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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: 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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