SunPower Solar Systems Planned for Two California Water Agencies

SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) today announced that it is building solar power systems for the Fallbrook Public Utilities District (FPUD) in San Diego County and the San Juan Water District (SJWD) in Placer County. Both systems are using high efficiency SunPower technology to maximize solar power generated on site, and are expected to be operational in the first half of 2011.  

The purchase of the system for FPUD will be financed using low-interest Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) available as a result of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). At the 8-acre site, SunPower is designing and building a 1.1-megawatt ground-mounted solar power system using SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market, with SunPower™ T20 Trackers. The trackers rotate the panels to follow the sun, increasing energy capture by up to 30 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

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California Licenses World’s Biggest Solar Thermal Plant

California regulators have licensed what is for the moment the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, a 1,000-megawatt complex called the Blythe Solar Power Project to be built in the Mojave Desert.

By contrast, a total of 481 megawatts of new solar capacity was installed in the United States last year, mostly from thousands of rooftop solar arrays, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group.

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Desert hydroelectric power project awaits federal decision

The Press-Enterprise

In the future, when Inland residents flip a light switch or turn on an air conditioner, the power could come from a desert hydroelectric plant that would create and store energy.

Federal regulators are considering a license application for the proposed $1 billion-plus Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project east of Joshua Tree National Park. The 1,100-acre plant would be housed at the abandoned Kaiser iron-ore mine, near where another group wants to build the world’s largest landfill.

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The Feds shouldn’t get involved. It’s California’s power plant and California’s electricity. We’re a big state. We can take care of ourselves.

In Solar Power Lies Path to Reducing Water Use For EnergyIn Solar Power Lies Path to Reducing Water Use For Energy

California’s Mojave Desert, which drivers cross on Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, encompasses 20 million acres of land and three national parks, hosts 2,500 species of plants and animals, is shadowed by mountain ridges that rise to nearly 12,000 feet, and has the largest collection of solar thermal power plants in the world.

Between 1984 and 1991, Luz International Ltd., a Los Angeles—based engineering company, developed and built nine solar electricity generating stations in the Mojave that produce a total of 354 megawatts, about the same amount as a small coal-fired utility.

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The problem with solar and other “renewables” is that they still are but a small part of the overall energy picture. With nuclear basically banned, for now, in America, the future lies with natural gas — which is plentiful in America, and relatively cheap. Solar, thermal, etc. are sideshows.

ENERGY: Agencies seek to contain water and energy costs together

Under the lash of rising costs —- which consumers will ultimately pay —- some of the biggest names in the state’s electricity and water industries met Thursday at the Los Angeles headquarters of the Metropolitan Water District, Southern California’s main water wholesaler, to share information about conservation and technology.

They were brought together by the Water Research Foundation, which helps local water utilities get a handle on issues such as climate change that would be hard to study separately. Those presenting included Southern California Edison, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Metropolitan.

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NextEra acts to cut water needs for 250MW solar project

The developer of a large solar thermal power plant proposed for California’s Sonoran Desert has said it has agreed to switch to a dry-cooling system for the plant.

The California Energy Commission begins a series of hearings today for the 250-megawatt Genesis Solar project.

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IBM’s water-cooled servers show off big wins in reducing power, carbon

IBM researchers have delivered a breakthrough that could have a major impact on the power consumption and carbon footprint of data centers, and even the way companies heat their offices.

The project, called Aquasar, is a water-cooled supercomputer that consumes 40% less energy than a comparable system using today’s air-conditioned methods. Plus, the system takes the waste heat that it pulls from the servers and feeds it into the building’s heating system to help warm nearby offices. When you combine these two developments, the result is a carbon footprint that is reduced by up to 85%.

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Special Report: Water vs. Energy

Newswise — Charge a smartphone in the United States and about half a liter of water has to flow through kilometers of pipe to cool the nation’s power plants. Your flashy little phone may not drink much, but add up all the half-liters used to generate the 17-some-odd megawatt-hours that the world will burn through this year. Trust us, it’s a lot of water. In the United States alone, on just one average day, 500 million metric tons of fresh water flow through the country’s power plants–about the same amount that irrigates its fields for agriculture or more than twice the volume flowing through the Nile.

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Water/Energy Nexus Colloquy at House Committee Markup

The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up legislation known as the HomeStar bill on April 15.  The HomeStar bill offers rebates to homeowners for the purchase and installation of EnergyStar labeled products including insulation and water heaters. 

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