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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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By Screwballl on 7/10/2007 1:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
Rather than put the money into something like this, why not pay to put it on the people's houses and have them pay the company for maintenance and upkeep?
I would go for something like that as it would reduce my monthly payment on the power coming from Natural gas, coal and wherever else it comes from.
Half my roof with panels, batteries in the crawlspace and sunny here 90% of the time in FL. I just don't want to foot a major bill up front to get this installed.

RE: alternative?
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/10/2007 1:37:13 PM , Rating: 2
That's a nice one.
But I guess the power you could generate from an installation covering just your own roof will be less than enough.

[Delirious mode]
Isn't possible something like a big magnifying glass over the solar panels to achieve better power density and use less cells?
I think houses could look funny cool with giant magnifying glasses hovering over their roofs.
At least I could just get LOL-ing just from walking around and seeing some houses. The world is too serious to be bearable just the way it is. We need more stupid technologies that can make as laugh at them while providing some other benefit...
And then, with a continuously LOL-ing population, we could harness laugh power by using a mask with a generator inside which can create energy from laughing, and then, why not, to harness eolyc energy, make people wear a sherlock-holmes like hat with a helix on top that would be spinning and generating power every time there's some wind around.

With all that, we could probably power our cellphones and ipods on the walk... That or at least, just the wrist-watches.
[/delirious mode]

RE: alternative?
By IckesTheSane on 7/10/2007 2:36:42 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I know you're kidding, but focusing the sunshine is one of the technologies they are looking into:
"Solar Power at Half the Cost: A new roof-mounted system that concentrates sunlight could cut the price of photovoltaics."

RE: alternative?
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/10/2007 3:46:40 PM , Rating: 2
It would be more efficent to put giant reflectors in space that concentrate the sunlight. A nice side effect would be that the reflectors could be used as a death ray, if needed.

RE: alternative?
By TomZ on 7/10/2007 3:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well, we've seen the possible outcome of that sort of technology in various movies, e.g., James Bond, Pink Panther, etc. It always ends ugly!

RE: alternative?
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/10/2007 4:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, except Bond always gets the girls.

One thing I have often wondered:
Your basic hydrocarbon + oxygen => heat + co2 and h20.
With enough heat (from solar concentrators for example) couldn't the reaction be run in reverse?

RE: alternative?
By glitchc on 7/10/2007 6:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Correct, except the resulting hydrocarbon is unstable. By unstable, I mean much more unstable than current hydrocarbons....

RE: alternative?
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/11/2007 10:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
So if the right catalyst could be found we could be cranking out big fat carbon chains, right? Plants do it so it has to be possible somehow.

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