Yingli Americas To Supply PV For 170 MW Centinela Solar Energy Facility

Ethical Markets Resource Efficiency, Greentech

Yingli Americas To Supply PV For 170 MW Centinela Solar Energy Facility

Posted: 02 Dec 2012 07:30 AM PST

Baoding, China-based Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. – one of the world’s largest vertically integrated photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers – November 27 announced that its US subsidiary had inked its largest solar PV supply contract to date.

Yingli Green Energy Americas was selected to supply 200 megawatts DC (MW-dc) for LS Power?s giant, 170 MW-ac Centinela Solar Energy Facility Project, which is located some 90 miles east of San Diego in California’s Imperial Valley.
Slated for construction in two phases, with completion expected in mid-2014, the Centinela solar power plant is to be built on a 1,600-acre site near El Centro. The plans of LS Power’s special purpose LLC, Centinela Solar Energy, are to build out in two stages: 125 MW in Phase 1 and another 45 MW in Phase 2.

LS Power on September 17 awarded Fluor Corp. a lump-sum engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the Centinela Solar Energy Facility. Fluor has received full notice to proceed with Phase 1, and anticipates starting on Phase 2 in 2013’s first quarter.

Utility-Scale Project Development Fueling US Solar PV Capacity Growth

“The expansion of the utility-scale market in the U.S. is instrumental in securing our country’s clean energy future,” Yingli Americas’ managing director Robert Petrina stated according to a press release. “We are proud to be chosen for this milestone project that demanded the highest levels of product and performance guarantees. We are now working with several of the top utility companies in the nation, and are cementing our reputation as the ideal module supplier for large-scale projects.

“Yingli Americas has methodically established itself as the partner of choice for utility-scale projects across the U.S. By establishing a superior process to address both the commercial and technical hurdles such projects present, we are extremely confident in our ability to execute such mega projects,” added director of business development Mathew Sachs.

Earlier in September, LS Power announced that the Centinela project had been fully funded. Long-term project finance is provided by a syndicate led by Prudential Capital Group, with shorter term financing provided by a group led by Sovereign Bank and four other Joint Lead Arrangers: Union Bank, Rabobank Nederland, CIBC, and NordLB.

A 20-year power purchase agreement has been signed with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The Centinela Solar Energy Facility will be one of the first major power plants to interconnect to SDG&E?s Powerlink Transmission Line, a high-voltage 500-kilovolt power line. SDG&E on June 18 announced that it had completed the nearly $1.9 billion project after a five-year environmental planning and permitting process and 18 months of construction.

Renewable Energy Boom County

Lying almost entirely below sea level, California’s arid Imperial Valley has become a hotspot for both geothermal and solar energy development. Spanish sustainable energy technology and project developer Abengoa on June 12 announced it had been awarded a $360 million EPC contract to build another of the world’s largest PV facilities: a 200MW PV plant in the Imperial Valley.

All the renewable energy project development activity hasn’t come without detractors and critics who are concerned about the displacement of traditional agricultural businesses and land, as well as the environmental impacts of the large-scale solar and geothermal energy development. LS Power’s Centinela project, for instance, was originally planned as a 275MW project. That?s apparently been scaled down to 170 MW.

As of December 2011, there were five Imperial Valley public land-solar power project applications on file with US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). They include AES’ 400MW PV Imperial Valley Solar, SunPeak Solar’s 500MW PV Superstition Solar 1, Pacific Solar Investments’ 450MW Ogilby Solar parabolic trough project, Solar Reserve’s 250MW Imperial Solar power tower, and San Diego Gas & Electric’s 20MW PV Ocotillo Sol.

The county is also the second largest geothermal energy producer in the US, generating more than 500 MW of clean, sustainable electricity from the geothermal resources surrounding the Salton Sea, which according to the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. hold more than 2,000 MW of potential power generation capacity.

Yingli Americas To Supply PV For 170 MW Centinela Solar Energy Facility was originally published on: CleanTechnica


Farm Animals Kept Warm or Cool by Geothermal

Posted: 02 Dec 2012 07:21 AM PST

Thanksgiving is all finished now, but turkey farms still have to take care of their birds, and that means expensive heating bills in fall and winter. If a University of Missouri engineering professor can replicate his geothermal farm system prototype in other settings, he may have created technology that saves American farmers huge amounts of money in the future.

“Our first set of performance data suggests that farmers could cut their heating costs in half at current propane prices. Currently, two units are installed at the test farm. Other farmers could begin installing units on their turkey farms as soon as next year, for use by next winter,” explained Yun-Sheng Xu. (Source: University of Missouri)

Soil temperatures just several feet below the surface can range from 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Placing a series of horizontal tubes in this zone can warm or cool water to its temperature range. When water is cold, placing it in underground tubes can raise the temperature so that heating it up to the required 90 degrees for young turkey or 70 for the adult birds uses less propane, and therefore money can be saved. (The same system can be used in summer to help cool a building containing many animals.)

The cost of propane fluctuates and, if it rises too high, it can eat into or completely erode a farmer?s income. So having an affordable, renewable, consistent source of onsite energy could be quite a boon for small farmers whose livelihood depends on a number of external costs they have no control over. Another possibility is building artificial wetlands over the geothermal system, in order to add another lay of insulation.

Image Credit: University of Missouri

Farm Animals Kept Warm or Cool by Geothermal was originally published on: CleanTechnica

Elegant Pendulum Pump Could Help Third World Water Supply

Posted: 02 Dec 2012 04:03 AM PST

If you’re familiar with steampunk, some of this will be familiar ground. It’s a new high-tech, hand-powered water pump based on the pendulum, an ancient device popularized in the Victorian era and made notorious as an instrument of hair-raising torture by steampunk great-great grandfather Edgar Allan Poe (yeah, we know there were others, but he’s our fave)

In this case, we’re talking about a company called Gravitational Energy Corporation (GEC), which uses a high effficiency pendulum to translate human effort into a far greater outcome than the typical hand pump could achieve. The new device, called the GP210, has potential use in parts of Africa and other regions where water delivery remains an enormous stumbling block to community health.


The Pit and the Pendulum – Remix!

Where Poe’s imagination saw the pendulum as a thing of evil, the folks at GEC contacted CleanTechnica to let us know how the GP210 can be put to work in disaster relief as well as for the long haul. The pendulum itself is only four feet long and weighs only 40 pounds, and the rest is easily transportable equipment that can be set up on a trailer or a stationary platform.

A couple of years ago, the company put a GP210 to the test in a project with the childrens’ advocacy and disaster relief organization One Life Missions Foundation, to help after the earthquake in Haiti.

According to the company, the device produced drinking water for about 4,000 people on a daily basis, requiring only about three hours of operation. The company states that it can pump about 1,000 gallons of water per hour with “minimal effort.”

Pendulum Powered Pump – How it Works

GEC isn’t the only company betting on pendulum power. A while back, CleanTechnica talked about a Serbian invention that combines a lever and a pendulum to produce impressive energy gains.

The basic idea is fairly straightforward. You expend a measure of extra effort to start the pendulum (say, with a couple of extra helpers if necessary), and after that it takes a relatively small amount of work to keep it going indefinitely. Gravity does the rest, adding a lot of extra oomph to the human operator’s work.

In other words, don’t confuse this with a perpetual motion device. There is going to be some energy input, but in regions where fuel is scarce or expensive that is a relatively minor consideration. A relatively simple device like the GP210 could help provide more flexibility in terms of time, strength, and the distribution of work in a community. These are all critical factors when water needs to be hand-pumped, and often hauled by hand, too.

The GP210 takes it to the next level with the patented Feltenberger Pendulum, named for inventor and GEC co-founder Bruce Feltenberger.

According to GEC, the Feltenberger Pendulum incorporates two major improvements. One is a nearly frictionless pivot point, and the other is a moveable axle that slides in and out horizontally as the pendulum swings back and forth.

The axle is attached to a rod-and-piston pump, and there you have it.

But wait, there’s more. If needed, the GP210 can also run on conventional fuel, and GEC sells a version of it packaged with a high-efficiency water filtration system.

Bringing a Pendulum to a Gunfight

We’ve been following the U.S. military’s rapid adoption of alternative energy, so it didn’t surprise us to learn that a company called DriPowder LLC is marketing the GP210 as a general-purpose pump ideal for military use.

Somewhat ironically, the same characteristics that would make the pump attractive to the Department of Defense also come into play for disaster relief.

The GP210 requires no fuel, operates in virtual silence, and produces drinking water from practically any fresh water source. It can also be modified to hook up to a flywheel, a drill, or other small-scale hydraulic devices.

When used to power a generator, the device can produce enough electricity for laptops, LED lighting, communications equipment, and battery recharging.

For what it’s worth, the GP210 also produces no heat signature.

Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey

Elegant Pendulum Pump Could Help Third World Water Supply was originally published on: CleanTechnica