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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: I agree
By Shintai on 7/10/2007 10:18:20 AM , Rating: 2
How much area does a nuclear plant take as safety area? How much for the uranium mining? How much for waste disposal and treatment plants?

Each reactor might give you 10x more power. But the land that it requires for different security, safety and production grows really fast.


RE: I agree
By masher2 (blog) on 7/10/2007 10:39:11 AM , Rating: 5
> "Each reactor might give you 10x more power. "

More like 75-90 times as much power. The max MW rating of a solar plant is roughly 3X higher than its net output, due to cloud cover, the light-dark cycle, etc.

> "How much area does a nuclear plant take as safety area?"

That's already included in the base figure for plant size.

> "how much for the uranium mining?"

Very little. A few pounds of uranium will fuel your average reactor for a couple years. If you assume reprocessing, it'll supply it far longer than that. These aren't coal plants, which require millions of tons of fuel to operate.


RE: I agree
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/10/2007 11:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
> "how much for the uranium mining?"

I thought decommissioned weapons from the US and former soviet states were the main source of nuclear material now. ?


RE: I agree
By TomZ on 7/10/2007 12:45:46 PM , Rating: 3
Since March 1993, 250 metric tons of uranium from weapons have been transformed into fuel for nuclear power plants. That's the equivalent of 10,000 dismantled nuclear weapons. This is the result of the United States and the Russian Federation signing an agreement on the disposition and purchase of 500 metric tons of highly enriched uranium from dismantled Russian nuclear weapons, the equivalent of 20,000 nuclear warheads.
http://www.nei.org/doc.asp?catnum=2&catid=106

I don't know what fraction of the total fuel demand that represents, however.


RE: I agree
By Ringold on 7/10/2007 6:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
The current low price for uranium is due to the glut of that Soviet-era material having been dumped on the market -- but I hear that excess has been nearly worked off. A good article in Christian Science Monitor recently detailing how all the old uranium mines from the Cold War days are roaring back to life -- often under foreign management.


RE: I agree
By noxipoo on 7/10/2007 2:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
and solar panels aren't made out of hugs and kisses. the mining and waste by products that goes into all that equipment grows really fast.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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