Michael Mantion
Someone should tell google that wind turbines would of been a far better investment. Not only would it have a much smaller foot print and thus much less environmental impact. it would also be cheaper, faster and at far less risk. Maybe this is all part of Googles plan to make a mighty weapon to zap satellites out of the sky... IF so I hope they record it and put it on youtube..
^ maybe they have already read this : \"Wind and wave farms could affect Earth\'s energy balance\" & \"The sun is our only truly renewable energy source\" http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028063.300-wind-and-wave-energies-are-not-renewable-after-all.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news
Gabriel Mak
How much cheaper are wind turbines? I believe 1 blade on a 3 blade wind turbine costs $2million. 1 solar panel costs $15,000 from Samsung. Just wondering about the math behind your comment.
Let\'s see, 392 MW on 3200 acres is about 109 kW/acre. There are 4047 sq meters per acre, so this works out to 27 W/sq m. If we take a conservative 300W/sq m for 24 hrs of sunshine that works out to an efficiency of 9%. That\'s kind of sad, really.
Bicycle Commuter
@Michael I was talking with a bloke that builds and repairs blades for wind turbines and he said their is about a ton of waist from each blade constructed. Also when repairing the blades, all dust and chemicals generated from the repair, floats over the nearby land. The turbine companies \"reimburse\" the local farmers (if any) for estimated loss crops from these repairs. \"thus much less environmental impact\"? I truly wonder. Go solar go.
Desert Tripper
I thought Stirling clusters were the wave of the future for solar. Steam cycles are inherently inefficient - about 40% of the input energy just goes out the condenser. On the other hand, Stirling engines convert heat directly into mechanical energy, bypassing the Rankine cycle. As an added bonus, each Stirling cluster is independent of the others. One goes out, the rest keep generating.
Wind - Solar - Wave ... we need all forms of clean energy to offset dirty energy now in use. 9% efficiency is NOT the issue, there\'s millions of acres of desert, it\'s $ per Watt ! AUSRA in Nevada has estimated that a plot of desert 192 miles on a side could power the entire USA ! All we need is $ invested to build the solar plants, as stated in the article.
The Roscoe Wind Farm (largest in the US) has a capacity of 781MW, cost a billion dollars to setup and occupies nearly 100,000 acres of land (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Wind_Farm). This article implies that all 3 solar plants will be setup on the same 3200 acres when completed, with a final generation capacity of 1,300 MW. In comparison, it\'s not sad at all. Actually, its more like Wow!
@Michael The USA has thousands of square miles of blisteringly hot desert that is not used for ANYTHING. Solar power towers are the ultimate solution for the world. Turbines, while romantically nice, didn't even work for the millers of ancient Holland!! (They had to keep getting up in the middle of the night, or whenever it was windy to mill!!). Nothing has changed!! Whilst solar does not work at night, the advances in salt batteries and for power storage are gathering pace.... As regards risk?? Pointing sunlight at a tube of water is hardly a risk??!!
Where did California find the wind for wind turbines. They have Sun, so only plausible investment is make electricity out of Sun. Just putting a number of wind turbines doesnt really give better results, you have to calculate wind speed and at what altitude