free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 386. SOLAR POWER UPDATE

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Glimpse of the Future: Ota Solar City, Japan

SunPower Completes Smaller Solar Deals With Wal-Mart, Horizon Power
SunPower has deals with Wal-Mart and Horizon Power to install solar systems that are under a megawatt each.
The company recently completed installing a 554-kilowatt solar power system at the Wal-Mart store in Hanford. The system is expected to generate about 15 percent of the store’s electricity and reduce between 7,000 to 8,000 metric tons of GHG emissions per year.
L.A. pursues solar-power surge
Los AngelesMayor Antonio Villaraigosa has unveiled an aggressive solar power plan that aims to encourage the installation of 1,300 mW of solar power throughout the city and surrounding areas of Southern California by 2020.

Christened "Solar LA," the plan addresses solar power systems on residential, commercial, and municipal properties. The plan includes a requirement for the city's municipal utility, the Los Angeles Dept. of Power and Water (LADPW) to install 400 mW of solar power on city-owned property by 2014. By 2020, the utility will be required to procure an additional 500 mW of utility-scale solar power through contracts with third-party developers, with the option to purchase the systems after about eight years of operations.
Solar-powered marina planned in Fort Pierce
Ecocove, a Treasure Coast-based company, plans to build a 20-slip marina on the Fort Pierce Inlet that is thought to be the first of its kind in the state.
The complex would operate on solar power, and any excess electricity could be sold to the city's electric utility, the developers said.
Petrobras mulls solar power to increase well recovery
Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras is mulling plans to use solar power to boost oil recovery, BNamericas reports.
"Our idea is to replace hydrocarbons burn for solar power," according to Luiz Tadeu Furlan, energy efficiency manager at Petrobras' gas and energy department.
Alcatraz Cruises Launches Nation's First Hybrid Ferry Boat
Hornblower Hybrid Is Model of Alternative Energy Innovation
Representatives from the National Park Service, Mayor Gavin Newsom's office, NOAA and Save the Bay were among the 85 people to enjoy a breakfast gathering aboard the nation's first known hybrid ferryboat.
On Friday morning, December 12, at Pier 33 in San Francisco, Alcatraz Cruises, the National Park Service concessioner of ferry service to Alcatraz Island introduced the Hornblower Hybrid, a wind, solar and diesel powered hybrid vessel.
Conergy Asia-Pacific to develop Saudi Arabia's first large-scale solar power plant
Conergy Asia-Pacific (a regional subsidiary of Hamburg-based Conergy AG) has been awarded a contract for a 2-megawatt solar power plant for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
Amid Gloom, Solar Power Finance A Ray of Sunshine
In the booming new market of solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), near-term growth shows modest gains and the long-term outlook is exponential. These are the findings of a new report from AltaTerra Research entitled, Financing Growth: Will Solar PPAs Shine in Dark Times?[...]
"Any growth is a boon for any industry under the current financial conditions,” says Guice. “While growth may not be astronomical, as the solar industry has become accustomed to, gains have been made, and that’s more than a lot of other industries can say.”
Solar power catches on at airports
A hangar at Bob Hope Airport in California has followed the example of other airports by building solar panels in order to ease energy costs.
The rooftop of the $17 million Hangar 25 which is operated by charter flight operator Avjet, has enough solar panels to power lights, forklifts and tow vehicles.
San Fransisco Airport has already invested $5.5 million on the construction of solar arrays on its buildings which can generate enough power to run the entire airport during the daylight hours.
Water Department basks in solar project's success
Hillsboro Water Department has found another use for its Evergreen Reservoir site - power generation. Solar panels installed and brought on line in July have already produced 53 megawatt-hours of power.
Electricity generated by 570 panels is transferred back to the grid and offsets a significant share of the power needed to operate the reservoir's pumps. This sustainable energy source results in substantial money savings for the Utilities Commission and its customers.
Hybrid solar plant will power 11,000 homes
Florida Power & Light Company is gearing to switch to large-scale solar use with a new plant planned for Indiantown.
Billed as the world's first hybrid plant, the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center is set to be fully operational by 2010.
It combines natural gas with energy from the sun, instead of relying solely on fossil fuels to generate electricity, officials said.
Duke Wants to Rent Rooftops for Solar Power
North Carolina businesses, homeowners and schools would be able to rent their rooftops to Duke Energy Carolinas for solar power installations, if the utility's plan wins regulatory approval.
The energy company is proposing to invest $50 million over a two-year period in as many as 425 solar energy arrays atop the rooftops of homes, schools, stores and factories — or on the ground at those properties — to establish a solar distributed generation program.
Up on the Roof, New Jobs in Solar Power
MOVE over, Joe the Plumber. Spencer the Solar Panel Installer is here.[...]
Even in the recession, Mr. Bockus has been putting in plenty of overtime for his company, Akeena Solar, which is based in Los Gatos, Calif., and has offices elsewhere in California and in Colorado and the Northeast.[...]
Mr. Cinnamon is now the chief executive of Akeena, which has about $40 million in annual sales and employs 220 workers in seven states. Despite the recession, he estimates that his solar panel installation business will increase 40 percent from last year. [...]
GERRY HEIMBUCH, vice president for operations at the Solar Center in Rockaway, N.J., estimates that his company hires a new solar panel installer every month. Many good candidates have come from the sluggish homebuilding industry.
First Solar Reaches Grid-Parity Milestone, Says Report
First Solar has made it to grid parity, according to at least one analyst.
A 12.6-megawatt system installed by First Solar (NSDQ: FSLR) for Sempra Generation showed that the system can produce electricity at below the price of conventional power in the United States, said Mark Bachman, an equity analyst at Pacific Crest, in a research note Tuesday.
Chevron completes solar power project at Milpitas schools
Chevron Energy Solutions said on Monday that it has completed a districtwide solar energy system for the Milpitas Unified School District that is expected to supply 75 percent of the district’s annual electricity needs.
California growers going solar
Abundant sunshine not only grows crops, but now it powers the operations, too
For more than 70 years, California's abundance of sunshine has enabled the Lundberg family to grow rice in the Central Valley north of Sacramento.
Now the sun is helping the family churn out myriad rice products, from chips to cakes to pasta.
Lundberg Family Farms, which bills itself as the nation's largest producer of organic rice and rice products, is among a small but growing number of California growers and processors turning to solar power to help them run their operations.
California plans 80 solar projects, but environmentalists raise concerns
The first solar thermal facility in California in nearly 20 years recently opened in Bakersfield, and is one of at least 80 solar power projects planned in the state. State officials say that they expect renewable energy to transform California's electricity system. However, critics warn that the plants could create environmental problems because of power towers and high-voltage wires.
SFPUC Approves 5-MW Solar Project
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has approved a new contract with Recurrent Energy to generate 5 megawatts (MW) of solar power atop the recently seismically-retrofitted Sunset Reservoir. The project, which is expected to be completed and generating solar power for the City in 2010, will be California's largest solar photovoltaic system and the nation's largest municipal solar project.
Huaneng to build up China's largest solar PV demon project in Yunnan by 2010
Huaneng Group, parent company of Huaneng Power International, Inc. plans to build up a 166 MW on-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) power generating project in Shilin of Southwest China's Yunan Province by 2010, which will be the largest solar PV project in China.
by JD


At Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 5:57:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

As always, please use the Name/URL option (you don't have to register, just enter a screen-name) or sign your anonymous post at the bottom. The conversation is better without multiple anons.
Thank you!

At Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 6:38:00 AM PST, Anonymous JL Meseguer said...

Really nice post, as the previous one about the electric car.

This is my first comment in this blog, and I just wanted to quickly express my thanks to JD for running this blog.

I discovered PO in early 2006 and was very worried at the beginning. As with other news I hear or read, I always try to look for other views about the same topic and that's how I found POD and got in a more balanced state of mind.

I find the information published here and most of the discussions and comments very helpful to understand what is going on, specially when comparing them with other, gloomier, PO sites. As an engineer, I also find most information here very educational.

From what I've been reading these last two years, I am a firm believer that electricity and conservation will not only solve the PO problem, but also create a better less polluted environment, solve this financial crisis and build a more balanced relationships between countries, as many of the conflicts of the past years have been, in my opinion, caused by the struggle to control the vital resource that oil is... I also think we are in the brink of a major technological breakthrough with so much investment and research devoted to new battery and energy producing technologies; from the point of view of a person interested in science and technology, these are great times to witness!

As for the doomers, my explanation is that we humans are a very special animal. We are able to influence our emotions by imagining that good or bad things will happen in the future. Then, these emotions we artificially generate cloud our judgement and make us interpret too-rosy or too-gloomy the events that we observe... in summary, extrapolation is a very bad adviser.

At Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 9:42:00 AM PST, Anonymous benny "MOAG" cole said...

Sunny days, here we come!
Obviously, we have a cleaner and better future ahead, especially if oil becomes more expensive.
But for the next five years or so, oil may be so cheap that alternative technologies get clobbered.
Look for $10 a barrel oil in 2009-10.
The Mother Of All Gluts.

At Friday, December 19, 2008 at 11:49:00 AM PST, Blogger Barba Rija said...

Don't know, Benny. OPEC has larger powers now than they had in the eighties, and they will cut deep the oil production. Their intent is to keep oil at 75$ a barrel. Even if they aren't able to do so, I'm willing to bet they won't let oil dip to 10$.

At Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:38:00 PM PST, Anonymous tommyTompson said...

Benny & JD,

I thought you two would like this gem. Oil industry analyst demi-god Matthew Simmons on cnn:

Simmons says that "there is no oil glut"

Especially after reading JD's post last week of "The Growing Glut"

At Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:26:00 PM PST, Blogger Ari said...

I don't get Simmons anymore. I don't see why CNN even bothers with him these days, either.

He would say that the sky is purple if it suited the story.

At Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 5:04:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Monday, December 22, 2008 at 8:01:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

“I find little reason for optimism regarding the market's ability to provide a coherent oil price signal reflecting future scarcity of this precious non-renewableresource.” (12/20, #14)
-- Dave Cohen, energy writer

At Monday, December 22, 2008 at 8:02:00 PM PST, Anonymous fugeguy said...

At Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:37:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol...oh lol.
Cheap oil? I'll take $200 dollar a barrel vs the deflation we may see, or almost worse the inflation that is likely to occur in 5 or so years. And by then it will be $200/bbl.

We could reduce oil dependence in 20 years by ten percent. That's all. It's much too late for us to be fooling ourselves into thinking that our - well, your - children will have our standard of living. STop Dreaming and conserve NOW. (and plant a friggn garden)


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