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Government Power United States

Large Scale 24/7 Solar Power Plant To Be Built in Nevada 475

RayTomes writes "The Obama administration has provided a loan guarantee of $737 million to construct the first large-scale solar power plant that stores energy and provides electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." This solar power project, a heliostat rather than a photovoltaic system, with a molten salt system to store power as heat for times when the sun isn't shining, will be constructed in Nevada and, says the article, is expected to create "600 construction jobs and 45 permanent positions."
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Large Scale 24/7 Solar Power Plant To Be Built in Nevada

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  • 2 Minor Points (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alexander_686 ( 957440 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @10:37AM (#36227840)

    1st, the loan is 737m. That's not the total cost.

    2nd, you are looking at capital costs. What is going to be the running costs and lifespan of the project? Drop that into a spreadsheet to calculate the IRR and cost per Watt. [and what the heck - one could be generous and throw in some type of carbon credit / R&D thing too.]

  • by HungryHobo ( 1314109 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @10:49AM (#36228018)

    an hydro dam is a dangerous thing: more dangerous than a nuclear plant looking at history. []

    a coal plant is a dangerous thing but it's a sort of low level constant danger. []

    drilling a hole for gas or geothermal is a dangerous thing []

    etc etc
    Every energy source has dangers and problems.
    So it makes sense to simply pick the ones which kill the fewest people overall.

  • by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @10:50AM (#36228034) Homepage

    Of course the second it actually works the greens will be dead set against it. Gotta be some obscure critter living out in that desert ya know,

    Because, just like Slashdotters, "The Greens" isn't a homogeneous group of people with identical opinions, nor is "environmentalists".

    You can be an "environmentalist" and only care about the aesthetic appearance of countryside during your own lifetime (therefore opposed to onshore wind turbines).
    Or you can be an "environmentalist" and only care about CO2 emissions and their long term effect (probably in favour of onshore wind turbines)
    Or any of hundreds of differing viewpoints.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @10:57AM (#36228112)

    Alternatively, maybe human resources is not the largest expense of a power plant?

    I know, for computer programmers this is a hard attitude to get used to.

  • Funny. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheCabal ( 215908 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @11:36AM (#36228556) Journal

    I remember reading about plants like this on Slashdot a while ago. A lot of people said that was a good idea, and we should start building them!

    Well now that we're actually doing it, suddenly it's a bad idea. Why is that?

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @11:39AM (#36228594)
    Because employees per megawatt is the best way to measure the efficiency of a power plant right? You're also comparing the theoretical operating capacity of a brand new system that hasn't even been built yet to the actual operating capacity of a 40 year old system with one of the worst track records in the country. The one thing most likely to ensure our dependence on fossil fuels for years to come is the political agenda of people like you. You should be fighting for new nuclear power plants to replace coal. You should be demanding the upgrade of 40 year old plants to modern, meltdown proof, designs. You should be demanding we build plants that USE spent fuel rather than dispose of it and you should submit to a 5% fuel/electricity tax that will be used to fund research in orbital solar arrays, the only real solar option that will work. Instead, your one track minded hatred of anything "nuclear" is likely to doom us all.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @11:45AM (#36228668) Homepage Journal

    Not true. Banker don't like to make loans into now established items. You could literal have a proven way to build a perfect fision/fusion machine with no waste and all the power anyone could ever want. You would STILL need to get a loan guarantee.

    Of course, that example was to illustrate a point. This project, like all large project, has a risk.

    And it's a good program. The question isn't the technology, it's the company.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 24, 2011 @01:02PM (#36229698)

    You are aware, are you not, that increased temperatures means more evaporation, right? And you do realize that when water goes up, it doesn't just vanish, or stay there forever. Eventually it comes down somewhere. Therefore, increased temperatures, while drying up some parts of the world, will necessarily mean increased precipitation in some form in other parts of the world.

    I'm not saying that an increased snowfall is proof of global warming, just that attempting to use it to shoot down global warming simply shows how little you understand the subject you're ridiculing.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford