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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2011, 2:33 PM
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San Antonio plans to build world's largest solar energy farm


CPS Energy ratchets up investment in solar
By Tracy Idell Hamilton

The CPS solar farm would be four times bigger than the current world's largest, Sarnia Solar Project in Ontario, pictured above. Photo: Courtesy Photo / SA



Quote:
CPS Energy will be making a far larger investment in solar energy than the already substantial 50-megawatt project it sought proposals for earlier this year.

The utility last week notified all of the bidders for that project that they have until July 16 to resubmit their proposals — but this time for up to 400 megawatts, in large part because the price of solar continues to drop.

If built, a solar system of that size would launch San Antonio into the top tier of solar projects internationally.

Today, the largest solar installation in the world is 97 megawatts in southern Ontario, followed by several between 84 and 53 megawatts in Italy, Germany and Spain.

Four hundred megawatts can power about 80,000 homes.
That's almost half the amount CPS needs to replace the two coal-burning units it plans to retire in 2018.

For the other half, CPS plans to buy 200 megawatts of “clean coal” from a first-of-its-kind plant to be built near Odessa, and will save 250 megawatts through home energy management systems offered to customers for free.
The increase in the solar proposal comes as something of a surprise.

The deadline for the original request for proposals was mid-May, and late last month, CEO Doyle Beneby said the utility had narrowed the finalists to two.

He told the Express-News Editorial Board in mid-June that he hoped to name the winner on June 20, when he and Mayor Julián Castro announced that several clean energy technology companies would relocate their headquarters to San Antonio.

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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2011, 8:58 PM
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I saw that this morning. I'm very proud of City Public Service for taking the initiative in renewable energy and putting it's money where it's mouth is.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 1:15 AM
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Great news, renewables really are booming world wide as they should be.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 1:30 AM
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best in the world? in america?
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  #5  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 5:54 AM
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So the two largest solar energy farms would be in Texas. There's also another big one planned for Austin that was also touted as being the largest. What's to be seen is the actual construction start on them. I guess financing is an issue.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 6:08 AM
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Props to Texas; they deserve it.

This is an example of what can happen if environmentalists stop being two-faced dicks and stop complaining about desert tortoises...
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 6:20 AM
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Well, solar energy has very little negative environmental impacts. The only drawback is it requires a lot of land. Of course that's something Texas has a lot of.

There's been more complaining from environmentalists here about windy energy since the giant wind turbine blades pose a threat to birds. Texas has several hundred species of birds, many of which are endangered, especially along the coast where a large chunk of the wind farms are and are planned for.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 1:19 PM
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It's all about solar. Key to the future of humanity. I've written extensively about this elsewhere, and the possibilities of solar are infinite - and when I say "infinite," I'm almost being literal. It's not possible for most people today to comprehend the size of the potential they're about to open up.

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Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post
Props to Texas; they deserve it.
No, they really don't. Texas was a huge factor in holding back renewable energy for decades, and the political leaders it sends to Washington have largely been an obstacle to federal programs that support the research, development, and implementation of these technologies. That TX is finally, at long last getting out of the way of necessary change is a positive development, but I'm not going to applaud the state for it.

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Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post
This is an example of what can happen if environmentalists stop being two-faced dicks and stop complaining about desert tortoises...
It wasn't environmentalists that stopped solar development in its tracks for thirty goddamn years.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 8:47 PM
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It doesn't say where the plants will be located. In the cities themselves?
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  #10  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2011, 9:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
It's all about solar. Key to the future of humanity. I've written extensively about this elsewhere, and the possibilities of solar are infinite - and when I say "infinite," I'm almost being literal. It's not possible for most people today to comprehend the size of the potential they're about to open up.
Except that you can only get up to a Type 2 civilization by using solar. To go any higher, you need Fusion!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale
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  #11  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2011, 1:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
It wasn't environmentalists that stopped solar development in its tracks for thirty goddamn years.
Yes, very true. However, as Kevin indirectly pointed out, there is finite land in California compared to Texas, and environmentalists are really the only people (save for that native historical site wacko) standing in the way of large-scale solar energy arriving in the Mojave Basin out of concern for the desert tortoise (which isn't solely native in California; it can also be found in Arizona and Nevada).


Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
Except that you can only get up to a Type 2 civilization by using solar. To go any higher, you need Fusion!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale
I agree somewhat. But I think this would become more of an issue should humans ever establish space colonies on Mars and beyond, where there will be less sunlight.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2011, 1:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Well, solar energy has very little negative environmental impacts. The only drawback is it requires a lot of land. Of course that's something Texas has a lot of.

And the land requirement does not even need to be an issue with solar. There are millions of rooftops begging for solar panels. It's the perfect spot for solar panels, no additional land needs to be altered. Even the Sears Tower in Chicago is being turned into a solar power plant with new a new "solar facade"
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  #13  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2011, 3:28 AM
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damnation! Solana in AZ is "only" going to be 280 Megawatts. http://www.aps.com/main/green/Solana/default.html

Kudos to Texas.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2011, 6:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
Except that you can only get up to a Type 2 civilization by using solar. To go any higher, you need Fusion!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale
It'll be on order of 100k to 1M years before we're a Type II civilization, and spreading to other stars and having fusion power will occur long before that. Artificial fusion will never, ever be cheaper than just passively soaking up the energy of a star - it's main applications will be in the outer solar system and interstellar travel. The point is we today can't even imagine the vastness of the journey we are embarking on today with solar energy. It changes everything.

BTW, historical trends have us reaching Type I status some time around 2230. Of course, that ignores the exponential growth potential of photovoltaics.
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Last edited by Troubadour; Jul 9, 2011 at 7:17 AM.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 9, 2011, 3:52 PM
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You know to be fair, I can see how parts of the desert environment in southern California could be sensitive.

On the other hand, in Texas we've been drilling thousands of oil wells and carving roads out of the landscape for nearly a century now, and it wouldn't be doing any additional harm if you used existing oil fields as solar farms
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  #16  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2011, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
You know to be fair, I can see how parts of the desert environment in southern California could be sensitive.


Sooo... you'd rather have California get it's solar energy from Nevada and Arizona? Screw that.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2011, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post


Sooo... you'd rather have California get it's solar energy from Nevada and Arizona? Screw that.
I think large solar farms need to be built wherever they're feasible, including the California desert. That being said, there are certainly some places where environmental harm CAN occur, and I have no problem with those sites being disallowed for large-scale solar farms.

No matter WHERE solar farms come into being, I support them. Texas, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, wherever! The more the better!

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