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News December 2015

Trident Winds LLC to aid California in achiving goals for renewable energy.

Trident Winds LLC of Washington has entered the premitting process with the state of California to develope 1,000 megawatts or more with a offshore wind Project approximately 20 miles off shore from Morro Bay, Ca. in the pacific ocean.  This project will be in up to 3,000 feet of water using wind turbines on floating support structures. Connection to the power grid would be through the now closed Morro Bay power plant. For more information please click the link below :)

 http://www.morro-bay.ca.us/897/Trident-Winds-Offshore-Wind-Energy-Proje

The State of California is committed to producing 25% of it's energy through enviormental friendly power generation of power by the year 2025 like you see on this site.

 Missouri in support of clean energy

In 2008, Missouri voters supported clean energy and passed Prop C, which is the Missouri Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that is projected to create more than 9,000 jobs in the state and generate $2 billion in economic activity for Missouri. But recently the Missouri legislature passed a resolution SCR 1 that allows utility companies to buy renewable energy credits from anywhere in the world -- instead of buying them in Missouri. This would significantly reduce the likelihood of in-state renewable energy development, new jobs and economic investment. Not to mention, the Missourians who voted for clean energy would continue to get electricity that is far from clean.

According to the Energy Information Administration, Missouri currently relies on coal for more than 80 percent of its in-state electricity generation, and 99 percent of that coal is imported from other states. Missouri spends about $1.1 billion a year to import coal from Wyoming, Kentucky and Illinois, among other states. The cost of importing this coal is a drain on Missouri's economy. Investments in homegrown renewable energy, such as wind, solar, and biomass can help stimulate the economy by redirecting funds into local economic development -- funds that would otherwise leave the state.

And the good news: This is already happening.

In west-central Missouri, Show Me Energy Coop (SMEC) is turning crop residues and native perennial grasses into bio-pellets, which have been test-burned with Kansas City Power and Light and other utilities to produce electricity. Owned by 612 farmers, Show Me Energy Coop is able to capture non-fossil fuel income within the community. Presently SMEC is validating a new state of the art technology -- one that will generate electricity and liquid fuels for the final design of a 20-megawatt combined heat and power plant.

Wind farms in northwest Missouri are generating clean and renewable electricity while investing in local communities. According to the American Wind Energy Association, power producers have installed more than 450 megawatts of wind power in Missouri since 2007, which is enough to power about 160,000 homes.

Though the Missouri economy overall is shedding jobs, the clean energy sector is a growing industry, spurring new economic activity with wind, biomass, and solar. The development of in-state renewable energy can have a profound economic impact on communities across the state, whether they produce renewable energy, manufacture components, or supply the labor or materials to develop these projects.

Floating Solar Panels Tap Untouched Potential

Most of the solar energy systems on the market today bare two major weaknesses: they require vast land areas in order to be built, and the costs related to solar cells fabrication and maintenance are high. A new technology is about to overcome these challenges and many more: floating solar power plants.

Developed by a Franco-Israeli partnership, this innovative solar power technology introduces a new paradigm in energy production. Solar power plays a dominant role in the world-wide effort to reduce greenhouse gases, it is considered a clean energy and is an efficient source of electricity. Yet, several obstacles have been undermining the expansion of this sector, and many of its actors are looking for a new approach toward the markets.

The project results from a collaboration between Solaris Synergy from Israel and the EDF Group from France. EUREKA provided the supporting platform which enhanced the companies’ partnership. After receiving the "EUREKA label" the project, called AQUASUN, also found support from the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor.

"We are very pleased with the collaborative dimension of the project", says Elyakim Kassel, coordinator of the AQUASUN project and business development manager at Solaris Synergy.

A win-win situation
Soon after the design phase was over, at the end of March 2010, the fabrication of a prototype began and the team is now aiming to launch the implementation phase in September 2011. The tests will take place at Cadarache, in the South East of France, the site having a privileged position on the French electric grid and being close to a local hydro-electric facility providing the water surface to be used for the installation of the system. It will operate on-site during a period of nine months, while assessing the system’s performances and productivity through seasonal changes and various water levels. The research team members believe that by, June 2012, they will have all the information required to allow the technology’s entry on the market.

As even leading photovoltaic companies struggle to find land on which to install solar power plants, the project team identified the almost untouched potential of solar installations on water. The water basins on which the plants could be built are not natural reserves, tourists' resorts or open sea. Rather, they are industrial water basins already in use for other purposes. By that, it is assured that the new solar plants will not have a negative impact on natural landscapes.

"It's a win-win situation," declares Kassel, "since there are many water reservoirs with energy, industrial or agricultural uses that are open for energy production use."

After solving the question of space, the team also took on the problem of cost. "It sounds magical to combine sun and water to produce electricity, but we also have to prove that it carries a financial logic for the long run," explains Kassel. The developers were able to reduce the costs linked to the implementation of the technology by two means. First, they reduced the quantity of solar cells used, thanks to a sun energy concentration system based on mirrors, while keeping steady the amount of power produced.

Maid of modules
Secondly, the team used a creative cooling system using the water on which the solar panels are floating. Thanks to this efficient cooling method, the photovoltaic system can use silicon solar cells, which tend to experience problems linked to overheating and need to be cooled down in order to allow the system to work correctly, unlike standard type more expensive cells. The particular type of solar cell used also allows a higher efficiency than the standard ones, achieving both reliability and cost reduction.

Still, for the purpose of making the technology efficient and ready to market, the system is designed in such way that it is possible to assemble as many identical modules as needed on a solar platform for the power rating desired. Each module produces a standard amount of 200 kiloWatt electricity, and more power can be achieved by simply adding more modules to the plant.

The team also worked on the environmental impact of the technology. It works, in fact, as a breathing surface through which oxygen can penetrate to the water. This feature ensures that sufficient oxygen will maintain the underwater life of plants and animals. Kassel adds: "One of the implementation phase's goals is to closely monitor the possible effects of this new technology on the environment with the help of specialists" and "a preliminary check shows no detrimental environmental impact on water quality, flora or fauna. Our choices of materials were always made with this concern in mind."

Great ambitions
The project was featured at the 4th International Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Conference in Israel, giving the public the occasion to observe the functioning of the first floating concentrated photovoltaic system. According to Solaris Synergy’s CEO, Yossi Fisher, the installation in Eilat has been a milestone, opening the way for “many future implementations in Israel and throughout the world.”

Kassel sees a last benefit to his project: "Today, each country must consider the best resources it has in order to produce clean energy. For example: hydroelectric power is good where there are waterfalls, geothermic is productive for countries with thermal springs, and solar power is very efficient where there is sun. Our system could be of great use in places that are exposed to sun, but not necessarily have sufficient natural water. Even dry countries, such as Israel or the North African countries, have industrial waters that are not rain dependent. This fact makes the floating solar power plant a reliable method for them to produce renewable energy."

Solar Gardens /  Shared Photovoltaic

Boulder Colorado residents may be preparing to plant their gardens in panels, not rows, this spring as a result of legislation passed last year permitting "solar gardens."

Local energy experts will gather on Monday to discuss the development process for these cooperatively owned plots of panels, known as solar gardens, in a meeting that's free and open to the public.

"(Solar gardens are) so new that nobody knows yet how they're going to work," said Rebecca Dickson, chair of the Sierra Club's Indian Peaks Group. "What we do know is that they can work."

The recent announcement that Xcel Energy, Boulder County's utility provider, will decrease its solar energy incentive plan is not necessarily a harbinger of the gardens' futility.

"As individual rebates for projects start to decline, there needs to be a new business model to get people to invest in solar," said Jonathan Koehn, regional sustainability coordinator for the city of Boulder. "This creates another way to provide more solar to more customers."

Community solar garden participants, called subscribers, will own a collection of solar panels cooperatively at a third-party location. The clean electricity produced will help to offset the owners' electric bills.

These gardens could provide a viable alternative for individuals unable to put panels on their own homes, whether for practical or aesthetic reasons.

"Not everybody has a property that's suitable," said solar gardens expert Greg Ching. "They may have a house that is too shady or they might not like the look of (the panels)."

This option would also allow renters, leasers and owners of historically preserved homes to share in Xcel's Solar Rewards Program. Koehn lists businesses on Pearl Street and the cottages at Chautauqua as interested participants.

Legislation spearheaded by state Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, and supported by the City of Boulder made solar gardens possible. Now the Public Utilities Commission's rule-making process has begun to further determine details, such as how rebates will be structured and whether garden subscribers will purchase panels individually or pay for the energy consumed.

Steve Bauhs, director of sales and marketing at Boulder-based panel installation company Simple Solar, estimates that gardens will be up and running within six to nine months.

Current legislation requires that at least 10 parties, any combination of individuals and businesses, buy into the garden. Subscribers must live in the same county as the garden itself.

The law limits a maximum of 6 megawatts of energy to be produced by gardens throughout Colorado and designates 3 megawatts to be used by a collection of small gardens (10-500 kilowatts), and 3 megawatts to be used by large gardens (500 kilowatts or more). Typical solar panel systems installed on homes have average generating capacities of 2.5 to 5 kilowatts of energy.

The law will be reconsidered after three years to determine whether alterations are necessary.

Ching noted that typically homes with solar panels belong either to wealthy individuals or technology hobbyists. Solar gardens would have the advantage of allowing lower income people to participate by setting aside a certain amount of panels specifically for them, he said.

Before the solar garden concept can move forward, however, rebate structures and purchasing arrangements will have to be resolved.

Bauhs, with Simple Solar, calls it a quandary to be solved through the ongoing rule-making process.

"(We have to) stay ahead of the game without really knowing what the rules of the game are," he said. "You're building the ship as you're sailing."

The panel, sponsored by the Sierra Club and the University of Colorado's Environmental Center, aims to clarify some of these ambiguities, said Boulder's Koehn.

"We want to make sure that once the rule-making process is complete, that we as a community are ready to facilitate the installation of solar gardens," he said.

rockymtn.sierraclub.org or http://ecenter.colorado.edu

Read more:
Solar gardens closer to sprouting in Boulder County - Boulder Daily Camera http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_17541487#ixzz1FjXH4TlB
DailyCamera.com

Power Transmission Costs

Is Solar Thermal the answer? As outlined this winter in an article in the journal Natural Gas and Electricity, is that the same amounts of energy can be produced from photovoltaic panels for less than 55 percent of the cost.

The author, San Diego engineer William Powers, cites federal Department of Energy statistics to argue that solar thermal energy is now outmoded, and not being pursued in other advanced countries such as Japan and Germany, both of which have large-scale solar photovoltaic energy projects under way.

One reason is that photovoltaic panels are far simpler than solar thermal ones. Photovoltaic energy is produced when sunlight is converted directly to electricity without the involvement of water or oil, while solar thermal uses fluids such as synthetic oil or pressurized steam to convert heat into energy in large-scale facilities.

The bottom line financially, Powers calculates, is that solar thermal energy, including all transmission expenses, would cost about $250 per megawatt hour, while photovoltaic would run only about $136 per megawatt hour for sites getting the frequency of sunshine seen in or near Los Angeles and San Diego.

There are two reasons why big power companies such as Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric (Pacific Gas& Electric remains mostly an interested spectator at this point) line up behind the big solar thermal farms in remote locations: One is that when photovoltaic panels are installed on private buildings, the utilities must pay the owners a "feed-in tariff" for power not consumed in the buildings themselves that is then put onto their overall grids.

The other is that building the transmission capacity to carry power from desert points to big cities and their suburbs would cause them to invest billions of dollars, thus increasing their "rate base" considerably. A major component of electricity pricing is the "rate of return" (yearly profit percentage) utility companies get on their rate base, the total they've spent over the past 20 years on facilities and equipment. The current estimate for building just one of the needed transmission lines ---- roughly paralleling Interstate 15 ---- is $750 million.

Which means large solar thermal plants could force even greater electricity price increases than building new conventional oil- or gas-fired power plants.

All of which suggests another look at the huge and politically connected solar developments in California's almost-always-sunny deserts is called for. Californians and all American taxpayers deserve to know for sure that these won't turn into just another massive government-supported boondoggle perhaps to reward special interest contributors.

 

Wake up America

Oil has been a inexpensive resource for many decades in the USA. With 90% of the easily recoverable oil found, the cost of drilling in sensitive areas of the  USA  is sky-rocketing or prohibited altogether. The political instability in oil producing areas of the world is also causing rapid increases in the cost of oil. 

 

America still has it

 It is predicted that our total green energy production will exceed 20% by 2020. This will  cut our dependency on oil by 5 million barrels per day and creating millions of jobs.

 Renewable resources are abundant in our nation,  including solar, wind, water, and wave kinetic energy. We also have the 3rd largest reserves of rare-earth minerals in the world, the kind that batteries and solar panels use! (97% of these elements now comes from China.) :(

 
  
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