Tag Archives: solar plant

Heliostat field at Gemasolar, World’s First Utility-Scale Solar Power Plant

Thie video by “Solar Trillions” author Tony Seba shows the heliostat field at Gemasolar, the world’s first commercial utility-scale solar power plant.

Each heliostat measures 110 square meters (1,184 square feet) of mirrors that reflect the sunlight onto the receiver on top of the solar power tower.  There are 2,650 heliostats with a total reflective surface of about 300,000 square meters (3.2 million square feet.)

Copyright Tony Seba – All Rights Reserved.

Southern California Edison Connects 32-Acre, 5 Million Watt Solar Array to its Grid

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Feb. 24, 2011 – Southern California Edison (SCE) today connected the state’s largest investor-owned utility photovoltaic plant to its Central Valley power grid. The new generating station, the utility’s first ground-mount PV installation, covers 32 acres of land SCE has leased from the city of Porterville, Calif. It adds 5 million watts of peak capacity – enough power to serve 3,250 average homes – to SCE’s network of 11 solar stations.

Construction and testing of the 29,426-panel solar array near the Porterville Municipal Airport took about six months and created 125 jobs. The new Central Valley solar station is connected directly to the utility’s neighborhood power circuits and benefits all SCE customers in the region.

“Our hope when we launched SCE’s Solar PV Program was that it would help California achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals, while increasing industry knowledge about solar PV efficiency and interaction with local distribution circuits,” said Mark Nelson, SCE’s director of Generation Planning and Strategy. “That hope has become a reality.”

In addition to building its own network of 40-50 solar stations, SCE is signing power purchase agreements with independent producers willing to construct a similar number of solar plants collectively. The combined installations are expected to create some 1,200 jobs in all.

“It is more than exciting for Porterville to take this first step with SCE. Hopefully, in years to come, a solar project like this will be commonplace,” said Mayor Ronald Irish.

About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

Southern California Edison Throws Switch on Seven New Neighborhood Solar Stations

SCE project lead Mark Nelson (left) and Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Feb. 1, 2011 – Seven new solar power plants capable of providing electricity for 8,125 average homes are now online for Southern California Edison (SCE) customers, the utility announced today.

The newest solar photovoltaic installations, located in Ontario and Redlands, Calif., have a combined peak generating capacity of 12.5 million watts (AC). The new plants bring to 10 the number of SCE neighborhood solar stations.

Construction of the solar power plants last year created 250 temporary jobs. SCE estimates its entire solar photovoltaic project – 75 to 100 roof- and ground-mount installations – will create up to 1,200 such jobs.

“When Southern California Edison originally announced its goal of building a network of local solar plants, we wanted to help speed up California’s deployment of solar generation while driving down the cost of photovoltaic panels for everyone,” said Mark Nelson, SCE director of generation planning and strategy.

“Current market indicators reveal that solar photovoltaic power is now substantially less expensive for our customers than when we launched this project,” Nelson said.

Details of SCE’s new solar stations
The Ontario installations involved four solar stations on 1.8 million square feet of leased warehouse roofs owned by ProLogis. The 32,950 solar photovoltaic panels SCE has installed in Ontario are capable of generating 5.5 million watts (AC) of power.

“Ontario is proud to partner with Southern California Edison to provide renewable energy resources to our residents and businesses,” said Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon. “Through this exciting new solar program, we are not only creating jobs for our community, but we are ensuring that sustainability is a key component of our long-term vision.”

“We are excited to continue our work with SCE and bring these additional rooftop installations into production,” said Drew Torbin, ProLogis vice president of renewable energy. “Our partnership makes sense in many ways; by bringing together a large rooftop owner and a utility, we have achieved the speed and scale that was necessary to make a true impact on the rooftop solar industry.”

In Redlands SCE has built three installations, with 34,600 panels spread over 1.5 million square feet of ProLogis warehouse roofs. The panels can generate 7 million watts (AC) of power.

“Two of our highest goals as a city are to encourage job creation and to build a greener tomorrow for our residents and future generations,” said Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. “Southern California Edison’s solar project has supported both goals by making available 120 construction jobs and adding to our energy resources three power plants that are silent, emission-free and use a renewable fuel source.”

At the direction of the state utilities commission, SCE expanded its solar photovoltaic program by offering long-term power purchase agreements to independent producers willing to build neighborhood plants. So far, the utility has awarded 29 contracts, which will yield about 43 million watts (AC) of new solar photovoltaic power for SCE customers.

In addition, SCE has seen an increase in the number of cost-effective solar photovoltaic energy bids to provide renewable energy to the utility. The winning bids show a significant reduction in the cost of solar photovoltaic. In November, SCE signed 20 such purchase agreements with the potential to produce 239 million watts (AC) of power.

SCE’s neighborhood solar stations can be brought online quickly once the distribution circuits they are being connected to are prepared to handle the new generator output and voltage controls.

One of SCE’s objectives is to study the impact on local grid reliability, so that these distributed energy resources can be interconnected safely. Lessons learned during deployment of SCE’s solar photovoltaic project will be shared with other utilities and the solar industry to foster similar efforts.

SunEdison to Build 50MW of PV Solar for Xcel in New Mexico

From SustainableBusiness.com

SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials (NYSE: WFR), and Xcel Energy’s (NYSE: XEL) regional operating company, Southwestern Public Service Company, announced a deal for five photovoltaic solar installations in New Mexico that will total 50 megawatts (MW) in generation capacity.

The five 10MW sites, to be located in Lea and Eddy counties in southeastern New Mexico, will comprise a utility-scale, ground-mount system that will be fully operational by the end of 2011. In total, the installations will generate enough power for more than 10,000 homes in its first full year of operation.

This total project will enable Xcel Energy to continue meeting New Mexico’s renewable portfolio standard, which requires that regulated electric utilities meet 15% of their electricity needs by 2015, and 20% by 2020, through renewable energy sources.

The five installations will be built, financed and maintained by SunEdison, under a 20-year solar power services agreement (SPSA) with Xcel Energy, which will buy the solar power generated by the plant.

This project eclipses the 8.22MW (DC) solar power system SunEdison activated for Xcel Energy in Alamosa, Colorado in December 2007.

SunEdison finances, installs and operates distributed power plants using proven photovoltaic technologies, delivering fully managed, predictably priced solar energy services for its commercial, government and utility customers.

Solar wafer maker MEMC acquired SunEdison in October 2009.

Taiwan unveils Asia’s biggest solar power plant

From Radio Taiwan International

Taiwan has unveiled what government officials are calling Asia’s biggest solar power plant. Officials say that currently Taiwan imports almost all of its energy and is seeking to tap into more renewable energy sources.

The two-hectare solar power plant began operations on Tuesday. It is located in Kaohsiung County, an area in southern Taiwan that enjoys year-round sunshine. Taiwan’s Atomic Energy Council says the plant is equipped with 141 solar panels, enough to power a thousand homes. Officials say that the plant would cut Taiwan’s carbon emissions by up to 700 tons every year.

Right now about 6 percent of Taiwan’s energy comes from renewable sources. A bill passed in June would boost the amount of energy coming from renewable sources in order to power 6.5 to 10 million homes over the next 20 years.

Boulder City to have nation’s largest solar PV array

By Stephanie Tavares, Lasvegassun.com

Boulder City is soon to be home to yet another large solar plant, thanks to Sempra Generation receiving final approval to sell solar energy generated in the Eldorado Valley to a California utility.

The company received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission today to sell energy to California’s Pacific Gas and Electric. Sempra will begin construction next month on a 48-megawatt solar thin film power plant, an expansion of its existing 10-megawatt solar plant located near a Sempra natural gas plant along Highway 95.

The two solar plants combined will create the nation’s most powerful solar photovoltaic array, outdoing Nellis Air Force Base’s 14-megawatt photovoltaic array by dozens of megawatts.

The new Boulder City plant will take at least a year to build and will employ more than 200 construction workers and electricians during the building phase, said Sempra President Michael Allman.

“It will be a mix of job types,” Allman said. “Some are for trained electricians but some of the work is basic construction work: installing posts in the ground and installing brackets to hold the panels. … We expect to fill the vast majority of the jobs locally.”

This will be the first solar project built since Sempra completed its 10-megawatt array last December. There are several other projects planned, but most would be on federal land which has a longer permitting process.

The solar energy corridor in Boulder City is owned by the city and is already zoned for solar energy development allowing for fast tracked permitting.

“The land was zoned and ready to go,” Allman said. “We just entered into a lease and we’re off and running. You can’t compare that to BLM land that’s similarly situated with the flat land and the transmission lines, the permitted process is much more complicated and a lot slower.”

Largest solar panel plant in US rises in Florida

By Christine Armario, Associated Press Writer (from Yahoo.com)

ARCADIA, Fla. – Greg Bove steps into his pickup truck and drives down a sandy path to where the future of Florida’s renewable energy plans begin: Acres of open land filled with solar panels that will soon power thousands of homes and business.

For nearly a year, construction workers and engineers in this sleepy Florida town of citrus trees and cattle farms have been building the nation’s largest solar panel energy plant. Testing will soon be complete, and the facility will begin directly converting sunlight into energy, giving Florida a momentary spot in the solar energy limelight.

The Desoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center will power a small fraction of Florida Power & Light’s 4-million plus customer base; nevertheless, at 25 megawatts, it will generate nearly twice as much energy as the second-largest photovoltaic facility in the U.S.

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