It's been a long, hard road for the Ivanpah Solar Project, a 392-megawatt (MW) solar thermal plant to be built in California's Mojave Desert. In an effort to gain regulatory approval, project developers have scaled back the project's scope, faced environmental setbacks and had the project opened for public comment.
The proposed Crossroads Solar Energy Project in Mariposa County, Arizona, is one step closer to construction today after SolarReserve -- the Los Angeles, California-based utility-scale solar project developer -- earned two Certificates of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) from the Arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee.
The approvals continue to roll in from federal regulators as California tries to turn its desert area into one giant solar energy generating machine.
The California Energy Commission has approved has approved Tessera Solar's 663.5-megawatt (MW) solar thermal plant to be built in southern California's San Bernardino County.
You always remember your first... solar energy plant. And in the case of the people of Pittsfield in western Massachusetts, they will remember the roughly $10-million, eight-acre, 6,500 solar-panel power plant that is now the largest of its kind in New England. It is both the first plant in Pittsfield and first plant in all of western Massachusetts.
The largest solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the world is now operating north of the border. Sarnia Solar facility, with a capacity of 80-megawatts (MW), is sitting in Ontario, Canada just north of Michigan. It surpasses the 60-MW Olmedilla PV Park in Spain and is expected to generate 120,00 megawatt-hours (MWh) each year.
The Maryland-based solar energy services company SunEdison is continuing to expand its business. In late August, for example, the company -- a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials -- partnered with AT&T to bring a 2-megawatt (MW) solar rooftop system to Southern California's San Diego County. This one installation alone will produce roughly 420,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar energy in its first year, enough to power the equivalent of forty typical American homes for a year.
Perhaps because the news first came late last Friday night (via Reuters), there hasn't been much buzz about the fact that solar thermal start-up Ausra Inc. has put itself up for sale. Ausra has had a bit of a roller-coaster ride as a business, starting in Australia but relocating to California to produce its solar thermal electric-generation technology, and going from darling of the solar power plant industry to...well, this.
It's a huge relief to many that the reality of climate change is sinking in for politicians, not to mention the general populace. Advocates of clean energy are, deservedly, among the happiest--yet for the first time, such advocates are finding themselves pitted against environmentalists, groups that have hitherto been strongly supportive of each other in the fight to get climate change taken seriously. Methods for addressing global warming have gone in hand in hand with the cause of clean energy activists: one of the largest-impact methods of reducing GHG emissions is to turn to low-carbon energy sources. Namely, renewable technologies like solar power, wind, geothermal and biomass.