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Thread: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

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    World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    'The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System officially came online on February 13, becoming the world’s largest source of solar power. With a capacity of 392 megawatts, the solar system will be able to generate enough power for 140,000 homes in California. The $2.2 billion Ivanpah project is located in the Mojave Desert and is a joint venture by NRG Energy, Google, and Brightsource Energy. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz toured the plant today with NRG CEO David Crane.

    Ivanpah uses concentrated solar power (CSP), which uses hundreds of thousands of mirrors to reflect the sun towards a tower. This heats a boiler in the tower, which creates steam to drive turbines and make electricity.'

    Ivanpah Solar Power Facility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Awesome, I hope things run smoothly.
    "We have more responsibility than power, I think. The newspaper can create great controversies, stir up arguments within the community or discussion, can throw light on injustices....just as it can do the opposite. It can hide things and be a great power for evil." -- Rupert Murdoch, 1968

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    'The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System officially came online on February 13, becoming the world’s largest source of solar power. With a capacity of 392 megawatts, the solar system will be able to generate enough power for 140,000 homes in California. The $2.2 billion Ivanpah project is located in the Mojave Desert and is a joint venture by NRG Energy, Google, and Brightsource Energy. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz toured the plant today with NRG CEO David Crane.

    Ivanpah uses concentrated solar power (CSP), which uses hundreds of thousands of mirrors to reflect the sun towards a tower. This heats a boiler in the tower, which creates steam to drive turbines and make electricity.'

    Ivanpah Solar Power Facility - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Very cool. There's also a plan, I believe, to build a really, really big one in the Sahara Desert.

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal View Post
    Very cool. There's also a plan, I believe, to build a really, really big one in the Sahara Desert.
    Is this serious or are you joking?
    "We have more responsibility than power, I think. The newspaper can create great controversies, stir up arguments within the community or discussion, can throw light on injustices....just as it can do the opposite. It can hide things and be a great power for evil." -- Rupert Murdoch, 1968

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Just wondering about the ROI here. They spent 2.2 billion to generate steam basically and that serves 140k homes. That same amount could power more homes if they bought them all solar panels instead.

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    Just wondering about the ROI here. They spent 2.2 billion to generate steam basically and that serves 140k homes. That same amount could power more homes if they bought them all solar panels instead.
    wondered about that too.


    Let's do some math....


    I've found new solar panels from $150 for 100-watt to $205 for 140 watt... but I've heard they can be had cheaper if you look around or buy bulk. Let's assume $1 a watt for solar panels.

    10 hours effective sunshine for full output per day average... typical house consumes 25-50 kwh if you try to conserve a little.. let's say 35kwh a day. 35kwh / 10 hrs = 3.5 kw of panels... 3500 watts, 35 panels at $100 a panel is $3500.

    Now you need inverters, charge controllers, and batteries. In my experience that's going to run you at least $12,000.

    We're up to $15,500 for a solar system you can easily run your house on without the grid. Not bad.


    Now... the meat of the question...

    2. 2 billion / 15,500 per house would solar-ize how many houses??

    I got 141,935 houses.


    So it works out about even, except you have to consider the power transmission infrastructure and maintenance, so really the house-by-house would come out a lot cheaper in the long run.

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Basten View Post
    Is this serious or are you joking?
    Quite serious. I don't know where in development Desertec currently is, but that's the plan at least.

    DESERTEC is a global renewable energy solution based on harnessing sustainable power from the sites where renewable sources of energy are at their most abundant. These sites can be used thanks to low-loss High-Voltage Direct Current transmission. All kinds of renewables will be used in the DESERTEC Concept, but the sun-rich deserts of the world play a special role.
    Under the DESERTEC proposal, concentrating solar power systems, photovoltaic systems and wind parks would be spread over the desert regions in Northern Africa like the Sahara desert
    Desertec - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So it seems to be a network of solar plants rather one giant plant, but it's still a good idea.

    There was a good news article on it some time ago, but I don't know where it is anymore.

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    wondered about that too.


    Let's do some math....


    I've found new solar panels from $150 for 100-watt to $205 for 140 watt... but I've heard they can be had cheaper if you look around or buy bulk. Let's assume $1 a watt for solar panels.

    10 hours effective sunshine for full output per day average... typical house consumes 25-50 kwh if you try to conserve a little.. let's say 35kwh a day. 35kwh / 10 hrs = 3.5 kw of panels... 3500 watts, 35 panels at $100 a panel is $3500.

    Now you need inverters, charge controllers, and batteries. In my experience that's going to run you at least $12,000.

    We're up to $15,500 for a solar system you can easily run your house on without the grid. Not bad.


    Now... the meat of the question...

    2. 2 billion / 15,500 per house would solar-ize how many houses??

    I got 141,935 houses.


    So it works out about even, except you have to consider the power transmission infrastructure and maintenance, so really the house-by-house would come out a lot cheaper in the long run.


    Revision... been checking, and inverters are cheaper than I recall, but batteries are up a bit. The per-house cost might be a couple grand lower than my previous estimate.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    Yeah, have to admit I lean more towards the decentralized with centralized backup power model.

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    Re: World's Largest Solar Plant Comes Online

    I thought the Great Barrier Reef was the worlds largest plant to use solar energy...
    Either I'm right or you're wrong.

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