California to build 'world's largest' solar farm

By 2011, near Fresno, California, San Francisco-based Cleantech America LLC plans to build the world's largest solar power plant: 640 acres to fit the 80-megawatt farm, seven times the size of the world's biggest plant and double the largest planned farm, both in Germany. Bill Barnes, CEO of the privately held 2-year-old company, said the scale of the project will change renewable energy and make California the global leader for huge solar projects, replacing Germany as the solar energy hub of the world. Barnes declined to give the estimated construction cost of the Community Choice farm.

Cleantech will partner with public agency California Construction Authority. Among the hurdles to be crossed before the new farm can be built, said Barnes, is buying the acreage somewhere in the San Joaquin Valley, hooking the farm to transmission lines, and contracting with a manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels. Cleantech plans to sell the solar-generated power (enough for almost 21,000 homes) to the Kings River Conservation District, the water management arm of the San Joaquin Valley Power Authority.

News source: CNN

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HawkMan said,
if only the US would use a sensible system like metrics :)

who needs easily convertable measurements that are multiples of ten? id rather measure by the length of a British kings foot.

black_death said,
who needs easily convertable measurements that are multiples of ten? id rather measure by the length of a British kings foot.

Totally. The metric system is overrated.

(That was sarcasm, by the way.)

gigapixels said,

Totally. The metric system is overrated.

(That was sarcasm, by the way.)

It depends what you are measuring; for height i'm pretty sure it is standard, as last time I checked I didn't say I was 175cm tall...

Samboini said,
It depends what you are measuring; for height i'm pretty sure it is standard, as last time I checked I didn't say I was 175cm tall...

I've heard plenty of Europeans talk about their height in centimeters.

HawkMan said,
if only the US would use a sensible system like metrics :)

... especially since the US talked much of the rest of the world into converting to metrics, and then decided it'd be too expensive to do so itself.

You know, instead of filling 640 acers with solar panels, why dont we just make it a law that each house should have at least 2 solar panels on them? huh? oh thats right because then YOU COULDNT CHARGE PEOPLE FOR THE POWER! ugh....

Good point. The real solution is to put solar power on every roof in the country, residential and commercial. The only reason the utilities are jumping on this now, finally, is they know their business model is evaporating. If they build it, they can charge us the same rate even though their costs are going down (= more profit). If WE pay for this stuff, we don't need them anymore...forever.

Just think, we could have spent the trillion on the useless Iraq war on eliminating our country's need to ever give a damn about what happens in the Middle East ever again.

excalpius said,
Just think, we could have spent the trillion on the useless Iraq war on eliminating our country's need to ever give a damn about what happens in the Middle East ever again. :)

ah but by spending trillions on a pointless war he saved millions on oil, see what smart businessman george bush is?

problem is, the tech is still very expensive for a individual (or family) and 2 panels wont do squat.


there was a suburb in the us i remember reading about a while ago that had a solar package on every house, and i think the average utility bill for each house something staggering like 85% less then a normal house on the grid. only reason its not self sufficient is batterie tech is not sufficient and the sun dosnt shine 24/7.

Nose Nuggets said,
problem is, the tech is still very expensive for a individual (or family) and 2 panels wont do squat.


there was a suburb in the us i remember reading about a while ago that had a solar package on every house, and i think the average utility bill for each house something staggering like 85% less then a normal house on the grid. only reason its not self sufficient is batterie tech is not sufficient and the sun dosnt shine 24/7.

yes, but the more the home user puts into the grid the less we polute with CO2... anything is more then nothing

Neufuse hit the nail on the head. Energy is big business, it is also the basis behind modern society. There are alot of people making alot of money off of our current system and they will not give that up so easily.

The truth of the matter is the world could run off of a combination of solar, wind and hydro. Putting solar panels on the roofs of every building in sunny areas would cut energy needs and pollution considerably. The panels they use on the mars rovers are also about 66% more efficient than current panels because they absorb multiple types of radiation, the only problem is they're extremely expensive at this point. There are also other ways of harnessing solar power other than through panels such as channeling the light via mirrors to a central core which in turn heats water into steam.

Cold fusion is still a possibility as well; there has been some recent headroom through experimentation. Nuclear plants, however, are very expensive to construct, maintain and teardown besides there being no viable solution to nuclear waste. That is replacing one pollutant with another as far as I'm concerned.

its good someones finally taking an iniative, we need to start powering our towns and cities through renewable non polluting energy.

I agree. Although I'm kind of on the fence on the whole GW issue, every little bit helps. I dig how that one actor charges his car and runs his whole house on his solar array and grows his own food etc.. The "Who Killed the Electric Car" flick was pretty depressing.

dhitb said,
The "Who Killed the Electric Car" flick was pretty depressing.

ya i saw it too, kind of depressing but at the end they showed alternative car companies that make electric cars like Tesla Motors and theyre really impressive, Ill get an electric car for sure and not only for the environment.

The problem with all centralised power is the inefficiency of distribution. You have to generate loads of current if the plant's a few hundred kilometres away to get a little at the outlet. And then the unreliable network.

We need to think small and local.

Solar panels on roofs will cut base demand.

Small neighbourhood power stations for handling peak demand and the excess need solar can't.

Why can't we figure out a way to make freeways out of solar panels?

This news is not accurate. The world's largest solar farm is in Portugal, in Serpa. The solar farm produces 11MW o power to power 8.000 houses. It produces 40% more power then the second larger in Germany.

Get your sources right.

No You get your sources right

Portugal Solar Plant is 60-hectare (150-acre) - 11-megawatt
California (U.S) Solar Plant is 256-hectare (640 acre) - 80-megawatt

Winner: California

EduardValencia said,
No You get your sources right

Portugal Solar Plant is 60-hectare (150-acre) - 11-megawatt
California (U.S) Solar Plant is 256-hectare (640 acre) - 80-megawatt

Winner: California


how about YOU actually reading the source above...
read this news' headline: "California to build [...]"
then again Germany will prolly stay the most important researcher and producer of solar technology for quite some time...

and still this project rocks :)

Glassed Silver:mac

Yes,but it's a fact,the construction is ordered,the money is in place,everything is set up.

Adding that California is a myor player in clean energy,this isn't new to them

Ok how about we cover the whole moon with solar pannels that way we can have 24/7 solar energy and use the technology showed in CES to wirelsly bring it back to Earth....

if only the americans had not had a war in IRAQ and the people with money and power had not been stupid.

EDIT: and then we could have a new term 'wireless electrical shock!'

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