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Phoenix firm to build huge solar farm
MSNBC ^ | Aug. 14, 2005 | Adam Kress

Posted on 08/15/2005 8:31:47 PM PDT by nickcarraway

A Phoenix company signed a landmark deal with a major utility in California to develop the world's largest solar power facility.

Stirling Energy Systems Inc. and Southern California Edison have entered into an agreement that would create a 7-square-mile solar farm in Southern California that by 2011 could power nearly 280,000 homes a year. Construction cost is estimated between $2 billion and $3 billion.

This 20-year power purchase agreement is being lauded as an unprecedented event in the history of alternative power because of its size and scope. Once completed, the solar farm in barren desert 70 miles north of Los Angeles will produce pollution-free and renewable energy at costs comparable to fossil fuel plants.

The solar farm is slated to produce 500 megawatts of power from 20,000 25-kilowatt Stirling solar dishes that are 38 feet tall. The project includes an option where the farm could be expanded to 850 megawatts and 34,000 dishes.

Some of the construction of the solar dishes will be done by Schuff Steel in Phoenix. The company and Stirling worked to produce the current design of the solar dish. Once Schuff and other manufacturers produce parts for the dishes, they will be shipped to California to the farm site for construction and installation.

Under the terms of the power purchase agreement, which is subject to California Public Utilities Commission approval, Stirling will own and operate the plant, and SCE will purchase kilowatt hours at an undisclosed price.

"This is a breakthrough event for solar energy," said Stirling Chief Executive Bruce Osborn. "This is the world's most efficient solar technology."

Stirling's concentrated solar dish -- unlike photovoltaic panels that collect sunlight on a much smaller scale -- harnesses heat from the sun with 82 mirrors and reflects

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Arizona
KEYWORDS: energy; solar; solarpower
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To: chuckles
"Course, with the recent Supreme Ct decision, maybe we could just eminent domain California, Oregon, and Washington, and cover them with solar and windmills. That way we get rid of 3 blue states, and get some juice to boot."


"Put the people on reservations in Utah and Nevada or something so we can keep track of them and re-educate them. Maybe a special place for San Francisco in Kansas or something. Excuse me, my mind is wandering."

Now with this I take exception... it's not fair to the people in those states!

Just give'em one way tickets to Canada ;-)

41 posted on 08/16/2005 2:33:51 AM PDT by Toadman
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To: chuckles; mmercier
... What they want is you, the taxpayer to fund their boondoggles.

What they want is you, the taxpayer to fund their boondoggles yachts.

42 posted on 08/16/2005 2:40:27 AM PDT by pageonetoo (You'll spot their posts soon enough!)
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To: RightWhale


43 posted on 08/16/2005 3:48:33 AM PDT by King Prout (and the Clinton Legacy continues: like Herpes, it is a gift that keeps on giving.)
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To: drlevy88

I'm sorry you live in a travel trailer.

44 posted on 08/16/2005 6:14:18 AM PDT by chuckles
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To: mowowie

What gets me is how unbalanced pricing is, Today I bought a DVD player for my bedroom for 25 bucks and a case of of Sam Adams for almost 30 Bucks.<<<<<<<

Interesting, your comment fits in with what I have been watching evolve over many years, namely that what used to be unaffordable luxuries or did not exist, color televisions, cell phones, computers etc. are becoming dirt cheap while the necessities, food, housing, Sam Adams etc. are being priced out of reach. It is obvious that we will soon arrive at the point where we live in tarpaper shacks but have huge televisions with no programming worth watching, incredibly powerful home computers and space age cell phones but cannot afford a bag of Fritos and a beer to go with the worthless movie on TV. Simple extrapolation will lead you to the same inescapable conclusion.

P.S. Belay that line about the tarpaper shack, roofing felt is becoming very expensive, we may have to use discarded paper boxes from the computers and televisions.

45 posted on 08/16/2005 6:31:59 AM PDT by RipSawyer (I wouldn't mind being broke if I weren't so short of cash.)
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To: King Prout

I like the idea of a steam boiler at the focus of all the mirrors and a dual walking-beam steam engine driving a bank of generators. Stirling engines might be efficient but they lack the raw power of a Watt engine on an overcast day. They should add windmills to the same site since cloudiness is associated with wind, and they should add buried thermocouples to take advantage of hot days with no wind and no sun, as well as cool nights with no wind. The farm should produce some electricity no matter what.

46 posted on 08/16/2005 8:53:38 AM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and open the Land Office)
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To: thoughtomator
That's $10714 per customer, assuming the $3 bil is the cost ceiling.

Interesting. Checking my budget plan electric bill, that's about 20 years worth of power for my area, which, like many places in this country, has primarily a coal-nuclear generation mix. Factor in things like maintenance/replacement costs and reliability concerns (the sun doesn't always shine, even in the desert, since it gets dark at night there, too), then I'm wondering if the thing is really practical given the (proven) alternatives.

47 posted on 08/16/2005 9:07:19 AM PDT by chimera
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To: chuckles

Just an ordinary brick house

48 posted on 08/16/2005 8:14:10 PM PDT by drlevy88
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