$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 76.14

5,176 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
32.6% of Goal | 28 Days Left

Support:

Shawn Fox
United States
Richardson
Texas
flag msg tools
Question everything.
mbmbmbmbmb
So earlier this year SolarReserve brought their Crescent Dunes plant online. We have talked about the Ivanpah plant on here before (power output has been disappointing). Unlike Ivanpah, Crescent Dunes stores energy using molten salt. Ivanpah directly heats up water which causes any interruption of light to result in reduced output and prevents the plant from producing power after dark (except by using natural gas just like a normal gas power plant).

The Crescent Dunes plant can produce 110MW at full power, but to run 24x7 it has to run at around 60% of that. In July they proved it was possible to run the plant 24x7 by running it for 120 hours straight. Normally it does not operate that way as it is more profitable to run the plant for fewer hours (in the evening) at higher output when power is in peak demand and let it shut down at night when power is in lower demand.

So SolarReserve and the financial markets have been happy with the results and now the company is in the process of building more plants, both in the US and in other countries. Cost projections are that future plants will be both more efficient and cheaper to build that the first one was. They are currently in the design phase (both in the US and in other countries) for new plants which can produce an amount of power equivalent to a typical nuclear plant.

Article about the Crescent Dunes plant:
http://www.powermag.com/crescent-dunes-24-hours-on-the-sun/

Plans to build a much larger plant in Nevada:
http://www.pv-tech.org/news/solarreserve-plans-2gw-csp-plant...
6 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J.D. Hall
msg tools
Impressive! In Oklahoma, the transition is more toward wind-generated power (yeah, yeah, "the wind comes sweeping down the plain"). As of this month, Oklahoma is 3rd in the union in power generated by wind. Doubt I will see it before I die, but it looks more and more like my grandchildren will never know about gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. Good for them!

Any news on those attempts to generate power through hydraulics (ocean waves and currents)?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Shawn Fox
United States
Richardson
Texas
flag msg tools
Question everything.
mbmbmbmbmb
Something to point out with the molten salt concentrated solar power is that it currently is more expensive (by quite a bit) to build and operate the plants compared to fossil fuel energy sources. That said, the crescent dunes plant is profitable at 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour when all costs are included (which isn't true of nuclear despite the claims that nuclear is the future). Future plants would be profitable at lower prices.

The main point to me, however, is that it is possible to produce renewable power 24x7 at a reasonable price point. The 13.5 cent cost is in the same range that fossil fuel based power cost 10 to 20 years ago, so it is economically viable. While it might be cheaper today to use fossil fuel, this method proves that it will be possible for the economy to function even when we do, inevitably, run out of fossil fuels. Whether we run out of fossil fuels 5 years from now or 500 is immaterial to the conversation.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J.D. Hall
msg tools
And like everything in capitalism: the more units sold, the more units made, the more the cost comes down. Eventually it will go below what carbon-based fuels cost to generate power.

Doesn't mean oil and gas will go away. We might be able to make cars and certainly trains run on renewable sources, but we're a long way away from powering ships and planes with it. Not saying we won't get there, but they will be among the last to switch over. Still, every little bit of carbon that doesn't go up into the atmosphere is a victory.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.