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jpak

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 27,427

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(Califronia) Solar power generation hits record levels (2071 MW at noon)

http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/06/09/solar-power-generator-hits-record-levels/#axzz2VwiUCov2

SAN DIEGO — With Southern California’s largest electric generating station broken and scheduled for removal, solar generation levels have reached a record level in California, state officials said Sunday.

Solar power generation on California’s grid set a new all-time high output of 2,071 megawatts at 12:59 p.m. Friday, said officials at the California ISO, the state agency that balances customer demand on regulated power utilities with power generation from commercial vendors.

That nearly equals the 2,250 megawatts of nuclear-powered generation that was lost in January, 2012, when small amounts of radiation began leaking from Southern California Edison’s San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, at Camp Pendleton.

San Diego Gas & Electric owns 20 percent of San Onofre, and has historically received one fifth of its power from the iconic nuclear plant, 65 miles north of San Diego. SDG&E has reassured its customers it can import sufficient replacement power from natural gas, wind and geothermal plants in the Imperial Valley via its new Sunrise Powerlink transmission line.

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2013 Q1 Update: U.S. Solar Industry Keeps Chugging Along (723 MW installed)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdetwiler/2013/06/11/2013-q1-update-u-s-solar-industry-keeps-chugging-along/

GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association released numbers this morning suggesting that the solar juggernaut is not slowing down. Consider this: in the first three months of the year, the U.S. installed 723 MW, just under half of all new generation capacity installed across the country, and the best first quarter yet for solar.

The utility solar market scored big, with 318 MW installed under the direction and ownership of the electric utilities. However, the residential market saw 164 MW installed, with 53% year-over-year growth.

The biggest development driving this trend is the explosive growth of third-party owned solar, which removes the upfront financing obstacle. Companies such as Solar City have approached this problem head on. In the past two months alone, Solar City announced a $500 mn lease financing agreement with Goldman Sachs, as well as a zero down financing program for homebuilders wishing to include solar in new construction. The GTM/SEIA report notes that these third-party models supported two-thirds or more of all residential solar installation in some states.

As one might expect, the ‘left coast’ had a major role to play, especially in the residential sector. In California, residential installations actually eclipsed non-residential additions, driven largely by the increasingly favorable economics. With the benefit of the 30 percent federal investment tax credit, solar is now cost-effective when compared with relatively high California utility rates.

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E.ON starts work on 288MW offshore wind farm (Germany)

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/05/29/EON-starts-work-on-288MW-offshore-wind-farm/UPI-32231369829921/

German utility company E.ON said it started laying down special containers to support foundations for a new wind farm off the northern German coast.

E.ON said it started preparation for the construction of the 288-megawatt Amrumbank West offshore wind farm, to be northwest of German archipelago Heligoland.

E.ON said it was deploying a special type of sand bag made from geotextiles that would prevent seabed erosion from around the foundations of the turbines.

"Separating the scour protection from the installation of the foundations has significant logistical advantages and helps to further reduce the cost of offshore wind energy," the company said in a statement. "E.ON's aim is to reduce the construction and operating cost of offshore wind farms by 40 percent by 2015."

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Wind, Solar, & Natural Gas Up In Europe — Coal & Nuclear Down

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/13/wind-solar-natural-gas-up-in-europe-coal-nuclear-down/

Following up on the report I just published regarding EPIA’s 2012–2017 European and global solar PV report, below are some really interesting charts I wanted to highlight. Basically, they show that solar PV, wind power, and natural gas capacity has grown substantially in the EU while coal, nuclear, and oil capacity has fallen.

In other words, despite what some may have you think, increasing of solar and wind power in the EU has not been leading to a surge in coal power capacity due to the nuclear phaseouts taking place in several countries. Rather, coal power capacity has also declined. The only fossil fuel that saw an increase in capacity in 2012 was natural gas.

If you look at 2011 statistics, you can see that coal power capacity also increased (along with solar, wind, and natural gas) as nuclear power capacity dropped. However, with such power plants taking a long time to permit, build, and connect to the grid, this was really due to years of work preceding Fukushima and the strong nuclear phaseout plans that resulted from that.

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British gangs use flare guns now because they can’t find real ones

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/01/british-gangs-use-flare-guns-now-because-they-cant-find-real-ones/

After the U.K. endured a series of mass shootings, including one that targeted children, it passed some very tough gun control legislation in 1997. The effect, reported on today by The Washington Post’s Anthony Faiola, has been staggering. Here are eight of the big takeaways, possible learning opportunities as the U.S. considers its own gun law changes:

1) Bad guys have a hard time getting guns: Criminals have resorted to using “archaic flintlock pistols” and “retrofitted flare guns.” There’s been one mass shooting in 15 years. This despite the adage, “When guns are illegal, only criminals will possess them.”

2) Fewer illegal guns: Faiola reports that, according to ballistics studies, “Most gun crime in Britain can be traced back to less than 1,000 illegal weapons still in circulation.”

3) Fewer gun deaths: Someone in England or Wales is about 3 percent as likely to be killed by a gun as an American. There were 59 gun deaths there last year. The U.S. annual gun death rate has hovered around 10,000 for years.

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and bookmarked for future reference.

yup

Best DU thread evah!!!!!1111



and bookmarked

The wind farm that withstood Hurricane Sandy

http://www.windpowermonthly.com/news/1158013/wind-farm-withstood-Hurricane-Sandy/

Three of the Jersey Atlantic project’s five 1.5MW GE SLE turbines were operating again by Friday, said a spokeswoman for Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA).

"The remaining two turbines should be up and running in the next few days," ACUA’s Amy Cook-Menzel told Windpower Monthly. The project, operated by Infigen Energy, is at ACUA’s wastewater treatment plant a few miles from the shore.

Matthew McGowan, Infigen’s asset management and development director, described the turbines as in "good shape".

High water levels may have caused some difficulties with data relay from the substations on site and with the electrical connections, said Infigen.

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First Wind satisfied with electricity output in 2011, spokesman says (Maine)

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/05/19/business/first-wind-satisfied-with-electricity-output-in-2011-spokesman-says/

Maine’s four First Wind industrial wind sites generated about 27 to 37 percent of their capacity in 2011 — and thereby performed within wind industry standards for projects of their size, a company spokesman said Saturday


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According to the figures Lamontagne released, the 57-megawatt Stetson I facility generated about 154,000 megawatts in 2011, or about 421 megawatts per 24-hour day. First Wind’s Mars Hill site generated about 127,500 megawatts of electricity, or an average of 349 megawatts per day. The Stetson II site produced 59,700 megawatts.

Full-year figures for the largest single First Wind site in Maine, the 60-megawatt Rollins Mountain project on ridgelines in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn, are not yet available. The project came online in July 2011. It generated 59,000 megawatts, the First Wind report states.

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According to First Wind estimates, the four projects powered roughly the equivalent of 64,000 Maine homes and helped prevent the creation or burning of close to a million tons of pollutants and oil in 2011. Those estimates are based on U.S. Department of Energy data and standards, Lamontagne said.

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Estimated cost of Florida's Levy County Nuclear project now $19-24 billion

http://www.kpho.com/story/17998000/progress-energy-florida-files-annual-nuclear-cost-recovery-clause-projections-with-the-florida-public-service-commission

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If approved in its entirety, Progress Energy's total 2013 NCRC charge would be $5.09 on a 1,000-kilowatt-hour (kWh) residential bill beginning with January 2013 billing (compared to $2.86 in 2012). As a result of the previously announced, FPSC-approved rate settlement agreement between Progress Energy and consumer advocates, the portion of the NCRC charge related to the Levy County nuclear project will increase to $3.45 on a 1,000-kWh residential bill in 2013 (compared to the 2012 rate of $2.67) and will remain fixed through 2017. In addition, the utility has requested to adjust the Crystal River Nuclear Plant upgrade-related portion of the NCRC charge to $1.64 on a 1,000-kWh residential bill in 2013 (compared to $0.19 in 2012).

The Crystal River Nuclear Plant has been safely shut down since a delamination – or separation – was discovered within the wall of the plant's containment building during a scheduled maintenance outage in the fall of 2009. The company and outside experts are conducting a thorough and systematic engineering analysis and review and are assessing options to repair the containment building and return the plant to service in 2014.

Also included in the utility's filing are updates to the Levy County nuclear project schedule and cost. Due to lower-than-projected customer demand, the lingering economic slowdown, uncertainty regarding potential carbon regulation and current, low natural gas prices, the company is shifting the in-service date for the first Levy unit to 2024, with the second unit following 18 months later. The revised schedule is consistent with the approach the utility publicly discussed after announcing the recent rate settlement agreement. Although the scope and overnight cost for the Levy County nuclear project – including land acquisition, related transmission work and other required investments – remain essentially unchanged, the shift in schedule will increase escalation and carrying costs and raise the total estimated project cost to between $19 and $24 billion.

On April 27, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project. Based on its comprehensive review, the NRC has determined that there are no environmental impacts that would prevent the agency from issuing the combined operating license for the construction and operation of the proposed reactors. This is an important milestone for the project.

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Wind a Winner in Developing Nations

http://energy.aol.com/2012/05/01/wind-a-winner-in-developing-nations/

Researchers at a Swiss science and technology university testing out which is the most cost-effective renewable energy source in developing countries have made a surprising discovery.

The team calculated the cost of generating a tenth of the electricity demand for each of six countries using either wind turbines or photovoltaic cells. The countries were: Brazil, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nicaragua and Thailand.

Although the six countries selected in the research by ETH Zurich were all in hot climates, researchers found that wind rather than solar power represented the best value for money.

In Kenya and Nicaragua, the results were even more counterintuitive. In both those countries they found that because of the current high oil price, producing electricity with wind power was cheaper in real terms than the present energy model, which relies mainly on electricity generated from fossil fuels.

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