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Cleantech's solar array will be seven times larger than the next closest rival

Portugal announced in April that it was home to one of the world's largest solar arrays. The 150 acre, 11-megawatt (MW) solar plant was built by Catavento and PowerLight Corporation and is capable of powering 8,000 homes in Serpa.

Cleantech America LLC., a San Francisco-based company, plans to build a solar farm that would far eclipse the one built in Portugal. The new 80 MW farm, known as the Kings River Conservation District Community Choice Solar Farm, will be situated on 640 acres of land and is scheduled to be completed by 2011.

"We're pretty confident that solar farms on this scale are going to have an industry-changing impact," said Cleantech CEO Bill Barnes. "We think it's the wave of the future. This scale of project, I think, creates a tipping point for renewable energy."

"We think the impact for it will be similar to the impact of the computer chip," Barnes continued. "So too will economies of scale like the Community Choice farm drive down the cost of solar."

Cleantech estimates that the energy generated by the solar array will be enough to power 20,000 homes.

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RE: 640 acres is a lot of land
By zombiexl on 7/10/2007 9:47:40 AM , Rating: 2
What is going to happen to the land itself? Will plants and little critters be able to survive underneath these panels or will they destroy the habitat?

Who cares it will be more than 8x larger than the one in Portugal. So what if we trade one green type thing for another.

Anyway, thats a good question. I'd like to know the answer as well. It would be shameful for a company to promote doing something "green", while destroying 640 acres. Somehow I think they will not kill the land, but you never know i guess.

RE: 640 acres is a lot of land
By TomZ on 7/10/2007 9:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think it will be any more or less destructive than other human uses for land, e.g., agricultural, industrial, commercial, or residential use. Whatever currently lives there will live there no more.

The bigger question in my mind is whether this provides energy that is more cost-effective than other energy production methods. To me, building a big solar array is not any great accomplishment, if it results in energy that costs some number of times more than energy from other sources. Being "green" is a good thing, but "green" is only sustainable if it is combined with economic efficiency. Otherwise, it doesn't scale up to really help solve the problems at hand.

RE: 640 acres is a lot of land
By zombiexl on 7/10/2007 2:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I noticed when the deregulated electricity that it was always more expensive to choose a "green" provider. Not sure if that was greed, lack of customers or (more likely) the much higher expense of being green.

it aint easy (or cheap) being green.

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