity output, our German solar expert Thomas tells me. And about 8.5 million people live in buildings where solar power systems are used to produce electricity or heat.

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Feds Approve Huge Wind Facility Near Lake Mead

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/wind/interior-approves-huge-wind-facility-on-public-lands.html

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has signed off on a wind power facility that would cover almost 60 square miles of public lands in Arizona near the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The Mohave County Wind Farm, built by BP Wind Energy North America, would include up to 243 wind turbines with blades about 180 feet long.

The project would occupy 35,329 acres of land under the Bureau of Land Management and 2,781 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land, and would butt up against Lake Mead NRA about 44 miles east of Las Vegas. Depending on the transmission connection eventually chosen, the project would max out at between 425 and 500 megawatts peak generating capacity.

"These are exactly the kind of responsible steps that we need to take to expand homegrown, clean energy on our public lands and cut carbon pollution that affects public health," said Secretary Jewell. "This wind energy project shows that reducing our carbon pollution can also generate jobs and cut our reliance on foreign oil."

The one oil-fired power plant in Arizona that this project might have supplanted, the diesel-fueled Grand Canyon Power House in the South Rim area of the National Park, ceased operations in 1956.

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Use of wind power for electricity generation rises as coal declines

http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2013/06/26/iowa-releases-new-data-on-sources-of-electric-power-generation-wind-increasing/article

n consecutive stories this week – here on Tuesday and here on Wednesday – the Des Moines Register has cited 2010 data on the sources of electric power generation in Iowa.

Those figures were the best available as of deadline Tuesday evening, and showed the state reliant on coal-fired power plants for 71.8 percent of its power, while drawing 16 percent from wind.

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In short: coal power is falling while the wind is rising.

Here’s the new data:

Coal: 67.82 percent
Wind: 19.0 percent
Natural Gas: 1.76 percent
Fuel Oil/Petroleum: 0.25 percent
Nuclear: 9.25 percent
Hydro: 1.64 percent
Other Renewables: 0.28 percent.

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What to do with the world's unwanted wind turbines?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-23048093

The study was commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage, which is expected to issue new guidance on dealing with old turbines later this year.

The research looked at the decommissioning of the machines, the restoration of wind farm sites and also how turbines, towers and the various components can be recycled.

Dealing with the massive devices when they are replaced by more efficient ones is expected to become an increasingly weighty issue.

The SNH-commissioned report quotes a forecast that by 2034 there will be a need to recycle about 225,000 tonnes of rotor blade material every year worldwide.

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U.K. Moves Toward Bigger Solar Plants as Costs Drop

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-17/u-k-moves-toward-bigger-solar-plants-as-costs-drop.html

Solar-energy developers in the U.K. are installing bigger power plants after the cost of panels dropped quicker than the government reduced subsidies, the British Photovoltaic Association said.

More than half of projects in development are sized 5 megawatts or bigger, up from about a third in the first quarter, when installations reached 520 megawatts, Reza Shaybani, the head of the British Photovoltaic Association, said today in an interview at a conference in Munich.

Investors can generate returns of “between 8 percent to 12 percent, depending on what you install,” he said. The plunge in prices for solar systems eclipsed the feed-in-tariff cuts of about 50 percent, he said in a speech at the gathering.

Britain seeks to install as much as 22 gigawatts of solar energy by 2020 as part of a target to get 15 percent of its energy from renewables by the same year. While the U.K. is “well on track” to achieve its 2020 solar target, the BPVA is asking the government to suspend further cuts to the feed-in-tariff and the Renewables Obligations Certificate for 12 months because of the European Union’s anti-dumping tariffs on China that are hurting sales, he said.

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The business case for wind power: Opinion (Google)

http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2013/06/the_business_case_for_wind_pow.html

People sometimes ask why an Internet company like Google has chosen to invest in the Atlantic Wind Connection — a multi-billion-dollar electric transmission “backbone” designed to carry power from offshore wind farms. The answer is simple: At Google, we believe investing in renewable energy makes business sense.

Energy is a critical driver of our business. We receive more than 3 billion search queries a day, show 6 billion hours of video on YouTube every month, and serve 5 million businesses with Google Apps — and all that takes energy. As a company, Google is committed to using that energy efficiently and sustainably. Our data centers use half the energy of typical data centers, we build our campuses to the most efficient design standards, and we’ve purchased more than 260 megawatts of wind power.

Beyond our own operations, we want to help the transition to that clean energy future in another way — by investing directly into projects. This allows us to diversify our capital while contributing to a clean energy future — for ourselves, for the local communities in which we operate, and for our users around the world.

Since 2010, Google has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy projects, including some of the world’s largest land-based wind farms, the largest solar power tower in the world, and both utility scale and residential scale solar photovoltaic systems.

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