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Saturday, November 29, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 27.0° F  Fog/Mist
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The $2.2 Billion Bird Scorcher

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Re: The $2.2 Billion Bird Scorcher

Postby Sandi » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:10 pm

Galoot wrote:Sure, make some effort to scare the birds away or screen them from the center, but it isn't even vaguely a reason to limit these sort of installations.


I understand your skepticism, but to be honest my problem isn't really with birds killed. Until cost reduction is worked out better, I cannot see selling this costly energy to the public: it doubles the price in a state that already has one of the highest rates in the country. If the cost was competitive I would say damn the birds.

Running it as a R&D testing site is fine.
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Re: The $2.2 Billion Bird Scorcher

Postby rabble » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:30 pm

Sandi wrote:
Galoot wrote:Sure, make some effort to scare the birds away or screen them from the center, but it isn't even vaguely a reason to limit these sort of installations.

If the cost was competitive I would say damn the birds.

You should take her off ignore, at least for today. I think the two of you are forging some common ground and forming a meaningful relationship.
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Re: The $2.2 Billion Bird Scorcher

Postby snoqueen » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:35 pm

One big criticism of the Ivanpah site is no storage capability is built in. Without a way to store the solar energy it generates, relatively few carbon powered generators can be taken off line because there's still need for energy at night and when the sun isn't shining.

Newer style solar generators use containers of special salt solutions that store energy and release it over time, on demand. Quite possibly the Ivanpah facility is already obsolete. That's a problem with overbuilding facilities that are basically being beta tested, and are not settled and proven technology.

That's item #1. Item #2 goes more toward energy security through decentralization. If we start to appreciate the vulnerability of our energy grid, we next start to question centralized generation on principle. If entire substations can be taken out by snipers (as just happened on CA) we need more redundancy if nothing else.

Item #3 addresses energy security in another way. If California and other parts of the west are facing an extended period of drought, hydro power (which is a big part of the energy picture in the west) is inevitably going to suffer shortages. We do, then, need to advance alternative energy sources and solar is a logical place to start.

We do need solar and we do need more R&D. Conservation issues are part of the picture and so are other market forces and national concerns.
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Re: The $2.2 Billion Bird Scorcher

Postby Galoot » Fri Feb 14, 2014 7:48 pm

Great post, sno! From what I have been reading, this facility is intended to deal with the daytime loading of lots of air conditioners being run in the nearby area during the day. But I agree, good storage methods for the energy should be included in any such facility.
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