Small Mexican town seeks social justice with innovative solar power project

January 24, 2018 by  
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Solar power prices have been plummeting in Mexico , which is good news for renewable energy advocates but potentially bad news for indigenous people . Much of the land suited for solar or wind projects is owned by rural communities that have historically been marginalized, according to Paolo Cisneros of Mexican organization Laboratorio de Investigación en Control Reconfigurable (LiCore). They’re at risk of exploitation from corporate interests. The residents of Ucareo, with around 2,000 residents , have a potential answer. Working with LiCore, they’re raising money for COOPEREN , a community-owned solar project that could offer a model for social and environmental justice . LiCore engineer Fortino Mendoza, a Ucareo native, established the relationship between the community and LiCore. They’re raising money for the community solar effort, COOPEREN, on GoFundMe . With the money they aim to build a solar plant generating power to be sold to the national electric utility. The residents of Ucareo can then use the money for different projects; a nonprofit organization is to be established for managing the solar farm and income. Related: Coming soon: NYC’s first community solar project Cisneros told Inhabitat they’d envisioned the money being used for infrastructure repairs, “but it can just as easily go toward social programming, public awareness campaigns, or anything else…that is entirely up to the people of Ucareo.” He said LiCore has hosted outreach sessions, one-on-one interviews, and other efforts with residents to make sure the nonprofit organization “is truly representative of the community and that everyone who wants to get involved has opportunities to do so. We’re doing everything we can to avoid a situation in which this group becomes hijacked by an particular sub-set of the community.” They aim to raise $15,000 on GoFundMe for a 6.4 kilowatt peak preliminary solar plant. Cisneros told Inhabitat one concern they had was how to ensure people could feel confident their money would indeed go to good use. He said, “Truth be told, GoFundMe doesn’t have a way of policing how people spend the money they raise. In response, we’ve committed to maintaining a really active dialogue with our donors. They receive monthly updates on the project and periodic opportunities to take part in live Q&A sessions with our staff. We also detail our work pretty actively on social media…We want everyone who donates to feel like active participants in the project.” And community energy projects are fairly common in America and Europe, but were only just legalized in Mexico, per the GoFundMe page, so it’s difficult for communities to secure bank loans for the projects. On the crowdfunding campaign page the team says, “We plan to prove the technical and social viability of this project in Ucareo, thereby making it easier for other Mexican communities to secure financing for community energy projects of their own.” You can find out more on the COOPEREN GoFundMe page . + COOPEREN GoFundMe + Laboratorio de Investigación en Control Reconfigurable Images via Depositphotos and courtesy of Sascha Nadja Ringlstetter

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Small Mexican town seeks social justice with innovative solar power project

Integrated $1B solar farm in South Australia includes world’s largest battery

March 30, 2017 by  
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South Australia is about to get a huge clean energy boost with a $1 billion solar farm . The farm will pump and store 300MW and 100MW of clean energy respectively with 3.4 million solar panels and 1.1 million batteries . It is expected to start running later this year. The Lyon Group , a partnership of three companies, is building the massive solar farm in the Riverland region of South Australia. Construction should commence within months. The Riverland initiative will allow for 330 megawatts (MW) of power generation and at minimum 100 MW of battery storage . In a video Lyon Group partner David Green said it will be the largest integrated project and the largest single battery on Earth. The solar system will be built on privately owned land and paid for by investors. Green said the solar farm will be a significant stimulus for the region. Related: South Australia Projected to Reach 50 Percent Renewable Energy Within the Next Decade Green told The Guardian, “We see the inevitability of the need to have large-scale solar and integrated batteries as part of any move to decarbonize. Any short-term decisions are only what I would call noise in the process.” Lyon Group plans to build a similar system near Roxby Downs as well. Greens said the battery and solar combination will greatly enhance South Australia’s capacity. Jay Weatherill, premier of South Australia, praised the effort, saying, “Projects of this sort, renewable energy projects, represent the future.” The South Australia government recently announced a power plan that will be bankrolled by a $150 million renewable technology fund. They will consider bidders for a 100 MW battery in upcoming weeks; Weatherill said Lyon Group is among the companies interested in constructing the battery. But the Riverland farm will be constructed no matter the results of the government’s tender for the large battery, according to Lyon Group. Via The Guardian Images via Australian Renewable Energy Agency Facebook and screenshot

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Integrated $1B solar farm in South Australia includes world’s largest battery

Worlds largest airport-based solar farm makes creative use of land to generate clean energy

September 21, 2016 by  
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A few other airport-based solar farms exist, but none are as massive as the IND Solar Farm. During three phases, the solar farm sprawled across 183 acres. 87,478 panels generate as much power as 3,650 homes would use. In total, the vast solar farm generates 20 megawatts (MW) AC and 25 MW DC. Compare that with the Denver International Airport Solar Farm, which has the capacity to power around 2,595 homes with 10 MW . Related: USDA Researchers Want Airports To Double as Renewable Energy Farms “The IND Solar Farm goes back to 2009 or 2010,” General Manager Kent Ebbing told Inhabitat. He was the project manager for the innovative solar farm, and continues to ensure the solar farm is maintained to the airport’s standards. “Generally airports put hay fields near runways. Instead of a hay field, we wondered if there was anything we could construct that would be conducive to height restrictions. We realized solar panels could be placed there, would generate more revenue than hay rent, and would be a good use of land.” Phase 1, which comprises 44,128 stationary panels, is the site closest to the runways. The Phase 1 installation appears to undulate, like gentle ocean waves. Rather than flattening the land, the airport authority had the solar panels installed right on top of natural land curves. As I snapped photos from a highway overpass, an airplane flew over the Phase 1 solar panels to land on the runway just beyond. For Phase 2a, the team switched from stationary to tracking panels to “comply with the Optical Study requirements under revised Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations on solar projects constructed on airport property,” according to Ebbing. The 31,100 remotely-controlled tracking panels can be turned 110 degrees, or adjusted just a few inches to best take advantage of the sunshine. Phase 2a is divided by a road and trees to preserve the habitat of the endangered Indiana bat . A river runs through the oak and poplar trees, providing a great place for mosquitoes to live, and the bats eat the mosquitoes. Close by Phase 2a is the third phase, Phase 2b, which at 11,250 tracking panels is the smallest phase. “We have the largest airport-based solar farm in the world. We’re the top of the pinnacle now,” said Ebbing. So who gets the energy from the IND Solar Farm? Contrary to what you might expect, it’s not wired directly to the airport, but to the grid. Local energy companies gather the power and pay the airport rent. The energy companies will be able to lease the solar panels for 30 years to start. The airport never actually spent money on the IND Solar Farm; rather, private sources fully funded it. Another question that commonly pops up is concern the panels will blind pilots. That’s not the case, Ebbing said. He pointed out that solar panels absorb light – they don’t reflect it. While some parts of the solar installation in Phase 1 include aluminum cross-rails, which are more reflective, the panels rest over the aluminum frames so pilots don’t see them. Ebbing said white buildings actually reflect more light than solar panels. “Everybody has been very supportive,” he said. “The airport has always been conscious of sustainability ; it meets standards but really goes a step beyond to do everything they can to protect the environment. The Indianapolis terminal was the first airport terminal to be LEED certified, and the airport authority has done things with storm water treatment. The IND Solar Farm reflects the concept of what the airport authority has been doing for 10 years.” + IND Solar Farm Images via Kent Ebbing and Lacy Cooke for Inhabitat

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Worlds largest airport-based solar farm makes creative use of land to generate clean energy

Apple to protect 36,000 acres of forest lands, and is building 2 new solar farms in China

April 17, 2015 by  
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The Apple logo might have gone from rainbow to black over the years, but the company is getting greener every day. This week, Apple made two announcements that impressed environmentalists around the world. In the first, the iPhone maker shared the news that it has purchased 36,000 acres of forest land for the express purpose of protecting it from future development. The other announcement was about two new solar farm projects which are already under construction in China , duplicating clean energy efforts the company has already made here in the U.S. Read the rest of Apple to protect 36,000 acres of forest lands, and is building 2 new solar farms in China Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: apple , apple buys forest , apple clean energy , apple solar farms , china , conservation of forests , forest conservation , nature conservation , solar farm , Solar Power , sunpower

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Apple to protect 36,000 acres of forest lands, and is building 2 new solar farms in China

La Paz, Mexico shoots for 100 percent solar power by end of 2015

January 5, 2015 by  
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When a new solar power plant goes online later in 2015, the city of La Paz, Mexico will be entirely powered by solar energy. Aura Solar I , the largest solar power plant in Latin America, went online in La Paz just last year and provides a whopping 64 percent of the power requirements for the city of just over 200,000 people. And in 2015, a second facility called Grupotec I is set to go online, adding the remainder of the city’s power requirements and making La Paz 100 percent solar powered – as well as part of a growing global movement toward solar power. Read the rest of La Paz, Mexico shoots for 100 percent solar power by end of 2015 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 100 percent solar , aura solar , Aura Solar I , baja , Electricity , green , green energy , grupotec , grupotec I , La Paz , mexico , power , renewable energy , solar , solar farm , solar panels , Solar Power

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La Paz, Mexico shoots for 100 percent solar power by end of 2015

Dubai Drives Cost of Solar Down to Record Low

December 2, 2014 by  
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The race to bring cheap solar energy to the marketplace has become Dubai’s triumph this month, with its state utility company, the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority ( DEWA ), promising solar electricity for just 5.98 cents/kWh . This is the lowest price per kW ever to be achieved for solar energy. Read the rest of Dubai Drives Cost of Solar Down to Record Low Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , “solar energy” , acwa , dewa , dubai solar , solar cost , solar farm , Solar market , solar plant , solar price record , uae solar

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Dubai Drives Cost of Solar Down to Record Low

Massive Solar Farm Could Pump Clean Energy From the Sahara to England

October 24, 2014 by  
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The blazing Sahara sun may power homes a world away by 2018. The people behind a new $13 million project called TuNur farm propose to build a massive 100-square-kilometer solar farm in Tunisia. The farm would then connect directly to the UK, pumping energy through a 280-mile-long underwater cable. Read the rest of Massive Solar Farm Could Pump Clean Energy From the Sahara to England Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: desert solar , eco design , from the sahara to england , green design , Nur Energie , sahara solar farm , solar farm , sustainable design , Tunisia , TuNur Farm , UK subsidies for solar

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Massive Solar Farm Could Pump Clean Energy From the Sahara to England

SOM Transforms a Monolithic San Francisco Office Tower into a Bright and Breezy LEED Platinum Vision

October 24, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of SOM Transforms a Monolithic San Francisco Office Tower into a Bright and Breezy LEED Platinum Vision Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , 680 folsom , eco design , eco office , eco tower , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green renovation , high performance curtain wall , LEED platinum , LEED Platinum office , San Francisco , seismic upgrades , sf , Skidmore Owings & Merrill , skidmore owings and merril , SOM , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , vintage renovation

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SOM Transforms a Monolithic San Francisco Office Tower into a Bright and Breezy LEED Platinum Vision

French Island is Building Perhaps the Most Beautiful Solar Plant

September 26, 2014 by  
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Who says solar power can’t be gorgeous? The people of New Caledonia are out to prove the naysayers wrong with what may be the most beautiful solar farm on the planet. The idea is to build a heart-shaped solar plant that will supply 2mW of solar power to 750 homes on the Pacific island, not only reducing carbon emissions, but enhancing the natural beauty of the plant’s surroundings. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment   Read the rest of French Island is Building Perhaps the Most Beautiful Solar Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beautiful solar farms , Coeur de Voh , Coeur de Voh solar farm , Conergy heart farm , Conergy heart shaped solar , Conergy solar farm , heart shaped solar farm , New Caledonia energy production , New Caledonia heart shaped solar farm , New Caledonia solar , New Caledonia solar farm , new solar farms , pretty solar farms , solar farm

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French Island is Building Perhaps the Most Beautiful Solar Plant

First 24 Hour Solar Farm Solana Launches in the United States

October 10, 2013 by  
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The Solana solar farm located 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona is the first in the United States to use molten storage technology. It still uses  hundreds of parabolic-shaped mirrors  to focus the sun’s rays, but unlike other concentrated solar power (CSP) facilities, it also uses tanks of molten salt to store huge amounts of heat for long periods of time. This feature allows energy production to continue even when the sun has gone down, making it a breakthrough for the country’s renewable energy industry. At a cost of $2 billion, the CSP facility was developed by Spanish company Abengoa Solar and took nearly three years to build. Read the rest of First 24 Hour Solar Farm Solana Launches in the United States Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: abengoa solar , Arizona , clean tech , concentrated solar power , DOE Loan Guarantee , first 24 hour solar plant in America , green tech , molten salt , Parabolic-Shaped Mirrors , phoenix , renewable energy , Solana , solar farm , Thermal storage        

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First 24 Hour Solar Farm Solana Launches in the United States

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