Your View: Letters to the editor (June 17)

Full story: Las Cruces Sun-News

Thanks to Teri Mattleson for her idea on the use of solar panels on a parking garage for the Visitor's Center.

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OTinCO

Aurora, CO

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#1
Jun 17, 2011
 

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Dear Mr. Egan:
How much power does a solar array produce when the sun is not shining? Also, what is the payback time for the Solar Arrays used? And, who pays the up front costs on these solar arrays?
If I could see the cost/return ratio, and the ammortization time for the installation, then I could judge if it is cost effective or not. Could you please answer my questions, or refer me to an unbiased cost effectiveness assessment of this group of products?

“Just the Facts, Ma'am”

Since: Aug 09

Las Cruces, NM

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#2
Jun 17, 2011
 
Mr Egan:

The wind farm, eventually to be 100 MW, will be lucky to have a 25% capacity factor based on its location, so the eventual 100 MW rated capacity will be like installing something reliable that could produce 25 MW around the clock. Oh, and all the power is contracted to go to APS in Arizona.

The 50 acre solar PV array, being installed by PNM south of Deming, is identical to the one that just went live in Los Lunas. It's rated for ... 5 MW, but because it uses fixed panels, the actual annual average output will be ...~1 MW. Do you know what 1 MW average annual output looks like? About one-fourteenth of one fully-loaded coal railcar.

The only reason either of these facilities wer built is because of AZ and NM's renewable energy standards. We would have to 1,799 more 50ac solar arrays to replace the output of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station at high noon, and we would still need SJGS for night time, cloudy days, mornings before 11 am and afternoons after 1 pm. Solar and wind power reduce the fuel requirements for coal and NG-fired power plants, but you cannot decommission them.
SC visitor

Las Vegas, NV

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#3
Jun 17, 2011
 

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When you push your pencil doing the cost effectiveness study for solar, don't forget to factor in with Solar we don't need armies and expesnive military hardware trodding all around the middle east to protect our solar energy supply, like we do with oil..... we don't have to kiss the Saudi's ring to keep the sun shining, or topple dictators to keep the sun flowing our way...

“Just the Facts, Ma'am”

Since: Aug 09

Las Cruces, NM

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#4
Jun 17, 2011
 

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SC visitor wrote:
When you push your pencil doing the cost effectiveness study for solar, don't forget to factor in with Solar we don't need armies and expesnive military hardware trodding all around the middle east to protect our solar energy supply, like we do with oil..... we don't have to kiss the Saudi's ring to keep the sun shining, or topple dictators to keep the sun flowing our way...
(a) less than 2% of oil used in the US is used to make electricity, so solar power will not reduce oil imports because you can't charge electric cars or run electric trains/subways at night using solar power.
(b) nuclear power is not imported from the middle east, and can power all the electric cars, trains and light rail that you want,
(c) most of the solar PV panels used in the US are produced in China,
(d) China controls 95% of the world's "rare earth" minerals, used for making very powerful permanent magnets, like the ones in the hard drive in your computer and in wind turbine generators.
(e) algea-based biofuels can be ramped up to produce significant amounts of liquid fuel.
aa jondo

Williamsburg, NM

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#5
Jun 18, 2011
 
Paul Lindsey wrote:
<quoted text>
(a) less than 2% of oil used in the US is used to make electricity, so solar power will not reduce oil imports because you can't charge electric cars or run electric trains/subways at night using solar power.
(b) nuclear power is not imported from the middle east, and can power all the electric cars, trains and light rail that you want,
(c) most of the solar PV panels used in the US are produced in China,
(d) China controls 95% of the world's "rare earth" minerals, used for making very powerful permanent magnets, like the ones in the hard drive in your computer and in wind turbine generators.
(e) algea-based biofuels can be ramped up to produce significant amounts of liquid fuel.
All of you folks have convincing arguments and your research is great. So much so that if both were combined, and the goal of making it all work together were adopted, we could come up with a solution to our problem which we see going on forever unless a cooperative solution is found. Too big of a solar project amps up costs, reduces efficiency. We need to lessen the increased use of coal and NG, so that our future generations do not run out. Technology is advancing toward an end of our current dependency, and we will see better efficiency in use of all systems. I read in our local paper that a small community of about 80 people in Sierra County is trying to get a solar power plant for themselves. Their claim is that smaller is better, and getting small communities like theirs off the main grid allows more electricity for industry and large metropolitan areas. Their are lots of good ideas and activity going on, which will together come up with solutions to our energy problem.

Since: Sep 08

Albuquerque, NM

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#6
Jun 18, 2011
 
I find cloudy old Germany's explosive use of solar remarkable! This all began with individual units favorably fianced and installed on local rooftops.

Germany's solar photovoltaic (PV) industry now employs more workers than the steel production sector in the USA says Germany Trade and Invest.

The German solar PV industry now provides 100,000 jobs.
Approximately 75% of European solar panels are manufactured in Germany along with other components such as as solar inverters. Nearly half of all solar inverters produced in the world are made in Germany - home to well known brands such as SMA and Fronius.

Germany Trade and Invests says record-breaking domestic demand has been the main driver of the industry, with 7.4 GWp of PV capacity installed last year.

Political support for solar power is unwavering and industry players are already preparing for innovative new business models. Now is an excellent time to invest in Germany.

The German solar PV industry installed nearly a quarter of a million individual solar power systems last year and solar panel generated electricity contributed 12 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2010.

Interesting reading:

From New Scientist last Oct: Solar power could crash Germany's grid http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2082784...

From WaPo 2007: Cloudy Germany a Powerhouse in Solar Energyhttp://www.washingtonpos t.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2 007/05/04/AR2007050402466.html

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