Skip to comments.Google Invests $168 Million in Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System
Posted on 04/13/2011 8:32:52 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Google is catching a lot of heat lately between the FTC's possible antitrust investigation into the web search giant's internet dominance and Microsoft's problem with Google's "misleading security claims to the government." But with this latest project, Google is investing in a project that is sure to have some positive reviews.
The project is the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS), and Google has invested $168 million toward the cause. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, which is being developed by BrightSource Energy, is 450 feet tall and began construction in October 2010 by the engineering firm Bechtel. It will be the world's largest solar power tower plant.
"We need smart capital to transform our energy sector and build a clean energy future," said The Official Google Blog. "This is our largest investment to date, and we've now invested over $250 million in the clean energy sector [total]. We're excited about Ivanpah because our investment will help deploy a compelling solar energy technology that provides reliable clean energy, with the potential to significantly reduce costs on future projects."
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System is expected to generate 392 gross megawatts of solar energy, and will have a lifespan of about 25 years. This amount of solar energy produced is like taking 90,000 cars of the road over the plant's lifetime.
This new system works by using 173,000 heliostats, which are mirrors that focus the sun's rays onto a solar receiver, which is located at the top of a tower. These mirrors pack a large amount of solar energy into one small area. The solar receiver then generates steam that spins a turbine and generator to create electricity. The steam is produced at high pressure and a high temperature of up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The project is expected to be completed in 2013, and will be funded by clean energy technology guarantees offered by the U.S. Department of Energy and by NRG.
I just want a car that will go 1000 miles on 2 AA batteries.
Comments at the Website...area covered , phases (3) ...etc.
Any birds out that way going to get cooked?
Wonder how much heat the mirrors produce at the solar receiver ?.
On August 31, 2007, Solar Partners I, LLC, Solar Partners II, LLC, Solar Partners IV, LLC and Solar Partners VIII, LLC (Solar Partners) submitted a single Application for Certification (AFC) to the California Energy Commission to develop three solar thermal power plants and shared facilities in close proximity to the Ivanpah Dry Lake, in San Bernardino County, California on federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The proposed project would be constructed in three phases: two 100-megawatt (MW) phases (known as Ivanpah 1 and Ivanpah 2) and a 200-MW phase (Ivanpah 3). The three plants are collectively referred to as the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) and would be located in:
The proposed project includes three solar concentrating thermal power plants, based on distributed power tower and heliostat mirror technology, in which heliostat (mirror) fields focus solar energy on power tower receivers near the center of each heliostat array. Each 100-MW site would require approximately 850-acres (or 1.3 square miles) and would have three tower receivers and arrays; the 200-MW site would require approximately 1,600-acres (or 2.5 square miles) and would have 4 tower receivers and arrays. The total area required for all three phases would including the administration building/operations and maintenance building and substation and be approximately 3,400-acres (or 5.3 square miles). Given that the three plants would be developed in concert, the proposed solar plant projects would share the common facilities mentioned above to include access roads, and the reconductored transmission lines for all three phases. Construction of the entire project is anticipated to begin in the first quarter of 2009, with construction being completed in the last quarter of 2012.
In each solar plant, one Rankine-cycle reheat steam turbine receives live steam from the solar boilers and reheat steam from one solar reheater located in the power block at the top of its own tower. The reheat tower would be located adjacent to the turbine. Additional heliostats would be located outside the power block perimeter road, focusing on the reheat tower. Final design layout locations are still being developed. The solar field and power generation equipment would be started each morning after sunrise and insolation build-up, and shut down in the evening when insolation drops below the level required to keep the turbine online.
Each plant also includes a partial-load natural gas-fired steam boiler, which would be used for thermal input to the turbine during the morning start-up cycle to assist the plant in coming up to operating temperature more quickly. The boiler would also be operated during transient cloudy conditions, in order to maintain the turbine on-line and ready to resume production from solar thermal input, after the clouds pass. After the clouds pass and solar thermal input resumes, the turbine would be returned to full solar production. Each plant uses an air-cooled condenser or "dry cooling," to minimize water usage in the site's desert environment. Water consumption would therefore, be mainly to provide water for washing heliostats. Auxiliary equipment at each plant includes feed water heaters, a deaerator, an emergency diesel generator, and a diesel fire pump.
Electricity would be produced by each plant's Solar Receiver Boiler and the steam turbine generator. The heliostat mirrors would be arranged around each solar receiver boiler. Each mirror tracks the sun throughout the day and reflects the solar energy to the receiver boiler. The heliostats would be 7.2-feet high by 10.5-feet wide (2.20-meters by 3.20-meters) yielding a reflecting surface of 75.6 square feet (7.04 square meters). They would be arranged in arcs around the solar boiler towers asymmetrically.
Each solar development phase would include:
Ivanpah 1, 2 and 3 would be interconnected to the Southern California Edison (SCE) grid through upgrades to SCE's 115-kV line passing through the site on a northeast-southwest right-of-way. Upgrades would include a new 220/115-kV breaker and-a-half substation between the Ivanpah 1 and 2 project sites. The existing 115-kV transmission line from the El Dorado substation would be replaced with a double-circuit 220-kV overhead line that would be interconnected to the new substation. Power from Ivanpah 1, 2 and 3 would be transmitted at 115-kV to the new substation.
Natural gas supply for ISEGS would connect to the Kern River Gas Transmission Company (KRGT) pipeline about 0.5 miles north of the Ivanpah 3 site.
Raw ground water would be drawn from one of two wells, located east of Ivanpah 2, which would provide water to all three plants. Each well would have sufficient capacity to supply water for all three phases. Actual water is not expected to exceed 100 afy for all three plants. Groundwater would go through a treatment system for use as boiler make-up water and to wash the heliostats. No wastewater would be generated by the system, except for a small stream that would be treated and used for landscape irrigation.
The BLM and the Energy Commission have executed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning their intent to conduct a joint environmental review of all three plants in a single National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)/California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process. It is in the interest of the BLM and the Energy Commission to share in the preparation of a joint environmental analysis of the proposed project to avoid duplication of staff efforts, to share staff expertise and information, to promote intergovernmental coordination at the local, state, and federal levels, and to facilitate public review by providing a joint document and a more efficient environmental review process.
Under federal law, the BLM is responsible for processing requests for rights-of-way to authorize the proposed project and associated transmission lines and other facilities to be constructed and operated on land it manages. In processing applications, the BLM must comply with the requirements of NEPA, which requires that federal agencies reviewing projects under their jurisdiction consider the environmental impacts associated with the proposed project construction and operation.
As the lead agency under CEQA, the Energy Commission is responsible for reviewing and ultimately approving or denying all applications to construct and operate thermal electric power plants, 50 MW and greater, in California. The Energy Commission's facility certification process carefully examines public health and safety, environmental impacts and engineering aspects of proposed power plants and all related facilities such as electric transmission lines and natural gas and water pipelines.
The first step in the Energy Commission's review process is for staff to determine whether or not the AFC contains all the information required by its regulations. When the Energy Commission determines the AFC is complete, staff will begin data discovery and issue analysis phases. At that time, a detailed examination of the issues will occur.
The Energy Commission's facility certification process carefully examines public health and safety, environmental impacts and engineering aspects of proposed power plants and all related facilities such as electric transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, etc. The Energy Commission is the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has a certified regulatory program under CEQA. Under its certified program, the Energy Commission is exempt from having to prepare an environmental impact report. Its certified program, however, does require environmental analysis of the project, including an analysis of alternatives and mitigation measures to minimize any significant adverse effect the project may have on the environment.
Maybe it will be viewable from the I-15 going into Vegas from Los Angeles.
So 392 thermal MW may be equal to around 120 MWe. Figure 40% capacity factor given that it’s dark 50% of the time.
$168 million is just Google’s share.
Sounds like a good investment?
The other take away from the article is that after 40 years of intense research in solar, both private and public; the old Rankin cycle with mirrors, partially envisioned by ancient Greeks, is still the choice for solar.
Check the comments...think I saw some links that might help.
Thanks for the ping!
>>The project is expected to be completed in 2013, and will be funded by clean energy technology guarantees offered by the U.S. Department of Energy and by NRG.
Notice that they bury this, the key aspect of this deal, at the very end. It seems quite likely that Google has no risk with their investment thanks to you and me, the taxpayer.
“Mostly Vultures out that way”
Dems are everywhere!
Google is making an investment, but the USG is funding the project? I would like to see a full explanation of who is putting up what cash and who is guaranteeing any loans etc.
Also..who is promising to buy the electricity at what price.
The technical parts are all well and good, but without understanding the underlying financial situation it is impossible to figure out what kind of deal it is. We do understand that it will create a cyclical power supply which must be supplemented by other sources when the sun doesn’t shine.
LOL! The utter stupidity of the accidentally uber-rich continues to entertain! Last week NRO reported that such “power resources” produce 3% of the nation’s electricity needs — when the Sun is actually out!
The receiver, which is a radiant forced circulation steam boiler located at the top of the DPT, will convert water to superheated steam at temperatures up to 565 degrees C. The pressurised steam will then power a Rankine-cycle reheat steam turbine with excess passing to a reheat tower adjacent to the turbine. Additional heliostats will be located around the perimeter focusing on the reheat tower, which will allow a prolonged generation period when the sun is not shining.
Each power plant will also include a partial-load natural gas fired steam boiler to assist the plant in coming up to operating temperature more quickly in the morning. These boilers will also be used during transient cloudy periods to maintain the turbine on-line and ready to use.
With a name like Ivan(pah), I would expect the workers (taxpayers) to pay for the means of production, while the corporate honchos reap the rewards.
Don't give the google commies any hits.
Thanks for the ping EatB. Appreciate it.
So the government gives Google the money to invest then touts Google's involvement. If there are any profits, Google wins, if not, Google wins.
Now you know why Google gives so much money to Democratic politicians, like the $100,000,000 it gave Al Gore alone.
That's one hundred million, to the Pope of Greenrich Village.
I get power from them...and it is high priced.
but will you be able to survive
One nation, Under GooGle
dogle We Trust
When's Craigslist'a'hookers uhh escorts gonna jump in.. FacelessBook too.. ;-)
Thanks for the info,wonder where the global warming gang stands on the idea?.
Rhetoric like the quote below makes suspect the motives of either the writer or the project sponsors (whoever originated the quote), as if dumb and false arguments to the ignorant masses are necessary to sell something that one would think should be worthy without trying to fool anyone.
They said: “This amount of solar energy produced is like taking 90,000 cars off the road over the plant’s lifetime.”
Well, actually, no it is not. Not in the least.
Will “90,000 cars” magically be dispensed with, magically NOT be sold and used simply because this solar power plant will be built? No. No number of fossil-fuel powered cars will change because of this power-plant; not now, not over its life time.
It is similar to the another idiotic excuse given on a solar power industry advocacy site, which said:
“Solar thermal electric systems operating in the US today [Solar Parabolic Troughs] meet the needs of over 350,000 people (equal to the population of the city of Fresno, CA or Miami, FL) and displace the equivalent of 2.3 million barrels of oil annually.”
Again, in reality, “solar thermal electric systems” in the U.S. will NEVER “displace the equivalent of 2.3 million barrels of oil annually”, because oil plays an insignificant role in U.S. electricity generation and building the power plant will NOT magically transform any number of autos to electric-powered autos either.
Additionally, almost every solar power plant on the boards represents additional electric generation capacity and not one (yet) will be built to displace any existing coal, natural gas or nuclear powered plant, nor have projected plans for fossil fueled or nuclear plant additions changed much during the period that solar and other plants have been added. Solar essentially, so far, makes a net addition to power and electric generation but does not (yet) DISPLACE existing or planned generation in other modes - in spite of all the hype.
IF solar is actually “better” it should be able to argue on 100% economic terms, and promote itself on “dollars saved” and “reduced cost of electricity to the consumer”. Those are arguments you never hear from the solar powered electricity generation industry. Why? Because such arguments would be false?
“on federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)”
I wonder how many coal, nuclear or natural gas fired electricity generation plants have the advantage of a plant being sited on free land courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.
Uh... Yea...Al Gore is a friggin genius. Give your smart money to him and his kind....
Here is the deal with google. This is risk management. They need to imbed themselves as fast as they can in as many places as they can. In as many industry as they can. Especially industry such as this which is nothing more than a con job but one with the backing of the fake president's handlers. Why? Why must google do this? Easy answer. They have made their money by taking content without compensation. No matter how cool google is or how valuable it is it is still built on theft. They walk on your lawn without permission and take what they want. Someday someone is going to kick them in the crotch over this. There only way to keep this from happening and to keep the government as a shield is to do dumb crap like this solar garbage that stupid political types push so they can shake down someone like google. Like birds of a feather thieves stick together...
“We need smart capital to transform our energy sector”
Translation: “We need the taxpayers to invest in our projects with us, or give taxpayer owned assets (like land) for the projects we (Google) put our capital into [so we - Google - get off with spending less of our own capital - that’s “smart”].
No different than what Google did in choosing a city to try to construct its own version of a new high speed Internet. It angered a lot of locations that had vied for the business when Google chose Kansas City, Kansas. What advantage did Kansas City have? The local power utility is city owned and is partnering with Google and sharing its rights of way - for free.
Google surely does represent “new” capitalists - crony capitalists that can’t go out in the world and actually do something entirely on their own.
“It seems quite likely that Google has no risk with their investment thanks to you and me, the taxpayer.”
Only utter fools or enslaved, coerced taxpayers put their OWN money into the Green mythology.
This is just a feel good exercise for liberal hypocrites, like the Google geeks.
Actually, for the secularists, moralistic preaching via the environmentalism sham or “responsible” investing is a substitute for a real religion, like Christianity.
So BrightStar stopped pumping money into the project because I believe the greenies got court orders to stop the construction of power grids to feed the west coast. So now Google is going to jump in. Not sure I understand the logic.