While the BLM is facing a virtual clog of large, desert-based solar project proposals, smaller, distributed solar projects are popping up at an impressive rate. In just the past few weeks, 1,300 MW worth of these projects have been announced or approved, which could equal about the same energy output of a big nuclear power plant.
The larger, more ambitious solar power plans have many environmental and land-use hurdles to clear, while these smaller plans, set to occupy commercial and residential rooftops, areas near electrical substations and urban areas, don't have the same obstacles in their way. Also, the smaller projects are cheaper, meaning more utilities can afford to implement them as they're scrambling to meet renewable energy mandates.
Arno Harris, the CEO of Recurrent Energy, a company that has signed a contract with Southern California Edison for 50 MW of small-scale solar, summed it up like this:
“Distributed solar is faster on permitting, on environmental issues and interconnection to the grid. It offers a safety valve for utilities who don’t want to put all their eggs in one basket.”
The projects, anywhere from 50 to 500 MW each, are mainly concentrated in California, though New York Power Authority is planning 100 MW installation around the state as well.
via Green Inc.
written by VeruTEK Green Technologies, February 04, 2010
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