Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Renewable Energy News, August 11, 2010

Solar Projects Envisioned on Dry California Farmland -
LEMOORE, Calif. — Thousands of acres of farmland here in the San Joaquin Valley have been removed from agricultural production, largely because the once fertile land is contaminated by salt buildup from years of irrigation.

But large swaths of those dry fields could have a valuable new use in their future — making electricity.

Farmers and officials at Westlands Water District, a public agency that supplies water to farms in the valley, have agreed to provide land for what would be one of the world’s largest solar energy complexes, to be built on 30,000 acres.

At peak output, the proposed Westlands Solar Park would generate as much electricity as several big nuclear power plants.
APS to Develop Largest Solar Power System on U.S. Government Property
Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) will own and operate the 15-megawatt photovoltaic power plant to be built at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. APS has hired SunPower Corp. to design and construct the solar plant, which is expected to come online in summer 2011. It will be the largest solar installation on U.S. government property.
5,050 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for SF Bay
The San Francisco Bay Area will add over 5,000 electric car charging stations (EVSE) in the next 2 years and continue as one of the nation’s leading areas for electric cars. The Bay Area’s 7 million people live in cities that have adopted hybrid cars, like the Prius, faster than in 99 percent of America. One in 5 new car sales are hybrids in cities like Berkeley, Palo Alto, and Sonoma. The San Francisco Bay Area already has about 8,000 electric cars on the road from Tesla Roadsters to Prius Plug-in Hybrids to light EVs limited to 25 miles per hour.
Massive Growth in UK Solar Jobs : TreeHugger
It seems like the UK solar industry is on fire right now. No sooner was the renewables feed-in tariff approved, than solar installers were inundated with inquiries from would-be customers, and we've even seen plans announced for the country's first utility-scale solar plants. Now there's further evidence of success, with the country's leading solar installer network announcing it has nearly doubled its employee numbers since January. But it's not just the influx of Government money that is driving this growth.

While many will focus purely on the huge cash injection that the feed-in tariff represents, that would be an over simplification. The growth in jobs is attributable as much to the nature of the Government scheme as it is the size—offering predictable, guaranteed long-term support for the industry, rather than the more sporadic offers of short-term grants and tax breaks that have been so common across the Globe. It's a lesson that governments everywhere would do well to heed, if they want to grow their own industries.

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