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April 27, 2006



A minor thing, but I think your summary should say $650M for the factory, and $950M for the farm. You are off by a factor of 1,000 for each one!

Keep up the good work.


Stephen Boulet

I suspect that if the same land was used for concentrating solar power instead of solar photovoltaics, you'd see a much better price per kilowatt-hour number.

CSP might be better for industrial production, although I believe solar photovoltaics are still a good rooftop option.



Actually the best performance would combine solar concentration with PV, infrared PV,and capturing waste heat for heating/cooling energy. Solar cogeneration.

10 sun concentration through PV has yielded 39% efficiency, infrared could capture maybe 20% more, and capturing the remaining heat employing vacuum tube insulation with circulating oil could get another 20%.

Devoting wilderness land to solar is not necessary at these efficiencies. Better to mount solar on homes, buildings, over parking lots and even over highways.

That huge amount of area already developed for human uses, with solar cogeneration, would provide enough power along with wind and water power to replace current fossil and nuclear energy sources.

The political and financial will is the only thing lacking, the technology already exists.

Kevin Reed

The best thin film solar manufacturing lines can make 9.5% efficient a-Si cells for about $1.50 per Watt at 20 MW per year capacity. The same thin film manufacturing line can also make a-Si/monocrystalline-Si tandem cells that are about 12% efficient in production runs. The factory cost should be about $2 per Watt with a two year payback on investment. All of this should be much lower cost at the 300 MW scale proposed ... like about $600M total.

At this cost a good deal of the cost are covered by government production incentives. You must remember you get New Mexico money to manufacture solar cells and produce green power there. You also get another incentive paid by California for using solar power. New Mexico is a net energy producer so sll of this new solar power will be sold out of state.

If they would smart up, 4% loans are available with an added 5% cushion of credit account for this type of solar deal.


"the solar technology they plan to use will generate power for around 8 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour" wrote www.abqjournal.com in their april 26th issue.

Ari Greenberg

Find all the renewable energy information you need. Sign up for a free trial and issue by emailing me.

Ari Greenberg

Ari Greenberg

at http://www.snlenergy.com


The world's first "solar trigeneration" energy system was installed at the Audubon Nature Center's 5,000 sq. ft. office building, near downtown Los Angeles, in 2003.

Solar Trigeneration provides 3 energies -"cooling, heating and power" simultaneously, and advances "solar cogeneration" to a viable solution for every brown building in the U.S., or practically anywhere the sun shines.

Even more impressive - the Solar Trigeneration energy system at the Audubon Nature Center generates all of its' power and energy requirements, whether or not the sun is shining (daytime or nighttime), and WITHOUT any connection to SoCal Edison's electric grid!

There is a report on this amazing solar trigeneration energy system at: www.SolarTrigeneration.com

Kit P

Nice project.

“a truly sustainable power and energy solution.”

Until it breaks! See that is the scam. As a mechanical engineer I can tell you how much maintenance that this very expensive system will have.

What ever happened to conserving so we do not need new power plants? I am not sure why the Audubon society needs a heated and cooled building in LA. The term oxymoron comes to mind.

Fortunately, I live in coal country where the air is clean. My utility does a good job of providing electricity and protecting the environment. I do not need a 5000 square foot building to observe birds. I just look outside. Birds are everywhere I live. I suppose they like all the trees and clean air too.


what happens when you spawn solar system on the point?


The costs did not include the land lease or maintenance or life cycle costing (to replace equipment as it fails over time). I can't seem to get a good source for these yet, but I understand they are quite significant. For example, even at $.79 for the panel itself, which may be possible very soon, there are costs which are relatively fixed that add on quite a bit.

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