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Sat Nov 29, 2014, 03:46 PM

 

World's largest solar farm is up and running in California

http://m.phys.org/news/2014-11-world-largest-solar-farm-california.html
8 hours ago by Nancy Owano

The world's largest solar plant is up and running in California, with the completion of Topaz, a 550 megawatt plant; the Topaz solar project completed its final 40-megawatt (AC) phase, reported Greentech Media, making history not only as the first 500-megawatt plus solar farm to come on-line in the U.S. but also as the largest solar plant on-line in the world. Reports are talking about a plant with 9 million solar panels installed across 9.5 square miles.

This is a $2.5 billion project, said io9, with construction that began two years ago. The owner is MidAmerican Solar, a Pheonix, Arizona-based subsidiary of MidAmerican Renewables. Topaz is described by MidAmerican Solar as a 550-megawatt photovoltaic power plant.....

"As of today," wrote Eric Wesoff on November 24 in Greentech Media, "the project has installed 9 million solar panels across 9.5 square miles in San Luis Obispo County on California's Carrizo Plain. Construction began in 2012 and was expected to be complete in early 2015—so call this an on-time delivery." Engadget said that "It's an impressive feat that should power 160,000 homes on Pacific Gas and Electric's grid."



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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply World's largest solar farm is up and running in California (Original post)
grahamhgreen Nov 2014 OP
daleanime Nov 2014 #1
JanT Nov 2014 #2
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2014 #3
greytdemocrat Nov 2014 #4
Spitfire of ATJ Nov 2014 #6
Hekate Nov 2014 #9
csziggy Nov 2014 #10
PasadenaTrudy Nov 2014 #5
Hekate Nov 2014 #7
valerief Nov 2014 #8
MerryBlooms Nov 2014 #11
MineralMan Nov 2014 #12
MerryBlooms Nov 2014 #13
Socal31 Nov 2014 #14
grahamhgreen Nov 2014 #16
Socal31 Nov 2014 #17
grahamhgreen Nov 2014 #19
RiverLover Nov 2014 #15
snooper2 Nov 2014 #18

Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 03:49 PM

1. kick, kick, kick.....

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 04:55 PM

2. This is absolutely wonderful news.

Now it needs to go viral so people can see that we can get solar to work in the U.S.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 06:40 PM

3. Makes one wonder what kind of ecosystem will develop in the shade of those panels.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 06:43 PM

4. I'll bet you

Someone will have a problem with it, you wait and see.

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Response to greytdemocrat (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 06:47 PM

6. I'm thinking: Spider heaven.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 07:02 PM

9. Sounds about right. Lizards, maybe some tortoises, anything short.

Judging from the way people put solar panels on their roofs, I figure it's shady under there but no hotter than the ambient temp. I wonder if the solar field would allow burrowing mammals or if their activities would disrupt the installation?

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 07:08 PM

10. I wonder if some of the smaller endangered species can co-exist with the solar panels?

The Carrizo Plains is home to 13 different species listed as endangered either by the state or federal government, the largest concentration of endangered species in California.[9] Some of these species include the San Joaquin kit fox, the San Joaquin antelope squirrel, the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, the giant kangaroo rat, greater and lesser Sandhill Cranes, and the California condor. The Tule elk, pronghorn, black-tailed jackrabbit, Western coyotes, and Le Conte’s Thrasher all also make their homes in the Carrizo plains. The hotter climate and ecology of Carrizo plains allows the Le Conte's Thrasher of the Southwestern United States to have a small disjunct range farther north than normal.

San Joaquin kit fox — a small nocturnal subspecies of the Kit Fox that was formerly common throughout the San Joaquin Valley but has recently become endangered.
Blunt-nosed leopard lizard — a small, 3-5 inch gray to brown lizard with large dark spots and cream-colored cross bands. It has a broad, triangular shaped head and is endemic to California. It inhabits the grasslands and alkali flats of the San Joaquin Valley and the surrounding foothills and valleys.[10]
Giant kangaroo rat — the largest of all kangaroo rats. The giant kangaroo rat is also endemic to California and now only occupies about 2% of its original range, making it critically endangered.
San Joaquin antelope squirrel — a light tan squirrel with a white belly and a white stripe down its back and sides. Most of its habitat is used for agriculture, making the Carrizo Plains the habitat for most of the remaining population.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrizo_Plain#Fauna


If the lizards, rats, rabbits and squirrels can tolerate the development of solar farms, then the kit fox would probably do very well as well as some of the bird species. A lot depends on how much maintenance is required, how often there will be human traffic, and if the animal activity might affect the panels.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 06:44 PM

5. California, uber alles! n/t

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 06:57 PM

7. Wow -- great news. Carizzo Plain has spectacular wildflowers (if it rains), but that's all I know...

... about that location. Lotsa sunshine out there in that part of SLO County, for sure.

Maybe we can even hope that the frickin nuclear power plant can be shut down before it goes all Fukushima on us?

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 06:59 PM

8. Yay! nt

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)


Response to MerryBlooms (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 29, 2014, 09:09 PM

12. This is not that facility.

This facility isn't killing birds. So, what's your point?

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 06:56 AM

13. Oh yep, my bad, thanks. I'll delete.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 07:00 AM

14. Is this like the one just be fore the Nevada border off I-15?

I guess it was blinding pilots coming up from SoCal and caused some alarm. I never heard what the solution to that was.

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Response to Socal31 (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 12:25 PM

16. You mean like when the sun reflects off of water? Solution is to dry up all the water and put it in

 

Subterranean caverns like we do nuclear waste!

And not to mention actual sunlight shining in the pilots eyes directly!!!! omg! Guess we should only fly at night!!!! Whew! Where u come up with that stuff, lol!

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 01:35 PM

17. Not even close.

These concentrated solar arrays throw off an insane beam and the reflection is massive.

Certainly you didn't think pilots were bothered by standard panels?

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Response to Socal31 (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 03:29 PM

19. This is not a solar concentrator, just 9 million solar panels,

 

But, seriously, I suppose if reflectivity is an issue, the panels could be built with a curve to them like car windows.

Here's an aerial of reflection from solar in Thailand, because of physics, only one panel reflects at a time.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 08:04 AM

15. Go solar!!!

This is so great to see. Thanks for posting!!

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Response to grahamhgreen (Original post)

Sun Nov 30, 2014, 01:37 PM

18. Texas is still #1 kicking ass in wind power

 

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