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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 11-22-07, 01:15 AM   #1
bmclaughlin807
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Renewable energy anyone?

This is pretty much right next door to me:

http://www.9news.com/news/local/arti...?storyid=81370

Quote:
Originally Posted by 9news
Strange structure to harness the power of the sun
posted by: Jeffrey Wolf , Web Producer
written by: Ward Lucas , Anchor/Reporter

Strange structure to harness the power of the sun. 9NEWS at 4 p.m. 11/20/07
LAKEWOOD - Many motorists traveling along West 6th Avenue may have wondered about a strange aluminum structure that's been taking shape over the past few weeks.

A call to Federal Center officials revealed that it's a vast array of solar panels, one of the largest in the state.

The $6.9 million project began to take shape after voters approved Amendment 37, which required Xcel Energy to begin working with customers on sustainable energy projects.

The project at the Federal Center involves 6,300 solar panels spread over six-and-a-half acres of land.

Federal Center Director Scott Conner says the solar panels will soon generate a peak rate of one megawatt, or about 1.5 million kilowatt hours. That's about one-ninth of the total energy used by the 30 agencies that occupy 50 buildings at the Center.

"It made good business sense for us to do it," Conner said. "It's hard to find a solar project that has a payback of less than 25 or 30 years. But this one has a simple payback of 13 years."

The solar array is being installed by Sun Edison, which has done a number of similar projects across the country.


(Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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Old 11-22-07, 08:30 AM   #2
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altho its great to see solar power growing id much rather it be smaller setups on houses that feed into each other in a community.....we need to stop with the one huge power plant or one huge water treatment plant....we need to get back to more independant small communities instead of huge cities that need huge power plants...even when those power plants are windmills and solar panels

still cool tho
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Old 11-22-07, 10:09 AM   #3
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altho its great to see solar power growing id much rather it be smaller setups on houses that feed into each other in a community.....we need to stop with the one huge power plant or one huge water treatment plant....we need to get back to more independant small communities instead of huge cities that need huge power plants...even when those power plants are windmills and solar panels

still cool tho
I agree...we had a "city" planning session the other week and they were looking for any and all ideas to be put on the table. I suggested cogeneration...among a few other off the wall ideas I had. We will see if it makes the study panel or not. Most people are still stuck in the auto age and want more parking and larger roads, a few want a bus service (like we need THAT in a town of 9,000 that covers all of 12 square miles) At one time the city had it's own power plant, coal fired too, all that is there now is one of the old buildings and a substation that takes it feed from somewhere else. The old rail spur is still there but almost grown over. The bigger spur that leads to it has been federally railbanked and is currently in use as a Rails to Trails. The biggest challenge I see is the money side of it. The town is basically low wealth and it shows. We do have a decent manufacturing base with several smaller plants around that could help because they will need the power too. I also suggested some more community based things like a community garden, upgrade the community theater, library, parks, passenger rail stop, etc. Also asked what happened to the city police bicycle patrol

Aaron
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Old 11-22-07, 03:42 PM   #4
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One thing that has been crossing my mind lately is that I have to re-shingle my roof pretty soon. There are a number of solar panels that would do double duty.

http://www.oksolar.com/roof/

Not sure of the pricing, but it might be worth a look.
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Old 11-26-07, 12:27 AM   #5
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'Solar now cheaper than coal.' Check it out: http://www.celsias.com/2007/11/23/na...per-than-coal/
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Old 11-26-07, 06:53 PM   #6
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'Solar now cheaper than coal.' Check it out: http://www.celsias.com/2007/11/23/na...per-than-coal/
That sounds pretty interesting. However, the cost of a solar installation includes a lot more than the solar cells. The gizmo that allows for reverse flow of electricity being the main one. However, I understand that costs are dropping enormously every year.

So by the time my roof starts to leak, it might be affordable...

Anyone out there have a solar installation.? Love to hear what you think...
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Old 11-26-07, 07:06 PM   #7
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~snip~
Anyone out there have a solar installation.? Love to hear what you think...
I have small units on my RV's 75-150 watt range. Basically all they are good for is to keep the batteries topped up. I have been researching and planning a bigger house type system. As soon as I get the parameters figured out I will be happy to share what I have come up with.

Aaron
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