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(The New York Times)   Lancaster, California wants to become the "Solar capital of the universe." Well, I suppose that sounds a lot better than "Last stop until Bakersfield"   (nytimes.com ) divider line
    More: Unlikely, universe, alfalfa, Antelope Valley, House-building, Ohio Republican  
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1915 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2013 at 10:13 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-10 11:16:51 AM  
What will the republican talking points be when this solar venture pans out?

A Lancaster always pays his debts.
 
2013-04-10 11:25:16 AM  

dryknife: DubtodaIll: The problem with solar isn't harnessing the energy, it's storing the energy for later use.

But the upside is that solar generates during peak load time.


Molten salt is a good way to store sloar-thermal. Run it through the heat-exchnagers to heat the boilers at night.
 
2013-04-10 11:26:34 AM  

mrlewish: Elroydb: DubtodaIll: The problem with solar isn't harnessing the energy, it's storing the energy for later use.

And the distribution of it. Moving solar part  electricity from the west to say New York or Boston isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world


Once electricity is put on the grid the source does not matter.


That would require some tremendous upgrades to our electrical infrastructure. Right now it is designed more for as much localized production as possible. Long-distance transmission is not only risky but incredibly expensive if you're talking about enough juice to power the entire eastern seaboard. I mean it is ultimately the route we need to go but there is more beyond just plugging a solar plant into the wall and tada everyone has infinite energy. This is why the natural gas boom is going to be so incredibly important for our own energy needs. It is a lower-emission source than oil or coal and will help with the transition for when the technology for solar power creation, storage, and transmission is good enough and cheap enough to sufficiently power a lot more stuff
 
2013-04-10 11:27:38 AM  
Also, as an aside, last week I finished upgrading the systems on my sailboat with a larger 8D battery, isolated a separate starter battery, deck PV panel input, & 2000 watt inverter. She's now almost fully solar powered - with my only limit for being off the dock is the fresh water holds. Heck, even the dingy outboard motor is a 4hp electric Torqueedo that charges via the 12 DC system. Getting in and out of the dock still uses a 18 hp diesel engine, which I average about 10 gallons a year of use - but I can live with that.

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

+
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

I'm pretty much running out of projects these days to get to become solar powered - although with the addition of an electric car, the 3.6 KW PV array on my home's roof should be bumped up to 5 or 6 KW to get the house+car back to being fully solar powered. I enjoy living a life that is nearly independent from fossil fuels.

-100% Solar powered car
-66% solar powered house
-25% solar powered office (with 30+ people and 24/7 servers)
-300% solar powered vacation home
-99% solar powered sailboat

-Difficulty: all of that was done with a ~6 year ROI, in cloudy Seattle.
 
2013-04-10 11:31:59 AM  
whatisaidwas:
You are so completely wrong, I have no idea what you're talking about. You must be trolling. For home solar installations, it's usually 2 watts of power generation needed for each square foot of house. 1000 square foot home = 2 kilowatts, (2000 watts). That's about 10 2.5'x4' panels.

A system like that costs $17000.


...and will only work for a small house. Yes, a 1000 square foot home is a tiny house. The average US home is almost three times that size.

An underpowered house, at that. Your system is underengineered by a factor of at least three, if we're talking about a 100% solar-powered grid. Two kilowatts won't even power the air conditioning/heating for most homes. I'd overload that system if I just turned on my electric oven and the microwave at the same time, much less the AC.

You also sort of forgot the added issue of industrial power generation, which would more than double that consumption, overall.
 
2013-04-10 11:38:09 AM  
My parents have a SolarCity panel system.  Most residents use a lease term for it.  There are 3 pay options which determine your monthly cost.  The more you put down the less you pay per month.  SolarCity does not install batteries in the house as its connected to the grid.  You then get put on a net metering with the local energy company.  So you just feed the grid and then you pay only for the amount of energy that you used above what you generated.  The lease is 20+ years, SolarCity owns it and is responsible for maintenance.  I think last year my parents paid $400 total for a years worth of energy.
 
2013-04-10 11:40:54 AM  

cirby: There isn't going to be a "solar revolution" until someone comes up with a radically new and insanely cheap way to install and use the suckers.


While of course there are outliers in any project (say a clay tile roof at a 60 degree angle), when it comes to standard US construction and asphalt roofs, panels are ridiculously simple to install - and can be done by any layperson who can measure correctly, drill holes, screw lagbolts and use rooftop flashing. With a pair of friends, I did the ones on my roof in a weekend, then paid my electrician to do all the electrical ties and final wiring of the panels to the inverter and the grid. Doing it that way dramatically reduced the labor costs involved.

Depending on what you spec, the panels I choose are standardized to US roof construction, at 48 inches on center. As soon as I laid out the first bracket correctly, all I had to do was chalk line 48 inches over. Repeat until done.

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net

The panels then simply drop into the notches:
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

The most difficult part was cutting the conduit between the race channels at the correct length and installing them. I let my electrician double check everything before the panels went in, and to do the proper bend in the conduit between the two arrays.  With exception to the final wiring, it was pretty dang easy.

It's a lot more simple if you have a large enough area to keep everything in one bunch.

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net

sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2013-04-10 11:43:50 AM  
I found a GIS of the solar center of the universe

casswww.ucsd.edu
 
2013-04-10 11:44:13 AM  
As a Lancaster native I am all for putting panels on the roofs above parking lots and on flat buildings. I am not so much for turning fields of sagebrush into dusty gravel wastelands so they can plop more panels there. Wind turbines may julienne the occasional bird but at least you can still have wildlife on the ground below them.
 
2013-04-10 11:56:13 AM  
cirby:

There isn't going to be a "solar revolution" until someone comes up with a radically new and insanely cheap way to install and use the suckers.

Agreed -- however, I'm happy that at least there's a "Solar Evolution" going on.  I think the whole "All or nothing" attitude that several sides had was not healthy for the argument in general.
 
2013-04-10 11:58:14 AM  
I live there.

/Not proud
 
2013-04-10 11:58:39 AM  

Strega: As a Lancaster native I am all for putting panels on the roofs above parking lots and on flat buildings. I am not so much for turning fields of sagebrush into dusty gravel wastelands so they can plop more panels there. Wind turbines may julienne the occasional bird but at least you can still have wildlife on the ground below them.


As a Lancaster native I am all for getting some farking JOBS up here, one way or the other. We're still stuck in the recession. No, not this one, the last one.
 
2013-04-10 12:02:55 PM  
MrSteve007:
While of course there are outliers in any project (say a clay tile roof at a 60 degree angle), when it comes to standard US construction and asphalt roofs, panels are ridiculously simple to install - and can be done by any layperson who can measure correctly, drill holes, screw lagbolts and use rooftop flashing.

That is true - but the same can be said for roofing in general - and getting a plain old shingle roof installed is still expensive as hell, compared to the cost of the shingles.

Doing it yourself is easy, if you have the basic skills ...along with having the tools, the ladder, and some similarly-skilled friends who will work for free. And insurance to cover them if they fall off the roof (your insurance company would probably throw a fit if they saw those photos). And a city with a minimal permitting process. Even with your "savings" on labor costs, how much of the total price of the system did the panels themselves represent? Don't forget to include the permits and electrical contractor costs.

Of course, there's the "free labor" issue. Just because you didn't write a check to yourself and your friends, the cost of labor is still there - they may have donated their time to you, but how much would a three-man crew cost for two days? Even at a low (for roofing work) $20/hour cost, you're looking at almost $1000 in off-the books labor there.

For 90%+ of the urban population, none of that is really possible (due to lack of skills, fear of heights, and/or legal issues).
 
2013-04-10 12:12:00 PM  

cirby: For 90%+ of the urban population, none of that is really possible (due to lack of skills, fear of heights, and/or legal issues).


Yup. I like 007's posts since they show great skill and resources, but it's not transferable to many people's situations. Having cheap solar would be one of the reasons I'd consider buying a house, likely my parent's. I wish I knew what 007 does for a living and how much he makes... I can't compete. I'm doing OK, but lack the social skills necessary in society to be a mover and shaker.
 
2013-04-10 12:15:19 PM  

JonnyBGoode: Strega: As a Lancaster native I am all for putting panels on the roofs above parking lots and on flat buildings. I am not so much for turning fields of sagebrush into dusty gravel wastelands so they can plop more panels there. Wind turbines may julienne the occasional bird but at least you can still have wildlife on the ground below them.

As a Lancaster native I am all for getting some farking JOBS up here, one way or the other. We're still stuck in the recession. No, not this one, the last one.


The problem with the solar industry is most jobs are for contract/temporary work.  Very few solar installation companies and/or solar facilities will have permanent employment.  I live in Lancaster, and adding some jobs would be a godsend, for now (though I am gainfully employed in the tech industry).  It will bring much needed economic stimulus, but the downside is that economic stimulus will be short lived, creating somewhat of a boom-town, then a ghost-town once the solar projects are completed.  Much like aerospace has been the driving force behind the Antelope Valley's economy, once the government contracts and spending started to wane, the money slowly started leaving the valley.
 
2013-04-10 12:16:57 PM  

JonnyBGoode: Strega: As a Lancaster native I am all for putting panels on the roofs above parking lots and on flat buildings. I am not so much for turning fields of sagebrush into dusty gravel wastelands so they can plop more panels there. Wind turbines may julienne the occasional bird but at least you can still have wildlife on the ground below them.

As a Lancaster native I am all for getting some farking JOBS up here, one way or the other. We're still stuck in the recession. No, not this one, the last one.


I'd say "Build more wind turbines" but they just put another hundred up along the foothills of the Tehachapis last year.

People out at Quail Lake are scared to death of the blowing dust that comes with the huge solar farms they're talking about building out there. After the dust storm Monday I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to live downwind of one either. I'm not blaming the farms for Monday, might you, but a bunch of gravel lots in place of native plants to the West of lancaster won't help.
 
2013-04-10 12:20:21 PM  
huge solar thermal operation near Stateline, NV
http://gigaom2.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/dsc02198.jpg
 
2013-04-10 12:36:14 PM  

cirby: That is true - but the same can be said for roofing in general - and getting a plain old shingle roof installed is still expensive as hell, compared to the cost of the shingles.

Doing it yourself is easy, if you have the basic skills ...along with having the tools, the ladder, and some similarly-skilled friends who will work for free. And insurance to cover them if they fall off the roof (your insurance company would probably throw a fit if they saw those photos). And a city with a minimal permitting process. Even with your "savings" on labor costs, how much of the total price of the system did the panels themselves represent? Don't forget to include the permits and electrical contractor costs.

Of course, there's the "free labor" issue. Just because you didn't write a check to yourself and your friends, the cost of labor is still there - they may have donated their time to you, but how much would a three-man crew cost for two days? Even at a low (for roofing work) $20/hour cost, you're looking at almost $1000 in off-the books labor there.

For 90%+ of the urban population, none of that is really possible (due to lack of skills, fear of heights, and/or legal issues).


Wow, if you're that afraid of getting friends to help, I can only imagine the legal releases you require your buddies to sign if they help you paint the outside of your house or help with moving and lifting heavy furniture. Let's just say that it is possible for 10% of the urban, suburban and rural population - you're still talking about ~10+ million homes that it's possible to install. Since the average price of a solar panel is now hanging around $0.60 a watt, the only remaining + major costs are the labor involved - and frankly with standardization and simplifying of parts, it's rapidly becoming doable for homeowners with any basic skills.

For everyone else, just install Westinghouse panels - which are sold at Lowes, designed for do-it-yourselfers with the tools included, have almost all of the wiring and the inverters installed in each panel. The only professional labor you need to use is an electrician to do the one AC tie into the grid. Even if you use pro labor for the whole install, it should take 3-guys about 3 hours to do the full 2kw install, which they demonstrate the quick install here.

I agree that certain jurisdictions have more permitting and inspection fees - which is why I think we should nationally standardize the code to match California's rules and streamline installs & permits like Germany. They've greatly reduced their installed costs, compared to the US.
 
2013-04-10 12:39:56 PM  

The Irresponsible Captain: I mean, you're crazy to try to sail around the world. You'll fall right off the edge.


Actually that was never the reason folks didn't want to fund Columbus: That's a myth that cropped up in the last 100 years or so.

People had known *since the greeks* that the world was round, and even in the dark ages still had the Greek's estimate for the circumference of the Earth (which was surprisingly accurate. I Believe it's within a few thousand miles.)

Columbus thought the greeks were WRONG. Based on some maps he had, he estimated the circumference was much smaller than the greeks said it was (or that it, you know, actually was). So people didn't fund him because their reaction was "No, you're wrong, the earth's a lot bigger than that. You are going to run out of supplies and die, or give up and come back, and we're going to lose money."

Had America not, uh, been in his way, they would have been right.
 
2013-04-10 12:44:25 PM  
It's also interesting to note that even financial institutions find that the cost of solar power has reached grid-parity (in Italy and India).

And now US utilities are starting to take notice of customer owned, rooftop solar power, noting that it has a high likelihood of eroding their profits and even making them obsolete.
 
2013-04-10 12:48:40 PM  

Felgraf: Actually that was never the reason folks didn't want to fund Columbus: That's a myth that cropped up in the last 100 years or so.


And it's surprising how tenaciously people cling to that myth. They use it all the time to defend their ideas of colonizing the Moon...
 
2013-04-10 01:52:02 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: And it's surprising how tenaciously people cling to that myth. They use it all the time to defend their ideas of colonizing the Moon...


I know I'm going to regret this, but you're going to have to explain that one to me. Flat earthies want to colonize the moon?
 
2013-04-10 02:27:39 PM  
Parris approves businesses so long as you donate to his campaigns. Otherwise, forget it. This is the man who tried to ban the Mongols from an annual rally that brought in millions in revenue to the harder hit parts of Sierra Hwy.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1608158.html

Right now they've built enormous solar arrays right next to the Poppy Reserve's northern border. Poppies used to grow there all the time. Not anymore. The big dust storm on Monday was the sign of things to come.
 
2013-04-10 02:35:50 PM  

SewerSquirrels: Quantum Apostrophe: And it's surprising how tenaciously people cling to that myth. They use it all the time to defend their ideas of colonizing the Moon...

I know I'm going to regret this, but you're going to have to explain that one to me. Flat earthies want to colonize the moon?


There are several versions of the myths and they usually try to spin something along the lines of Colombus' voyages being the same thing as going to the Moon, exploration, colonization, etc.

It's actually exhausting to keep up with these delusions and fantasies.
 
2013-04-10 03:11:47 PM  

Khazar-Khum: Parris approves businesses so long as you donate to his campaigns. Otherwise, forget it. This is the man who tried to ban the Mongols from an annual rally that brought in millions in revenue to the harder hit parts of Sierra Hwy.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1608158.html

Right now they've built enormous solar arrays right next to the Poppy Reserve's northern border. Poppies used to grow there all the time. Not anymore. The big dust storm on Monday was the sign of things to come.


Farking Mongols are a criminal gang. Revenue? They also bring in a shiatload of crime.

The dust storm may also be due to the fact of sustained high winds for several days with 60MPH gusts being typical. Sand tends to get loose under those conditions. A sandstorm like that hasn't occurred for a couple years. But they happen and the solar farms have nothing to do with that.
 
2013-04-10 03:21:47 PM  
According to my mom the folks in that area refer to it as 'Landscatter'.
 
2013-04-10 03:44:28 PM  
Cheap and only looking to get cheaper over time.

The big issue is switching over, big power companies arent likely to be happy about that.
 
2013-04-10 04:22:59 PM  

KJUW89: According to my mom the folks in that area refer to it as 'Landscatter'.


Lived there for 30 years, that's the first time I've heard that.  Your mom must know people from a different Lancaster.  No one refers to it as that.
 
2013-04-10 04:33:34 PM  
whatisaidwas:

You are so completely wrong, I have no idea what you're talking about.  You must be trolling.  For home solar installations, it's usually 2 watts of power generation needed for each square foot of house.  1000 square foot home = 2 kilowatts, (2000 watts).  That's about 10 2.5'x4' panels.

A system like that costs $17000.  You can finance it by paying interest only on an equity line of about $50 per month.  You'll save more than that on electricity costs monthly.  It's now cheaper than buying coal/gas power from the city.

I did it.  I'm solar powered.  Those are the numbers.

Don't be stupid.


No. Just No.  1) you're making an assumption about the site-quality of the home, which (in urban areas) is typically less-than-1.  2)  At 2w/sqft, you are very much on the lower end of the usage spectrum.  I've got a 4.25kwh system and it only covers about 70-80% of my usage - on a 1400 sqft home.  So again, in an urban environment with electric stoves/water heaters and AC - you're not going to be at 2 watts/sqft.  More like 4w/sqft.

Now I got my system for about $27k (less insane rebates and tax credits - no way in hell i was going to shell out $26k) - but why on earth would you run an interest-only loan?

Further, his estimated costs ($100/m^2) included STORAGE, which you've obviously not got (nor do I). My system (roughly 45m^2) actually comes out to nearly $600/m^2.  Yours is even pricier (nearly $1k/m^2). His area estimates aren't that far off because solar would have to account for industrial use, too (which is much higher than our home use).

Stop mixing apples and oranges. Anecdotes are not the plural of data. If you're talking about replacing all other power solutions on the grid with solar (which was what the original image was talking about - an image which totally ignored transmission losses) then you are talking about a fantastically expensive solution relative to other options.
 
2013-04-10 05:15:18 PM  
My dad is looking at putting in a 4kw solar "run-the-meter-backwards" system where he lives.

He's got a lot of advantages, he's a licensed electrician and has free skilled labor (aka *me* when available) and he lives on a small farm, so he doesn't have to do a fixed roof-mounted system... He can put it out in a field 500' from the house where it gets the maximum light. I've even designed a mounting and tracking system so it gets full sunlight as much as possible.

There's no storage involved in the design (yet, but we are leaving "hooks" in) but so far using current electrical rates, he could have it paid off well within 2 years.

Storing electricity is not as big a deal as people make it. Utilities love systems like this because if enough people do it, they don't have to build a multi-million dollar gas plant that only gets spun up during the business and air-conditioning hours.
 
2013-04-10 05:15:40 PM  

HatMadeOfAss: KJUW89: According to my mom the folks in that area refer to it as 'Landscatter'.

Lived there for 30 years, that's the first time I've heard that.  Your mom must know people from a different Lancaster.  No one refers to it as that.


She also lived there more than 40 years ago, so maybe it's a generational thing.  (*shrug*)  Just have always found it amusing.
 
2013-04-10 06:59:37 PM  
I just got my solar system turned on last month, so I can share how much it cost me. I have a 2.4kW system on my roof that cost $8000 after all the government and utility company rebates. It generates about twice as much energy as I use, so I have zero electric bill and am banking up kWh for when I get a plug-in car.

I live in Los Angeles, so the installation costs were ridiculously high compared to my friend's install in AZ, but it still will pay itself off in 10 years. And that payoff is assuming that electric rates stay constant and that I get no value from them when I sell the house. If I sell the house and the new owners think the solar install adds $3000 to the value of the home, then the payoff time is way faster.

Sure, my energy usage is stupidly low compared to average users since I'm anal about turning off lights and computers when I'm not using them, and I live by myself (shocker here on Fark); but solar is more than viable for anyone who owns a roof in Los Angeles. It absolutely boggles my mind when I fly over this city and don't see solar panels on any houses.
 
2013-04-10 07:06:21 PM  
Also, for cirby complaining about install costs for a roofing application, you should know that there are a ton of companies that will build a system as a pergola or deck covering for you. They don't look too bad, either.

www.homepower.com
 
2013-04-10 07:40:29 PM  
First goddamn thing Parris has done right.
 
2013-04-10 08:05:16 PM  

horsepocket: I just got my solar system turned on last month, so I can share how much it cost me. I have a 2.4kW system on my roof that cost $8000 after all the government and utility company rebates. It generates about twice as much energy as I use, so I have zero electric bill and am banking up kWh for when I get a plug-in car.


God spent a lot more, but then again he was an early adopter.
 
2013-04-10 08:26:46 PM  

mrlewish: Elroydb: DubtodaIll: The problem with solar isn't harnessing the energy, it's storing the energy for later use.

And the distribution of it. Moving solar part  electricity from the west to say New York or Boston isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world


Once electricity is put on the grid the source does not matter.



That's not entirely true. The further you send it, the most you lose during transmission. And then there's the whole problem of keep up with demand on a second-by-second basis. Tough to do that when the sun is down. When you start to think about it, the fact that we power almost the entire world almost all of the time is pretty damn amazing.
 
2013-04-10 08:33:15 PM  

cirby:

You do realize that right now, the major cost of installing solar panels isn't the panels? It's the labor and cost of support systems (power conditioners and storage), along with permitting and other government costs. The costs of electrical contracting alone will keep prices relatively high. Even with a panel cost near zero, someone has to climb up on the roof and put the panels there, connect them to the house wiring system, and make sure the storage system is installed correctly and safely.

There isn't going to be a "solar revolution" until someone comes up with a radically new and insanely cheap way to install and use the suckers.


Oh I get it.

You're too much of a cheapskate to pay the installer dudes who huck the laddes n sh*t around and too skinflint to pay for a SAFE installation so your house doesn't burn down.
 
2013-04-10 08:54:01 PM  

peterthx: Khazar-Khum: Parris approves businesses so long as you donate to his campaigns. Otherwise, forget it. This is the man who tried to ban the Mongols from an annual rally that brought in millions in revenue to the harder hit parts of Sierra Hwy.

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1608158.html

Right now they've built enormous solar arrays right next to the Poppy Reserve's northern border. Poppies used to grow there all the time. Not anymore. The big dust storm on Monday was the sign of things to come.

Farking Mongols are a criminal gang. Revenue? They also bring in a shiatload of crime.

The dust storm may also be due to the fact of sustained high winds for several days with 60MPH gusts being typical. Sand tends to get loose under those conditions. A sandstorm like that hasn't occurred for a couple years. But they happen and the solar farms have nothing to do with that.


Not during the rally. They just gathered up and rode around.  If you really want to talk about crime, now, let's talk about the fine folks of East Palmdale.

The solar farms are plowing up kinds of land, loosening soil all over the valley. That was the worst dust storm we've had in years, even with winds over 60 MPH.
 
2013-04-10 08:58:48 PM  

imgod2u: stevarooni: FTFA: In Republican-controlled Florida, state law prohibits third parties from installing the rooftop solar panels and then selling power to the homeowner, relieving the homeowner of large upfront costs.

This isn't so much a NIMBY thing, or Reactionary Republicans as it is cutting off scammers before they can start!  Seriously, who wants to pay to have solar panels installed and then buy the power produced?!?

I think you misread that. The homeowner doesn't pay for the solar panels or the installation. They just pay for the power produced. That's the business model.


It was probably passed at the request of the power companies.  They don't like laws that require them to buy back power, let alone on a large scale.  There is no reason this couldn't be regulated and be a great way to get solar square footage out there.  I know there was a company out in Cali doing this.  You got a reduced rate for it.  Instead, for the average homeowner, it might make more sense if the company took over responsibility for the roof.  Think about it, the biggest out of pocket expense for a homeowner aside from their original mortgage might be when the roof needs replacing (especially in solar country, where you aren't likely to have a giant furnace to replace).  The company gets a roof to put panels on, but they have to maintain it.  They already have people on staff to maintain the panels, and a lot of the roof maintenance issues are going to involve the solar panels.  Just promise to maintain the roof and carry an insurance policy for any damage if you don't maintain it, and sell the power.  Give some tax breaks for buying solar power until it's a little more cost competitive.  Heck, you don't even have to buy 'solar power' to have panels on your roof in that model (although power is pretty frangible anyway.)
 
2013-04-10 09:09:00 PM  

peterthx: Last stop to Bakersfield?

It's not on the road (CA 14) to Bakersfield. To get there you'd have to either take CA 138 to I-5 or further north to CA 58.


if you take the 58, then Tehachapi is the last stop before Bakersfield.  I should know, I live there.
 
2013-04-10 09:12:34 PM  

RoxtarRyan: As long as the backbone of the grid they intend on creating, even the local (i.e. house/neighborhood) grids are expandable and easily upgradable, then rock on. It would be a shame to build something and not be able to upgrade it as solar tech will likely get more efficient cells in the future.


As it turns out, we already have  a 5MW solarthermal site, http://www.esolar.com/ in town. To the west, we have the 579-megawatt Antelope Valley Solar Projects (AVSP).  To the north, we have a few hundred large wind turbines around Tehachapi,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehachapi_Pass_Wind_Farm .

The regional grid was upgraded recently to support the windmills and we are just a few miles north of one of LA's major substations for the LA metro grid.
 
2013-04-10 09:20:03 PM  

peterthx: Last stop to Bakersfield?

It's not on the road (CA 14) to Bakersfield. To get there you'd have to either take CA 138 to I-5 or further north to CA 58.


When I-5 is closed, the truckers go up the 14 through Lancaster to Mojave and then west through Tehachapi to Bakersfield.
 
2013-04-10 09:41:11 PM  

graeylin: peterthx: Last stop to Bakersfield?

It's not on the road (CA 14) to Bakersfield. To get there you'd have to either take CA 138 to I-5 or further north to CA 58.

if you take the 58, then Tehachapi is the last stop before Bakersfield.  I should know, I live there.


Yep, just as Alcanazar posted. You also have to go through Mojave.

/not much to do in Tehachapi...
 
2013-04-10 10:59:59 PM  

Kittypie070: cirby:

You do realize that right now, the major cost of installing solar panels isn't the panels? It's the labor and cost of support systems (power conditioners and storage), along with permitting and other government costs. The costs of electrical contracting alone will keep prices relatively high. Even with a panel cost near zero, someone has to climb up on the roof and put the panels there, connect them to the house wiring system, and make sure the storage system is installed correctly and safely.

There isn't going to be a "solar revolution" until someone comes up with a radically new and insanely cheap way to install and use the suckers.

Oh I get it.

You're too much of a cheapskate to pay the installer dudes who huck the laddes n sh*t around and too skinflint to pay for a SAFE installation so your house doesn't burn down.


As someone who installs solar, that response amused me greatly.
 
2013-04-10 11:47:31 PM  
I'm not political about it, here is a reference map from the BLM on the proposed amount of recreation land, OHV, archaeological area and habitat that is going to be used for solar.

Make your own decision.

Public Information on the BLM site:

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/energy/solar_energy.html

SoCal...

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/Solar_Projects.html

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/ca/pdf/palmsprings/genera l_ -_pssc.Par.42118.File.dat/Solar%20Energy%20Applications.pdf

CEC Plans:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/siting/solar/index.html

Love the desert. Apolitical... I have to do my job.
 
2013-04-10 11:57:42 PM  

KJUW89: HatMadeOfAss: KJUW89: According to my mom the folks in that area refer to it as 'Landscatter'.

Lived there for 30 years, that's the first time I've heard that.  Your mom must know people from a different Lancaster.  No one refers to it as that.

She also lived there more than 40 years ago, so maybe it's a generational thing.  (*shrug*)  Just have always found it amusing.


Palmdalians used to call it that, about 40-some years ago. (I was around back then, I remember.)

Also, I had to work outside in the middle of Monday's dust storm. That was BRUTAL.
 
2013-04-11 12:10:22 AM  

JonnyBGoode: KJUW89: HatMadeOfAss: KJUW89: According to my mom the folks in that area refer to it as 'Landscatter'.

Lived there for 30 years, that's the first time I've heard that.  Your mom must know people from a different Lancaster.  No one refers to it as that.

She also lived there more than 40 years ago, so maybe it's a generational thing.  (*shrug*)  Just have always found it amusing.

Palmdalians used to call it that, about 40-some years ago. (I was around back then, I remember.)

Also, I had to work outside in the middle of Monday's dust storm. That was BRUTAL.


I've been in worse. I saw Dale Lake engulf a 3500 ft mountain and it was a native dust storm.

The amount of land being cleared needs to be studied. The solar fields are possibly creating more man made 'dry lakes'  in the desert which will contribute to worse dust storms...
 
2013-04-11 05:32:35 AM  

cirby: The Irresponsible Captain:
Well, it wouldn't take much.

...just an area equivalent to about 1/6 of the area of all of the urban/suburban areas of the planet.

In other words, look at any city over about 50,000 people, and imagine covering 1/6 of that area with solar panels. And yes, that includes ALL of the area, roads, parking lots, buildings, trees, parks, lakes, et cetera.

That's not even considering the cost. At $100/square meter (insanely cheap for an installed system with storage), you're looking at $100 million per square kilometer, times 400,000 kilometers = $40 trillion dollars. This is a fantastically low estimate...

No, thanks.


If we wanted to switch the entire world to 100% solar immediately, yeah, that'd be really expensive.  But we don't need the whole world to be 100% solar in a few years.  We do need to massively increase the share of electricity produced from renewable energy over the course of 10, 20, 30 years and that will be expensive too.  However, the cost of such an undertaking needs to be compared against the cost of fossil fuels for any meaningful discussion to take place.  The cost of solar and other renewables must be compared to the costs of environmental damage from pollution (tar sands, oil spills, fracking, coal ash, etc), the cost of global warming and the cost (ex. war) of dependency on middle east oil.  The status quo costs money too.
 
2013-04-11 06:47:51 AM  
www.foundsf.org
/hot random mirror image
 
2013-04-11 01:44:44 PM  

peterthx: graeylin: peterthx: Last stop to Bakersfield?

It's not on the road (CA 14) to Bakersfield. To get there you'd have to either take CA 138 to I-5 or further north to CA 58.

if you take the 58, then Tehachapi is the last stop before Bakersfield.  I should know, I live there.

Yep, just as Alcanazar posted. You also have to go through Mojave.

/not much to do in Tehachapi...


But if you do take 138 back, it is basically the last stop, Flying J and Tejon Ranch rest stops excluded. (Lebec, Gorman, and Grapevine barely count as towns, let alone cities.)
 
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