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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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"Clean" tech?
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2007 10:01:01 AM , Rating: 2
This company's name is a wonder of gonzo marketing propaganda. With current technology, solar power is dirtier than nuclear, hydro, and even clean coal technology. The pollution is simply generated on the front end rather than the back-- during the manufacture and maintenance of the panels themselves.




RE: "Clean" tech?
By TomZ on 7/10/2007 10:04:43 AM , Rating: 2
Just goes to prove that, when it comes to marketing, perception is more important than reality.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By Shintai on 7/10/2007 10:14:46 AM , Rating: 2
You gotta be joking....

Maybe if you used 1980s tech.

And "clean coal" is the marketing propaganda.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4468076....

But I guess the waste issue for the future generations with nuclear and "clean coal" doesnt matter.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By hlper on 7/10/2007 10:36:00 AM , Rating: 2
So, I looked at the link and I am confused about its support of your post. It looks like a general description of clean coal technologies, but makes no claims about marketing propaganda. In fact the article offers no criticism of the technology whatsoever, and seems fairly positive on the subject. Is it your assertion that this is the propaganda?


RE: "Clean" tech?
By Ringold on 7/10/2007 6:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Because a link automatically makes him look correct. :)

Clean coal, if it can be made just slightly more affordable, solves to a huge degree both energy security and scarcity. Oh, and could be used to defuse the global warming propaganda as an extra aside. Better for their purposes to make it look bad for as long as possible.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By RogueSpear on 7/10/2007 9:33:08 PM , Rating: 2
"Clean Coal" yea right. Well they may have cleaned up the burning process, but they still haven't found a way to replace entire mountain tops that are literally removed during mining. They're still using diesel powered machinery and trucks to move the stuff to the plants.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By ttowntom on 7/11/2007 12:18:37 AM , Rating: 2
> "but they still haven't found a way to replace entire mountain tops that are literally removed during mining."

Sure they have. Its called 'putting all the dirt back where you got it'.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By RogueSpear on 7/11/2007 6:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure they have. Its called 'putting all the dirt back where you got it'.

Well to date I have not seen this done and even if it had I doubt you could argue a pile of dirt is even remotely similar to the mountain tops that have been removed.

I know I'm wasting my keystrokes here. Anything can be rationalized somehow.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/11/2007 10:00:44 AM , Rating: 2
In an area with little to no flat ground, reclaimed strip mines are actually valuable pieces of property!

Your perceptions of coal mining are outdated. The days of 'get what you and leave' are over.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By Comdrpopnfresh on 7/10/2007 11:55:26 AM , Rating: 2
there was a case (in washington I believe?) where a research reactor, or a nuclear plant... something nuclear... was operating, and needed outside power to expand. The cheapest thing was to add a coal power generator to the facility, but because it was a nuclear facility, there are radiation release limits. In short, the coal plant had to be outside the bounds of the nuclear facility, because burning coal releases more radiation into the environment than a whole nuclear facility does....

Almost all clean coal initiatives were killed when president Bush let the industry expand without regards to clean-coal measures that were passed. It was supposed to be that if a coal-fired power plant wanted to expand,they had to reduce emissions, and the only real way to do it on a large scale was clean-coal technology.

Much the same was allowed for the oil refineries by president Bush. Money given to expand, and then environmental measures pulled back when the industry whines.

Same thing happened with the auto industry between clinton and bush. For every model that can run on ethanol or a hybrid- they can release more gas-guzzling, polluting models.
Funny thing- there isn't ethanol to be had; so we import corn to supplement our cattle feed (which is going to ethanol), burn coal to make ethanol (which is technically an "energy carrier" as we produce it rather than draw [or refine] it from another substance). Thats why the price for dairy is going up.
Ethanol also had less equivalent energy per gallon compared to gasoline, makes blends burn faster. So everyone is paying more for up to 10% blends at the pump for less mileage (due to less energy and faster burning rates) and less efficiency. But those are the "reasons" why the ignorant public won't adopt electric cars.... or pursue bio-diesel (esp the kind made from algae, not soybeans)


RE: "Clean" tech?
By geddarkstorm on 7/10/2007 1:19:30 PM , Rating: 3
You're talking about the Hanford Reactors near the Tri-cities in eastern Washington State. They are currently the only breeder reactors online in the US last I heard, and also it is the only place were glassification of spent atomic fuel can be done, which turns dangerous radioactive waste into harmless material, but for a huge energy cost. And yeah, I know what you are talking about. It is ironic, but all coal plants, even the "clean" ones, produce more radioactives (in the form of radium) than nuclear, yet everyone freaks out if you talk about nuclear power plants. It's like that initiative they had awhile ago about nuking food products (using gamma rays) like meat before sending them out from processing plants so as to stop E. coli and other diseases. People heard the word "radiation" and freaked, yet they don't understand at all that radiation only lasts as long as the emitter is on. Radiation and radioactive are completely different concepts, and radiation can't make something radioactive. So, then we get horrible bacterial outbreaks every other year that kill a handful of people and all of it could be avoided if people had not been so conditioned to fear and hate anything with the word radiation or nuclear in it. Of course, we know who to thank for that conditioning as well.

Bush was the first person in power I ever saw who really started to push for clean energy and to throw us away from fossil fuels. In fact, I don't know of any other country even trying as hard as the US under Bush is--although information is changing all the time, so who knows. And I mean try, not simply talk about it. All the grants and subsidies to researchers working on clean fuel like hydrogen, and diesel and so forth, not to mention forcing the car companies to start upping gas mileage. There is a balance of course, things cannot be pushed too fast, or they will collapse, companies will go out of business, and technology will not have a chance to advance fast enough to meet demand leaving everyone hanging. The country has been in serious energy troubles ever seen so many nuclear reactors were shut down that we've had to expand coal power plants to meet the needs of the country, which has required going back on, though only a little, the clean coal initiatives. Everyone remember the horrible blackouts and rolling brownouts California faced not too long ago? Cali leaches loads of energy off of Washington State's hydroelectric system, but it isn't enough. What about the complete failure of the power grid a few years ago up in the North East? Heck, let's not even get into the incredible oil refinery problems and deficits we have right now. Why is gas so high when oil is falling in price? Because we have too few refineries to make gasoline for us. That is why Bush has had to push for initiatives to expand those areas of our economy--it is done out of necessity, all the while we're being pushed to finally give up coal and fossil fuels. Though, that isn't even to mention the initiatives Bush did put in to push all outdated coal plants to "clean coal". Gotta remember all those state of the union addresses. However, one man doesn't dictate everything. The government is vast and it's still up to people to actually execute ideas and suggestions.

It isn't easy being in "power". The needs of the people, their future, the needs of the environment, its future, the economy, defense, everything has to be balanced, and I'd be crazy to envy a job like the presidency. Personally, hydrogen fuel cells seem the only "good" solution out of all of those out there to head to at the moment. You're completely right about ethanol, and it's totally silly to switch to ethanol. I don't know why people want to, other than it comes from some other source than the ground... plant this time, but it is so incredibly ineffective. Diesel would be way better than gasoline, which is light years superior to ethanol, and I have no idea why it isn't pushed for as much as ethanol.

Ultimately though, I think we need to master atomic energy better, as chemistry has met its limits. Solar is totally a waste other than for back up systems unless we were to make more efficient solar cells, but we seem to be at the wall with that. Atomics and plasma are really the only higher energy sources we don't have a grasp on. But burning and photoelectric just aren't cutting it.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By Comdrpopnfresh on 7/10/2007 9:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Bush was the first person in power I ever saw who really started to push for clean energy and to throw us away from fossil fuels. In fact, I don't know of any other country even trying as hard as the US under Bush is--although information is changing all the time, so who knows. And I mean try, not simply talk about it. All the grants and subsidies to researchers working on clean fuel like hydrogen, and diesel and so forth, not to mention forcing the car companies to start upping gas mileage. "

I don't care what your political views are, but misconstruing the facts is just...
This administration has made it easier for refineries and coal power plants to expand without meeting current emissions controls, let along proposed limitations.
AND WHEN ARE WE ALL GOING TO REALIZE HYDROGEN IS NOT A FUEL.
It is an energy carrier. and it is horrible! There is not a hydrogen fairy that farts out the gas. It takes much more electricity to break water into hydrogen and oxygen. This energy would come from the coal plants we have! How is that a reduction in dirty sources? Then the hydrogen has to be shipped... Which takes tonnes of space and money. Plus- there is no material or technique known to man to hold enough hydrogen to run a car the distance of a gasoline counterpart. Fuel cells? ARE A BAIT AND SWITCH. They manufacturing returns are horrible, and they involve precious and rare materials such as platinum to work. and what do they do? Produce electricity! Batteries have a strong future, with li-poly batteries a very good source of storage. Also, capacitors are coming along. It was the federal government that came in and told California that it could not demand auto companies to sell electric vehicles, which killed the electric cars (watch "who killed the electric car"). as for gas mileage- cars in the 80's had better mileage. The fact that companies can offer a hybrid or ethanol capable vehicle and then have another that consumes more gas and pollutes more is not a step in the direction. and both bush and clinton are to blame. Diesel is a mucher better fuel than gasoline, but has more smog-forming emissions. where are the grants for bluetec technology? and why isn't algae-based diesel being looked into more? instead why divert cattle feed to ethanol, which has less energy than gasoline, and burns faster. We then ship corn from outside the country, diary prices rise, and we still burn tonnes of coal a day to produce ethanol. So how is this not wasteful: coal is mined, shipped to plant along with corn being shipped, then the coal is burned, and the ethanol produced, then the ethanol is shipped to refineries.... it is stupid to transfer one energy to another like that....


RE: "Clean" tech?
By hlper on 7/10/2007 10:30:39 AM , Rating: 2
I am not sure why he got rated down; the post is relevant.

I like the idea of solar as much as anyone, but there are still environmental issues with the manufacture of the panels. Also, the panels are very susceptible to wind and storm damage, making them significantly more fragile than other existing technologies, and eventually the panels and their components will have to be thrown away (or hopefully recycled). So, there are still issues with waste from manufacture and disposal.

We need to continue to think about solar, but its cost:benefit ratio is still lower than competing technologies.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By TomZ on 7/10/2007 10:58:54 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I am not sure why he got rated down

Probably because it is not popular to speak out against the current so-called "green" political movement. Many of these people have a "please don't confuse me with the facts" type of mentality. They decide right and wrong based on romantic notions of environmentalism that are sometimes disconnected from the real facts of the situation.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By jarman on 7/10/2007 1:02:41 PM , Rating: 2
Couldn't have said it better myself!


RE: "Clean" tech?
By blaster5k on 7/10/2007 2:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
Very well said. Emotion over reason...


RE: "Clean" tech?
By Carl B on 7/10/2007 5:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't understand... *who* are these supposed nuke-phobic people supposedly lurking around every corner? This isn't the 80s anymore, and most environmentally-conscious people I know are pro-nuclear.

Has there even been one fervently anti-nuclear post this entire time here? People toss around the word 'environmentalist' the same as they do the word 'liberal,' as if its indicative of some sort of reasoning that comes with massive baggage.

People - deal with it, plenty of environmentally conscious folk are pro-nuclear. Going beyond that though, it would be naive to say that nuclear does not have a lot of costs associated with disposal. Bt above everything, there needs to be a comprehensive review of this nations energy policies.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By Ringold on 7/10/2007 7:04:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
People - deal with it, plenty of environmentally conscious folk are pro-nuclear.


Disregarding the part of your post regarding people on this board and instead at the environmental movement at large.. Sadly, you don't know your hippies very well. The core of the environmental/'green' movement is vehemently opposed to nuclear power; they hide under the excuse of safety, generally, and occasionally with concerns about nuclear proliferation, neither of which carry the weight of fact. As a prime example, Bill Maher had one more than one liberal guest on his talk show who plugged for their various green project but when asked by Maher (who, like the libs you happen to know, is honest about nuclear power and is a strong supporter) what they thought of nuclear power, they stammered that it just wouldn't work. I particularly remember two musicians-turned-environmental experts. Nuclear power represents a way to avoid an energy crisis, and social revolution will never happen unless the capitalist system comes under extreme duress. Hard to stress the system when its powered by cheap nuclear energy.

Don't take my word for it. A little time with our friend Google and you'll find more anti-nuclear propaganda than you could read all day. There's also a protest any time NASA even thinks of powering a probe with nuclear material to boot.


RE: "Clean" tech?
By TomZ on 7/10/2007 7:47:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I don't understand... *who* are these supposed nuke-phobic people supposedly lurking around every corner? This isn't the 80s anymore, and most environmentally-conscious people I know are pro-nuclear.


Well, how about Greenpeace for one. They are strongly anti-nuclear:

Greenpeace has always fought - and will continue to fight - vigorously against nuclear power because it is an unacceptable risk to the environment and to humanity. The only solution is to halt the expansion of all nuclear power, and for the shutdown of existing plants.
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/...

(It pains me to quote such complete stupidity as that, but I guess it is necessary to get the point across.)

Google can find you lots more examples of so-called environmentals that are against nuclear power.


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