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A Huge Solar Plant Opens, Facing Doubts About Its Future
New York Times ^ | February 13, 2014 | DIANE CARDWELL and MATTHEW L. WALD

Posted on 02/14/2014 8:11:25 AM PST by lbryce

The Ivanpah solar power plant stretches over more than five square miles of the Mojave Desert. Almost 350,000 mirrors the size of garage doors tilt toward the sun with an ability to energize 140,000 homes. The plant, which took almost four years and thousands of workers assembling millions of parts to complete, officially opened on Thursday, the first electric generator of its kind.

It could also be the last.

Since the project began, the price of rival technologies has plummeted, incentives have begun to disappear and the appetite among investors for mammoth solar farms has waned. Although several large, new projects have been coming online in recent months — many in the last quarter of 2013 — experts say fewer are beginning construction and not all of those under development will be completed.

“I don’t think that we’re going to see large-scale solar thermal plants popping up, five at a time, every year in the U.S. in the long-term — it’s just not the way it’s going to work,” said Matthew Feinstein, a senior analyst at Lux Research.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; brightsource; climatechange; energy; globalwarminghoax; green; greenenergy; ivanpah; porkulus; solar; solarpower; subsidized
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This solar power business is another canard that the Obama candidacy made a whole lotta noise about during his first electioneering charade. 'Going Green', green power, wasn't about energy but about political contributions. "Going green" was supposed to take care of another politically contrived issue, something about the Earth warming up, carbon trading, footprints, the size of Algore's extension cord. Solar power was going to make it all go away. The company should've gone the Solyndra route.

For Solydra, once it went green, the government start-up money was never again seen.

1 posted on 02/14/2014 8:11:25 AM PST by lbryce
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To: lbryce

If the liberals are wrong about the viability of solar power, as they lecture us about what we should do, what else are they wrong about? Could they also be wrong about global warming and banning plastic bags?


2 posted on 02/14/2014 8:14:03 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego (we')
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To: Dilbert San Diego

A better question would be: “What are they (liberals) right about?”


3 posted on 02/14/2014 8:16:00 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Cruz/Palin 2016)
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To: lbryce

Really? Doubts?

It will power 140,000 homes, right? Except for the 67% of the time when the sun doesn’t shine or shine brightly enough.

And given 132,452,405 housing units in the U.S., it’d take only about 1,000 more of these 33% efficient plants covering 5,000 square miles of the U.S. at a cost of only two trillion dollars. All in all, quite doable. IF you are a “Progressive” who graduated in Lesbian Dance Theory and believe in the economic and scientific nature of Unicorn and Rainbow power.


4 posted on 02/14/2014 8:18:34 AM PST by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: lbryce

There was a prototype “solar tower” at Sandia Labs that is not used any more.

There was a commercial plant near Bagdad, CA (or maybe Daggett), that was the same technology. It was not commercially viable and was mothballed.

And now a bigger one is being made!

One cool thing about the Solar One project near Bagdad was the pattern of light in the sky. As you drove down the road, this ethereal floating pattern of light would appear on the horizon. Very mysterious if you didn’t know it was a solar mirror farm.

I wonder what would happen to a bird or insect if it flew into the beam?


5 posted on 02/14/2014 8:19:30 AM PST by DBrow
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To: lbryce

It’s always amazing to me that the dim-bulb-crats claim to be the party of science...but it’s their types that typically fail even the most elementary science classes and consequently pursue areas more matched to their weak intellect - like law, political “science”, sociology...womyn’s “studies”, advanced marshmallow eating....etc....etc.

Please, liberals, leave the complicated things to us, and you take care of serving burgers.


6 posted on 02/14/2014 8:19:37 AM PST by Da Coyote
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To: lbryce

There was a smaller one build by palm springs with the same fan fare that is now abandoned.


7 posted on 02/14/2014 8:19:41 AM PST by edcoil ( "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone." - Blaise Pascal)
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To: catnipman

I would like to see more in city off the power grid alternatives.

Solar in city to reduce power bills.


8 posted on 02/14/2014 8:20:01 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: lbryce

They still haven’t declared their annual consumption of Windex or who has the mirror cleaning concession.
Also, it’s not nice to singe the feathers and ground any bird flying through the light beam, not to mention that the birds either die or can’t fly and slowly die after they’ve been scorched.


9 posted on 02/14/2014 8:22:21 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Freedom isn't free; nor is it easy. END ALL TOTALITARIAN ACTIVITY NOW.)
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To: DBrow

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304703804579379230641329484

“The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project”


10 posted on 02/14/2014 8:22:33 AM PST by Black Agnes
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To: lbryce

I find it so odd that people are surprised that a device that is basically designed like a solar cooker successfully cooks birds that fly over it. Duh!

Now, you could turn that fault into a feature if you launched plucked, batter-dipped chickens over the mirror array, and caught them in KFC buckets when they fell out of the sky.

All the same, I think this array should be the last of its kind.


11 posted on 02/14/2014 8:24:00 AM PST by married21 ( As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: lbryce

...see who the major backers are...probably a slew of senators and congressmen....all out for the bailout..$$$$$$$


12 posted on 02/14/2014 8:24:22 AM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: edcoil
There was a smaller one build by palm springs with the same fan fare that is now abandoned.

Well, to be fair... Enrico Fermi built a small nuclear reactor under the stands at Stagg Field in Chicago that was abandoned immediately after it was used to demonstrate a chain reaction in U-235.

13 posted on 02/14/2014 8:25:09 AM PST by Steely Tom (How do you feel about robbing Peter's robot?)
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To: lbryce

http://theguzzler.blogspot.com/2009/11/edison-demolishes-daggett-solar-tower.html

A pic of Solar One demolition (and a story about solar thermal power):
http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/5538/Kalaeloa-Solar-Hawaii-Ratepayers-to-Bankroll-Green-Fiesta.aspx


14 posted on 02/14/2014 8:26:05 AM PST by DBrow
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To: lbryce

PG&E tried this on the Carrissa Plains several years ago. Then dropped it.

I’ve wondered why this was attempted again, except to throw Other People’s Money away, as usual.


15 posted on 02/14/2014 8:26:24 AM PST by wizr (We are "one Nation, under God " or "one nation, trod under ". Keep the Faith.)
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To: lbryce

Holly Crap. Cost? And 140,000 homes? And during sunlight? What the hell 5 sq miles of land. This is a joke! One natural gas fired plant could do twice as much as this and day or night. These damn fools.

One short circuit and the whole damn thing blows up.


16 posted on 02/14/2014 8:29:36 AM PST by Logical me
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To: Black Agnes

Thanks! The article does indeed talk about roasting birds on the wing. And it states that this is the first of its kind, which is obviously untrue.


17 posted on 02/14/2014 8:29:41 AM PST by DBrow
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To: catnipman

Calculating from the rated output of 392 MW, assuming 33% availability (and assuming that energy storage is “free”) and comparing it to the US comsumption of 3,886,400,000 MWHr (in 2010) it would take a mere 3400 hundred such plants, covering 17,000 square miles. Not counting storage and attendant losses, including transmission losses.


18 posted on 02/14/2014 8:30:18 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (In the long run, we are all dead.)
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To: DBrow

There are environmentalists, much to their chagrin who admit that this thing is a danger to the habitat. Namely, it kills birds.


19 posted on 02/14/2014 8:30:51 AM PST by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: lbryce
A long article on a solar facility with a picture of solar panels and a picture of the Energy Secretary touring the plant.

No mention of:

1. Total MW
2. Total cost before taxpayer subsidies
3. Total cost of infrastructure to connect it to the grid
4. Expected utilization rate
5. Expected cost per kwh
6. What power source it is displacing
7. Cost per kwh of power source it is displacing
8. Expected increase in cost per kwh to utility rate payers
9. Political connections of those who profited and got the taxpayer subsidies.
10. Likelihood the taxpayer guaranteed loan will ever be paid back.

This article is just political propaganda. It is without substance.

20 posted on 02/14/2014 8:32:11 AM PST by detective
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To: catnipman

Only two trillion? That’s easy. We’re something close to 18 $ trillion in debt now. What’s a couple $ trillion more?


21 posted on 02/14/2014 8:33:29 AM PST by CitizenUSA (Sodomy and abortion: the only constitutional rights cherished by Democrats.)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

That’s a good point. Solar power, going green, was the cornerstone of Democrat issue viability, credibility. If solar power doesn’t ‘light up their life’ what does it say about some of their more hare-brained political concoctions?


22 posted on 02/14/2014 8:33:32 AM PST by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: Former Proud Canadian

Good point. Let’s talk about what liberals have ever been right about.

Take the whole war on poverty and the various programs which came out of that effort. Have those programs taken people out of poverty?

Do we have better more reliable sources of energy, and better energy policies, since we’ve had a Department of Energy?

Is the state of public education improved since Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education?

Are liberals ever held to account for their policies and programs? Or do we just ignore apparent failures of liberal programs, because, well just because we want to cut liberals a break??? And go back to bashing conservatives as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc?????


23 posted on 02/14/2014 8:35:22 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego (we')
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To: DBrow

I toured such a facility near Barstow back about 1988 or so. Lots of mirrors.


24 posted on 02/14/2014 8:35:23 AM PST by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
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To: wizr
“I’ve wondered why this was attempted again, except to throw Other People’s Money away, as usual.”

The purpose is to allow those with political connections to have access to taxpayer money. There are well connected people who will profit even though the project makes no economic sense.

25 posted on 02/14/2014 8:36:44 AM PST by detective
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To: lbryce

It was true in the 70s, it was true in the 90s, its true now and it will be true 20 years from now: the ONLY way you make money in a solar deal is through state subsidies and tax credits, period.


26 posted on 02/14/2014 8:39:29 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: lbryce

If you go to Google Maps, and look for:

“Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating”

Your jaw will drop. This is insane.


27 posted on 02/14/2014 8:39:29 AM PST by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: lbryce

We use these folks for our electric here in a small rv park. Rates are .31 per kw. Last months electric bill for our 36 ft motor coach was $ 622. Somebody is making a couple bucks. You can see the towers from our place 11 miles away


28 posted on 02/14/2014 8:39:57 AM PST by vinylsidingman
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To: lbryce
Dont these dumfuks know that with all the Climate Change here, the deserts will become rain forests and the rain forests will become deserts,,,
epic fail,,, again...
29 posted on 02/14/2014 8:39:59 AM PST by ▀udda▀udd (>> F U B O << "What the hell kind of country is this if I can only hate a man if he's white?")
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To: BuffaloJack
Also, it’s not nice to singe the feathers and ground any bird flying through the light beam, not to mention that the birds either die or can’t fly and slowly die after they’ve been scorched.

Isn't it amazing how the environmentalist don't worry about solar mirrors frying birds or wind turbines chopping them up. But if its a pipeline or chopping down trees the protestors are out screaming "their habitat is being threatened".

30 posted on 02/14/2014 8:40:49 AM PST by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
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To: lbryce

More targets for terrorists.


31 posted on 02/14/2014 8:41:11 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: Rio

Lots of minimum wage jobs dusting all those mirrors off, eh?

California Dusters for Dough!!


32 posted on 02/14/2014 8:43:23 AM PST by biff (WAS)
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To: biff

Yet more proof of two things: LIBs are insane and LIBs are criminals.


33 posted on 02/14/2014 8:44:36 AM PST by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: Da Coyote
Please, liberals, leave the complicated things to us, and you take care of serving burgers.

OMG! Don't ruin burgers, too!

34 posted on 02/14/2014 8:44:54 AM PST by Onelifetogive (I tweet, too... @Onelifetogive)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
392 MW of installed capacity and they might get an average of maybe 30-35% capacity factor. Not too impressive. It would not even be considered if it weren't for the massive subsidies they get. The subsidies (ratepayer and taxpayer money) are the only "profit" these things make.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is being shut down at the end of the year because it is claimed it can't make money to cover its cost of operation. It is a rather small unit (less than 600 MW installed capacity) as nuclear plants go, has a 90+% capacity factor. It is a perfectly functional facility. But it is sobering to think that even this somewhat small-scale nuclear plant generated, last year, a total amount of energy that was more than every solar panel and windmill in the states of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine combined.

35 posted on 02/14/2014 8:49:09 AM PST by chimera
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To: Steely Tom

Which was not shutdown by extremists more concerned with the dead birds and disruption to desert lizards and other local wildlife.


36 posted on 02/14/2014 8:52:05 AM PST by edcoil ( "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone." - Blaise Pascal)
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To: catnipman

Hey, you’re quite good at figurin’ all that stuff out. You do that all by yourself?


37 posted on 02/14/2014 8:52:08 AM PST by Obadiah (I Like Ted.)
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To: lbryce

I have said it before and I will say it again. The greatest danger to the Economy and Security of the United States is the Environmental Lobby and the politicians they buy.


38 posted on 02/14/2014 8:54:21 AM PST by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: Da Coyote
Please, liberals, leave the complicated things to us, and you take care of serving burgers.

Not joking. Liberals are just not the smartest of the bunch. And, they need someone else's help (government) to organize their daily lives and make tough decisions on their behalf. Emotionally gullible as well. Just not the sharpest bunch.

39 posted on 02/14/2014 8:55:25 AM PST by Obadiah (I Like Ted.)
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To: catnipman
IF you are a “Progressive” who graduated in Lesbian Dance Theory ...

Are there night courses available?

40 posted on 02/14/2014 8:55:51 AM PST by Pan_Yan (Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11)
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To: DBrow
I wonder what would happen to a bird or insect if it flew into the beam?

Oh come on now - you can figure that out.

41 posted on 02/14/2014 8:56:35 AM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Onelifetogive
It's OK. They'll SOLAR cook them...


42 posted on 02/14/2014 9:04:38 AM PST by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
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To: lbryce

This is what happens when elite liberal “climate scientists” run the DOE. Another $1.6 billion cluster-blank.


43 posted on 02/14/2014 9:21:55 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: Logical me

“These damn fools.”

Government subsidy, government guaranteed loan, high salaries. You buy and pay for your nice house, buy gold, get a really nice car, then when the project goes bankrupt, which it will if they set things up correctly, the folks at the top keep the car, house, gold, land, personal investments.

Maybe not set for life, but very comfortable after only a few years work.

Rest assured that the guys at Solyndra and A123 Batteries are not working at Wal Mart to make ends meet.

Looking at the construction cost and expected power output, I doubt they’ll power at any commercially acceptable rate, which is the bankruptcy guarantee.


44 posted on 02/14/2014 9:26:47 AM PST by DBrow
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To: BuffaloJack
"They still haven’t declared their annual consumption of Windex or who has the mirror cleaning concession."

That's actually an interesting question. An open-air field of mirrors will rather quickly accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, dead insects, organic material, and - it seems - dead birds. It seems that maintenance might be a major expense, at the least, and maybe a very serious issue.
45 posted on 02/14/2014 9:28:18 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Black Agnes
“The $2.2 Billion Bird-Scorching Solar Project”

It doesn't seem like the best way to fight global warming, does it? You essentially have a five-square-mile outdoor oven creating temps as high as 1,000 degrees. Yeah, let's build 10,000 more of those. So far, "green" energy has the following track record:

1. Killing hundreds of thousands of birds, including endangered species.

2. Emitting excessive heat into the atmosphere.

3. Doubling energy prices.

4. Visual blight in areas that would otherwise be considered off-limits to development.

5. Bankruptcies and shutdowns despite huge taxpayer subsidies.
46 posted on 02/14/2014 9:38:30 AM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: lacrew
As soon as I read your post I immediately went to Google Earth and tried to make a video of it hoping to post it here but was having too many technical difficulties and gave up. But I will tell you that what you said about my jaw dropping was absolutely, positively all that you said.

It was positively mind-boggling! The size of the facility, the enormous acreage that it covers in which every available bit of space is covered with solar panels in two separate enormous circular configurations, with the control operations in the center of the circles is indeed jaw dropping, a facility that must be seen to be believed, especially as you drop in on it from the very edges of the atmosphere.

I want to express my utmost appreciation for having informed us of it because it is like nothing ever seen. Thanks again very much.

47 posted on 02/14/2014 9:41:01 AM PST by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: Steve_Seattle

If a bird is killed in flight and plummets crashing into one of the mirrors, how much will it cost? How often will this happen?


48 posted on 02/14/2014 9:45:38 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Freedom isn't free; nor is it easy. END ALL TOTALITARIAN ACTIVITY NOW.)
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

Meanwhile here in Cow Hampshire we have a fight going on to bring Hydro Electric power down from Quebec into NH and southern New England. It is billion dollar project that will create hundreds of jobs called the Northern Pass. The power comes from the dams on the St. Lawrence seaway and other hydro electric projects in Quebec. It does not add any CO2 to the atmosphere and can be produced 24/7 for about $.001/KW. However, because the people up in northern NH do not want high tension power lines in their backyard(I can’t blame them)the project has been a big fight backed by the environmental groups. They will probably have to bury some of the lines to get it approved. There is only about 30 miles of right of way they are fighting over. In most of the state it will travel over existing right of ways. Also, there are absolutely no endangered birds, frogs, bats, grasshoppers or fish that will be hurt in any way.


49 posted on 02/14/2014 9:56:39 AM PST by woodbutcher1963
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To: woodbutcher1963

Environmentalists protest anything that impedes the flow of Arab oil.


50 posted on 02/14/2014 10:06:18 AM PST by DBrow
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