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U.S.'s Largest Solar-Electric Plant Goes Online

We've written previously about the solar-electric plant at the Air Force's Nellis Base. The plant, which just went online this week, is the www.privateeryachts.com largest single photovoltaic plant in the U.S., beating out Google's by a hefty margin.

The plant uses traditional silicon PV cells and buy now online cialis provides enough power to juice about a quarter of the Air Force base. Really, 14 MW is still a pretty insignficant amount of viagra generic brand energy. And this plant doesn't approach the production power of Nevada-One, a solar thermal plant. But many people believe that the true future of solar power is converting the sun's energy directly into electricity instead of using the heat from the look here canadian pharmacy sun.

The project is financed by MMA Renewable Ventures (which we wrote about last week) and the panels and installation work was done by SunPower.

Solar-electric projects like this are more expensive per kilowatt than solar-thermal plants. However, they are more efficient and take up less space. And it's possible that photovoltaics, if mass produced, could eventually become cheaper than solar thermal.

And the only way to drive the price down is to provide incentives to produce them. This project is certainly doing that, which we're happy to commend.

Via Greentech Media

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Comments (29)Add Comment
0
your numbers are off
written by kballs, December 21, 2007
That's 14MW (megawatts), not 14KW (kilowatts).

It supplies 25% of the base's power (1/4), not 1/3.
0
Solar!
written by recycle, December 22, 2007
I don't like the new nanocells, the good old silicon slices are well tested and for the viagra 25 mg high energy consumption in the production process just use solar energy.
Someone has to invent a good energy storage and voila we are done. No energy problems and the oil is just for plastics. It's such a waste to burn oil and other fossil fuels. They are more important in material production, but we burn them.
0
High-res photo of the actual plant!
written by Daniel Lunsford, December 22, 2007
Amazing high res photo of the Nellis facility! Large file.

http://www.nellis.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/070731-F-8831R-001.jpg
0
Aerial view of the Solar Farm
written by Daniel Lunsford, December 22, 2007
The file above was of the solar panels, but this one is an aerial view of the facility, so you can really get an idea of canada viagra online the scope of this project!

http://www.nellis.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/photos/071109-F-1789V-152.jpg
0
picture
written by recycle, December 22, 2007
Wow!
Don't they look like trackers?
0
Well actually...
written by stands2reason, December 22, 2007
@recycle: There's no reason why we would want to waste silicon. 60 nanometer transistor processors are "tried and www.celebratinglife.org tested", but we will still switch to 45 nanometer chip as soon as we make ones that works. The potential reduced costs from nanocells cannot be discounted, nor is there anything inherently good about the current generation of solar cells.
0
good news ...
written by subcorpus, December 22, 2007
this is good news ...
now may be there is a chance that people will stop fighting over oil and stuff ...
go solar ...
0
cleaning the panels?
written by shodson, December 22, 2007
Do you have to keep the look there buy cialis at a discount panels clean? I notice a few of them are dusty and I would think that would hamper it's ability to absorb the sun's energy. Does someone has to keep them clean and dusted off?
0
Just an average joe, except my name is t
written by Tom, December 22, 2007
re: now may be there is a chance that people will stop fighting over oil and stuff ...

Look at the size of that facility and consider that it only supplies 1/4 of the power used by the base. And the base is a small, small fraction of the city it resides in (near) (Las Vegas).

Now try to imagine how many square miles you would have to cover with solar cells to supply just one city.

Now try to imagine how hard the eco-nuts will squeal if you try to cover all the land needed to supply a city, state country.

You would have to cover texas, arizona, and nevada with solar cells just to replace the electrical needs of the country and you haven't even begun to address the fuel needs.

The environmentalists hate oil and reject all reasonable alternatives. They don't like windmills because they chop up birds. They don't like nuclear. They embrace idiotic schemes like ethanol completely ignoring the canadian online pharmacy viagra fact that it takes a minimum of .9 barrels of oil to make one barrel of ethanol and forget that ethanol is only 90% as efficient as oil making ethanol a break even proposition at best. At worst, we are consuming vast quantities of oil and agricultural land to produce a lesser amount of ethanol.

Oil is the answer. I get down on bended knee every night and pray we never run out.

0
Going Green Rocks
written by Cheap Car Insurance Companies, December 22, 2007
The Goverment should give interest free loans for people that want solar panels for there roofs, the payment on the loan should be the same current eletric bill
0
WOW, 14 MAGAWATTS???
written by mikemike, December 22, 2007
You can get 1.5 - 3 megawatts from a large wind mill, but a wind mill will last 3 times as long, takes up less square feet per megawatt than a coal power plant, and doesn't release lots of pollution during the process of development. SOLAR POWER CAUSES MORE GLOBAL WARMING TOO. Solar panels transfer energy into our planet that otherwise may have been bounced back into space. Light reflects off of our planet, but not off black top roads, shingled roofs, and solar panels. Wind mills use energy that is already in our planet. The wind that windmills use causes friction in our atmosphere that in turn warms the planet. The energy that wind mills create is used in electric motors that have a cooling effect on the atmosphere. DO THE FREAKING MATH. SOLAR PANELS ARE THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER INVENTED, AND ANY ONE WHO IS DUMB ENOUGH TO USE ONE MAY AS WELL BURN COAL FOR ELECTRICITY TO SEPARATE H FROM O2 AND USE NUCLEAR POWER TO COMPRESS IT INTO A PLASTIC BOTTLE AND PUT IT IN BOTTLE RINGS, THEN SELL IT TO PEOPLE WHO WILL THROUGH THE BOTTLE RINGS INTO THE OCEAN AND PUT THE FUEL INTO THEIR HYBRID HUMMER H6 WHILE RUNNING OVER A SEA TURTLE!

Thanks,
Michael
0
I meant throw
written by mikemike, December 22, 2007
not through
0
Mikemike, you need to get a clue.
written by Berkana, December 23, 2007
Mikemike, you are grossly mistaken. Global warming is happening because the light reflecting back into space is getting re-absorbed by greenhouse gases, and being re-radiated in the infra-red wavelengths. Since re-radiation happens in all directions, a bit less than half of the re-radiated energy escapes back out to space. The earth has always had areas that reflected more or less energy back into space, but that hasn't been the problem we've been observing lately. The problem is that the composition of the atmosphere is changing such that it is retaining more heat.

If solar panels can give us energy generating capacity that reduces the davenportinstitute.com amount of coal or oil being burned, it has a net positive effect.

And wind energy is not using energy that is "already in our planet"; the wind is driven by the sun.

Get your facts straight. For someone admonishing people to "do the math", you obviously have not done any yourself. If you want some good references and cheapest price for viagra measurements from which you can shed your ignorance, I recommend Herman Scheer's "A Solar Manifesto".
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Curius
written by Genius, December 23, 2007
I've never seen it posted anywhere before, but I've always wondered.. with solar panels being so high tech, how much oil is burned/energy used to simply create and deliver these massive installations. Also, how many years before the impact on the environment from making them is made up for by using solar instead.
0
Melting silicon
written by recycle, December 23, 2007
How can we waste silicon? There is so much of it out there. The process of melting silicon needs much energy and it needs electrical energy. You think of oil being burned while transport and so on? With a electricity flatrate you would switch to electrical vehicels. Most things would use electrical energy and people would research energy efficient systems.
Solar panels are static, no moving parts. They would produce electricity in 1000 years, but you may have to resolder them. I don't know the 1000 years, but it is long.

"Do you have to keep the panels clean?"
Yes you do. Dust reflects sunlight. My windows are dusty, but I can look through them, so the panels are dusty but produce electricity, just a bit lesser.
0
Interesting Article!
written by kolive, December 23, 2007
We definitely need something to reduce our costs of electricity & oil.
0
Berkana, check your facts...
written by fuzzybassoon, December 23, 2007
While I'm not sure what the exact facts are concerning how much of an effect solar panels would have re: solar energy absorption, they should have some effect.
You state that the greenhouse effect comes from light reflected being absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases, but that's not quite correct. Greenhouse gasses are transparent in the visible spectrum, otherwilse the sunlight wouldn't get in in the first place. In reality, the earth absorbs sunlight, warms up, and emits IR radiation as a blackbody. This IR radiation is what is absorbed by greenhouse gasses (which are opaque in IR). So more solar panels = more heat absorbtion IR emission from earth, which should lead to some increase greenhouse heating, but I'd have to run calculations to see if it's significant.

0
Um, Tom...
written by Smart Tom, December 23, 2007
You don't have to cover Arizona, Nevada, and Texas with solar cells to power the only for you cost of viagra United States. The actual area required with current efficiencies would be a square about one hundred miles to a side. You should be hired by Bill O'Reilly for your knack of having a very small amount of knowledge and a very large mouth.
0
...
written by Brandon, December 23, 2007
I think the goal is not to find just one way to get energy but many different ways that can add up. It doesn't mean you have to cover whole states just to make enough to give a city power. You have enough square feet on your roof that if you covered that with solar panels you would make more than enough power for your house. And mikemike goes to show you how we have such ignorant people in the world. He is no scientist. Just because something is not as refined as "he" wants it doesn't mean that us working on a technology and learning new ways to do it that we won't find a better way of making it. Like the new solar panel that was just sold in the past couple weeks that is just a ink that's printed on aluminum. It only cost 1$ a watt to make. Vs the usual 700 bucks for a 175 watt solar panel. People like mikemike need to understand there is not going to be one big fix it all. There is no way that you can do anything with out impacting the environment, everything you do impacts the environment. The goal is to make something that impacts the environment less than currently used technology. Yes you could say a windmill heats up the air by a fraction of a degree, but can't you see that a windmill would impact the environment a lot less than a coal burning plant or gas burning engines to create electricity. You have zero pollution when a windmill or solar panel is working. If we use all our renewable resources and cheapest viagra make what we have more efficient then we can reach the www.strattonpublishing.com goal. Don't speak about something or make huge conclusions that we should just give up on something just because of what you may have heard. Do the research and you will see for yourself. Loud doesn't mean right. I think it's wonderful that they were able to cut their power use down by converting desert land, something that would not have been used. Now they just need to throw a few more panels, throw in some wind generators, change to compact florescent lighting, make their ac system as efficient as possible, and generally keep an eye on how they use electric power and they can lower that percentage of power needed.
0
...
written by RhapsodyInGlue, December 23, 2007
Hank, While true that many people believe PV is the true future of solar, don't forget that there are many others that believe solar thermal will continue to play as big or bigger role. Not only is it as yet significantly cheaper than PV it also has a very cost effective way of implementing energy storage to provide up to 24 hours worth of electricity. Also, for periods when storm systems may prevent production for days at a time, solar thermal can very cost effectively use gas as a backup since the generating turbines are the same. Using these two techniques solar thermal can be 24/7 baseload with well over 90% emission free.

I'm not knocking PV and am sure it will continue it's rapid expansion as an industry. It has it's own advantages over solar thermal. It can be used where conditions are bright but hazy or overcast. Also, as prices come down it can play a very important role in providing electricity to towns and villages in the developing world, where a modest amount of production capacity and some batteries can provide vital services such as communication, water pumping, refrigeration and lighting... all without requiring long expensive transmission lines to connect to a distant generating station.

In my opinion there is no need to believe that one will be a winner over the other. The development of both is extremely important to our future. Both should be fully supported with enabling public policies.

0
I believe in a thing called love
written by Bob Holness, December 24, 2007
Solar panels are one of the biggest causes of global darkening, soaking up daylight that would otherwise be enjoyed by the world's population. The knock on effect of this will be an increase demand for electricity to power electric lighting and this will further increase demand for electricity therefore creating a self-propelling industry and http://wffisher.com/herbal-levitra leading us all into a world so dark we will not be able to see our own noses.
0
...
written by Tom, December 24, 2007
RE: The actual area required with current efficiencies would be a square about one hundred miles to a side. You should be hired by Bill O'Reilly for your knack of having a very small amount of knowledge and a very large mouth.

Umm smarttom,

100 square miles is 258998811.0 square meters (more or less). Solar panels at best, generate 100 watts per square meter. This means you need a square meter to power one light bulb and that's assuming you have sun on any given day.

258998811.0 square meters could generate about 258 megawatts only while the sun is out and assuming you are living in the desert.

A single nuclear reactor can produce 1000 or more megawatts.

Since the sun is not out 24 hours a day, Solar requires large battery banks to store the energy when the inexpensive viagra sun is not out. Large batteries require large amounts of heavy metals. Batteries have short life times. The toxic waste generated from solar plants of sizes comparable to nuclear would be massive.
0
or maybe nanosolar is the solution...
written by David, December 25, 2007
http://www.celsias.com/2007/12...-shipping/

i've read a few articles on nanosolar technology and it sounds promising (cheaper to produce, efficient, durable, no silicon). popular science picked it as the 'innovation of the year' (2007). the articles are claiming the cost is on par with coal.

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/flat/bown/2007/index.html
0
MountainCat
written by Rob, December 28, 2007
Nanosolar has the right idea. They use quantum dots technology, which allows a photon to dislodge several electrons at a time, with a theoretical limit of something in the neighborhood of 2.85 electrons per photon strike. They now have the think film process down and are shipping all their output to Germany, which has been buying up all the solar panels it can find.

While thermal solar is still far more attractive for centralized power systems, light used as a heat source like geothermal, one must remember that our country is owned and operated by corporations supporting coal and oil. Our government is bought with subsidies and paid to keep innovators from perturbing the status quo, paid to maintain a police force, national guard, and militia to enforce the policies of corporate oligopoly. If alternate electrical power generation companies got the buy cheap levitra same subsidies as coal, most would be less expensive than coal, far less destructive, and would not be killing us and follow link best price generic cialis all the other life forms on this planet.

Have a nice day. ;D
0
Trolls and no brainers
written by Jon, December 28, 2007
There are so many Trolls on here, it is very disappointing that no one seem to be moderating the illinformed moronic nonsense people spout on here........
Two no-brainers for you:
What/who is this array for? This is an Air Force base, if they want to cut down on their CO2 emissions then they should stop flying.
There is a very simple way of improving the proportion of energy supplied by the array (PV array only supples 1/4 of the power used by the base), reduce consumption of energy.
0
A possible, affordable solution.
written by Reggie Rasmussen, December 28, 2007
To: Going Green Rocks (Cheap Car Insurance Companies). Solar may soon be the same or even less than your current electric bill. One company is putting together a program that will allow customers to rent solar instead of the customer having to make a purchase. This approach would be similar to the satelite TV industry. They would provide the customer a complete solar system with no upfront charges and make money from a service contract. In this case the service contract would be a rent agreement. When the system produces electricity, it will lower the genuine pfizer viagra bill from the current utility provider. In most cases the savings from the lower bill will more than cover the rent fee that the company intends to charge. The company currently has no product available but intends to deploy in the middle of 2008. They are currently taking reservations and have over 26,000 takers so far. I have written several articles on this company in my blog and even have a couple of videos that I have recorded at www.solarjoules.com. Feel free to take a look. I welcome comments. As in any start up business, a chance exists that they may never get off the ground and fulfill any preorders, but if this is the case - the potential client has not lost anything. If you cannot afford the upfront cost of solar today, this may turn out to be a great alternative. If anyone would like company information you can go to www.jointhesolution.com/razmataz.
0
...
written by Jerry, December 31, 2007
Hi Tom,
The other poster, Smart Tom, said a square 100 miles by 100 miles. This is 10,000 square miles. 100 square miles is 10 miles by 10 miles. The rest of your conversion was accurate however.

At this point in time solar is less than a percent of our electrical mix. When solar becomes a more substantial portion we will simply use fossil fuel to supplement renewables as needed. Eventually we will use storage devices like flywheels, batteries, and fuel cells to balance the supply. So there will be no need for you nervous types to worry about whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing.

As it is, much of California gets its power from coal plants in Nevada - in the desert. Guess what; there's no need for us all to live in the desert to use solar power.

When you get some numbers to back up your statement regarding the toxic waste generated by solar plants, I'll show you some real numbers for toxic waste generated by nuclear plants that will make your statement sound even more ridiculous than it already does.

By the way I'm willing to live right next to an enormous solar plant. How close are you willing to live next to a nuclear plant?
0
...
written by Mel Carroll, January 02, 2008
Hi,
I live right in the middle of a big freaking pile of nuclear power plants in IL, not to mention what I heard is the nation's largest stockpile of deadly toxic radioactive waste without a home unless we can pawn it off on another state - can't say as it feels warm and fuzzy. Been watching the solar and http://dependablehealthcareservices.com/pa/joycejacob/cialis-10-mg wind energy industries flounder, hoping technology and opportunity will intersect soon, or else I'm going to have to move!!
I would love to have a wind tower in my yard, but the natives would run me off. As to the argument about large unsightly solar fields, what about the tops of our cities buildings? What about converting that heat energy into usable electricity? You don't have to kill trees to install solar panels, do you?

Seriously, I've worked in the hazardous waste disposal and environmental testing businesses long enough to know we need some different options and soon...
0
Incentives are important !!
written by Renewable buddy, January 25, 2008
WE must bring our government to incentive all renewable energy tecnology, so that the cost will lower !
Let's do it! ;)

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