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600 Acres and a Solar Project

imagesA posting on the Nevada Wilderness Project blog about the Silver State North Solar Project:

In the case of Silver State North, we dubbed this 600-acre project 40 miles southwest of Las Vegas “smart” because the developer was willing to gather environmental input early on to avoid complications during the formal review process. From where we sat at the review table, that was a good sign.

Well, it is a good sign – the desert tortoise was a particular concern. But I focused more on that 600 acres – that’s a lot of acres! Surely the project is producing an impressive amount of electricity.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in Nevada today to flip the switch on Nevada’ original “fast-tracked,” utility-scale solar power project – a 50 megawatt photovoltaic plant in the Ivanpah Valley.

You have to start somewhere. 50 megawatts is the rated capacity, so actual production is less than half that amount – but solar power doesn’t require turbines or water, so arrays can be situated in very remote areas, as here. Pluses and minuses - The minuses cannot turn into pluses without projects like this.

Still -

That’s a lot of acres.

You can read a fact sheet on this project here.

Panels from the Silver State North Solar Project.


Meredith Angwin said…
Solar plants require some water for washing the arrays. When the arrays get dusty, it affects output. However, they don't require cooling water, so people think they require "no" water.

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