UPDATE: GE Unveils Plans For US Thin-Film Solar Panel Factory
General Electric Co. (GE) is aiming to build up its nascent solar energy business on a scale of its $6 billion wind-turbine unit, announcing plans Thursday for what it said will be the biggest photovoltaic panel factory in the U.S. "We're looking to make solar look like over the next five years," said Victor Abate, vice president of GE's renewable energy division.
GE, based in Fairfield, Conn., will pick a site for the factory within the next three months or so, Abate said in an interview.
The plant will employ 400 people when it opens in 2013 and produce thin-film solar panels sufficient to generate 400 megawatts of electricity annually, or enough to power 80,000 homes a year.
18. Kris has it right. It's nameplate, not per hour or annual
So if I bought their entire year's worth of production, 400MW, I'd get something like 2 GigaWatt hours of electricity generated each day here in Dallas (which has around 5 hours of peak sunlight per day).
To equal the 1GW output of the average nuclear plant, then, would take only 2.5 years of production from the GE plant, (400MW x 2.5 = 1GW).
10. It's probably nominal capacity/year. Actual would be about 100 MW
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 03:54 AM by BrightKnight
I believe that solar panels only actually produce about 25% of their nominal capacity. In 10 to 20 years they should be able to produce about enough capacity to offset a single reactor. The life of a solar panel is about that long.
They should do this but the heavy lifting is going to be done by dirty coal.
13. 45.6kWh doesn't sound that impressive does it?
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 05:01 AM by Nihil
(Taking "400 megawatts of electricity annually" to be 400MW / 24*365.25)
But hey, who *really* wants to bring real numbers into it anyway?
To be honest, I have no idea which of those options they meant and I doubt that the writers do either - the engineers are probably sticking pins into images of their PR people at the moment - but, as Kristopher pointed out, they are actually generating panels rather than power ...
7. This is a manufacturing plant to make the panels themselves
Even in northern latitudes solar is an effective technology for making a substantial amount of electricity. As they build more manufacturing plants the cost of the panels becomes lower - something that consequently expands the area where their use also is cost effective.
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