Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thunderstruck At The Planned Size For This Thing

I picked up a copy of the Navajo Times, and started reading about a new solar power plant being planned out on the Res. The fact that it's so close to the Bisti Badlands (dinosaur heaven), and the simple size of what they are planning floored me:
Preliminary data collected by California-based Tetra Tech has determined that the Navajo Nation could help meet the energy demands of the future with a proposed 4,370-megawatt solar project at the Paragon Bisti Energy Renewable Ranch in the Eastern Navajo Agency.

...Prosuch added the proposed solar project has the potential for "world-class greatness," when 17,360 acres of the 22,000 acre ranch are producing 4,370 megawatts of energy from solar panels. The power produced by the project would nearly equal the entire new photovoltaic production in the U.S. this year, according to the U.S. Photovoltaic Installation Forecast of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

It is, by far, the largest renewable energy project currently being planned in the country, according to data supplied by Tetra Tech.

..."You don't just go up there with jumper cables," he said, explaining that Site I is ideal for development because it's close to the Bisti 230-kilowatt substation, transmission line and on the right-of-way of U.S. Highway 371.
That's 27.125 square miles of photovoltaic surface! If it was a square surface, the square would be 5.2 miles on a side! In comparison, the entirely-too-large city limits of Albuquerque is 181.3 square miles. That's 15% of the size of the city.

That's too damn big for one power plant!

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