August 19, 2012 – Vol.17 No. 23
SEVEN DAYS OF SOLAR 8-5-12
You’d think all agencies within the U.S. government would automatically work together on all kinds of things. That’s not the case. It’s more formal than that: They negotiate agreements just like divisions in big corporations.
Operating under President Obama’s all-of-the-above approach on energy, the U.S, Department of the Interior (DoI) and the Department of Defense (DoD have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that “encourages appropriate development of renewable energy projects on public lands withdrawn (set aside) for defense-related purposes, and other onshore and offshore areas near military installations,” according to a DoI press release.
“The MOU sets out the guiding concepts for the Renewable Energy Partnership Plan, the departments’ roles and responsibilities under the agreement, and how they will work together to carry out the initiative. A major goal of the partnership is to harness the significant proven solar, wind, geothermal and biomass energy resources on or near DoD installations across the country.”
“DoD is aggressively pursuing the development of renewable energy on its installations both to improve the energy security of the installations and to reduce the Department’s $4 billion-a-year utility bill. Together with advanced microgrid technology, which DoD is testing, renewable energy will allow a base to maintain critical functions for weeks or months if the commercial grid goes down. With these operational goals in mind, each of the Military Services has committed to deploy 1 gigawatt of renewable energy on or near its installations by 2025.”
“DoD installations encompass roughly 28 million acres in the United States, of which 16 million acres previously managed by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) were withdrawn for military use by Executive Order, congressional legislation or departmental regulations. About 13 million acres of these withdrawn lands are located in the west and are high in wind, solar and geothermal resources. Offshore wind also is an abundant renewable energy resource available to many DoD installations on the Atlantic coast, Pacific coast, Gulf of Mexico and in Hawaii. Offshore Atlantic winds alone could produce an estimated 1,000 gigawatts of energy”
During the week beginning August 5, 2012, this publication received news announcements regarding 90 kilowatts (kW) of solar projects completed, 370 megawatts (MW) of projects under construction and more than 5 MW in the development pipeline.
--- Novato and Sonoma-based SolarCraft have completed the design and installation of a 90 kW solar power installation for The Sea Ranch Association (TSRA) in The Sea Ranch, California. The Association is now powered by free energy from the sun, providing significant savings for their Sonoma Coast community.
The 90 kW solar electric system at TSRA is comprised of two separate systems. One system powers the administration offices. This system is 25.2 kW, consisting of 105 high-efficiency solar panels installed on the roof of the administration building.
The second system is ground mounted and will provide power to the Association’s water treatment plant. It will generate 64.8 kW of power.
--- NRG Energy, Google, BrightSource Energy and construction partner Bechtel have announced that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (Ivanpah SEGS) has reached the halfway mark of construction on the world’s largest solar thermal project. Ivanpah has also reached its peak construction workforce, with more than 2,100 construction workers and project support staff on-site. The $2.2 billion project is on-track to be complete in 2013.
The 370 MW Ivanpah solar power facility is located on approximately 3,500 acres of federal land in California’s Mojave Desert managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior‘s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The three individual power plants at Ivanpah will feature BrightSource Energy’s solar thermal power tower technology to produce clean, renewable energy from the sun. When completed in 2013, the facility will nearly double the amount of solar thermal electricity produced in the US.
The project will provide $400 million in local and state tax revenues, and produce $650 million in wages, over its first 30-year life.
Ivanpah SEGS commenced construction in October 2010 and is halfway complete. In the power block area, home to the major power plant equipment, workers have erected three steel tower structures to support the boilers which extend to a height of 459 feet, welding interconnecting pipe inside the boiler and installing power plant equipment. In the solar field, workers are installing the project’s 173,000 pylons and heliostats, which are assembled on-site at a rate of 500 each day. To date, workers have installed more than 100,000 steel pylons and nearly 50,000 heliostats.
In the development pipeline.
--- Martifer Solar USA and the Clean Energy Collective together have announced over one megawatt of upcoming community owned solar garden projects, and an anticipated pipeline of more than five megawatts in 2012.
Near term opportunities for the Clean Energy Collective and Martifer Solar USA include similar collaborations for two additional projects in Colorado, located in San Miguel Power Association and Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association territories. The San Miguel project, at 1.15 MW, is expected to be the largest community-owned solar array in the nation, surpassing the Garfield County Airport array.
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