More solar power pipe dreams?

The Interior Department is pushing ahead with plans to pave over the desert north of Las Vegas with more than 3,000 acres of solar panels, according to the Las Vegas newspaper.

Three companies are in the running to erect panels on federal public land in the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone near Interstate 15 and Highway 93 — NV Energy on 660 acres with 150 megawatts, First Solar on 1,700 acres with 200 megawatts and Invenergy on 715 acres with 130 megawatts.

The story says the three projects could generate enough energy to power 120,000 homes. The question is: Where are those homes?

Interior official shows map of solar energy zone. (R-J photo)

Perhaps California needs more solar power to meet its renewable energy requirement of 33 percent of all power by 2020, but Nevada is on track to cover its legislatively dictated 25 percent by 2025. Those standards are completely artificial and ignore the demands of the market or the cost.

In fact, the PUC turned down NV Energy’s bid to build a 200-megawatt photovoltaic facility on the Moapa Indian reservation because it does need the power. The company only needs 54 megawatts and that can be much more cheaply acquired by building or buying standard combustion turbine technology at about a fifth of the cost of solar infrastructure.

If you build it, who will buy it? And at what price?

p.s. Speaking of clean energy, all the papers made a big deal of China cutting a deal with Obama to cut carbon emissions, but you won’t read much about China balking at actually allowing monitoring to see if they are living up to the deal. Told you so.



6 comments on “More solar power pipe dreams?

  1. Steve says:

    At the risk of starting Rincon back up…we have more info on the dirty fuels the US is exporting…more than ever under Obama.

    “Fuel to the fire? Fuel exports soar under Obama”

    “It’s a dangerous trajectory the U.S. is stoking with record exports of dirty fuels, even as it reduces the pollution responsible for global warming at home.”

    Not only do we export slave labor jobs and import slave labor (“undocumented immigrants) But now we are exporting our polluting fuels!

    Typical liberal attitude towards others. “do what we say, not what we do.”

  2. Rincon says:

    I’ve never faulted Australia for sending lots of coal to China, so I have no problem with us sending coal either. As with our inane war on drugs, if demand is there, the supply will be also. The monitoring business shows the secretive nature of the Chinese government, not their degree of commitment to renewables. Since they now generate more solar and wind power than we do, we sit in a glass house, especially when you consider that much of the coal they burn is to power the production of products that we buy. The nature of these kinds of international agreements is wishy washy anyway. There’s no enforcement mechanism. It’s all show, no go.

  3. iShrug says:

    Who is paying for the transmission lines? Have the companies acquired power purchase agreements? There is really no sense in building solar projects without these things. And, who is financing the projects?

    I sat through 18 months of “public” meetings with the NSOE’s New Energy Industry Task Force (NEITF-since disbanded), through 2013. Two of us were the only members of the public who attended, and the stakeholders couldn’t stand us.

    The NEITF had been tasked with creating a business case for selling ‘renewable’ energy to California. The Chair, Stacey Crowley, has since moved on to greener pastures.

    Here she is, making the sales pitch in 2011, after Gov. Sandoval issued his EO.

    Her new job.

    California wants us to enter into a “mutually beneficial” arrangement. Yeah, right.

  4. iShrug says:

    Well, I’ve decided to attend the BLM’s Open House here in Las Vegas, from 6-8 pm. All three companies will have representatives there. I was told by Greg Halseth that there will be snacks. That just makes it all better, eh?

  5. Athos says:

    Where’s Rory2012 with his Chinese Company and Daddy’s Congressional money??

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