October 24, 2008
Australian solar company Ausra and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have joined forces Thursday to make history.
The former Hollywood action star flicked the "on" switch at Ausra's new Kimberlina solar energy facility located in the desert about 160km north of Los Angeles.
The plant will generate enough electricity to power 3,500 homes in central California.
Kimberlina is the first solar-thermal power project to open in California in nearly 20 years and continues Schwarzenegger's pursuit of renewable power alternatives for his state.
"This next generation solar power plant is further evidence that reliable, renewable and pollution-free technology is here to stay, and it will lead to more California homes and businesses powered by sunshine," Schwarzenegger said.
"Not only will this large-scale solar facility generate power to help us meet our renewable energy goals, it will also generate new jobs as California continues to pioneer clean-tech industry."
Kimberlina is located near the central Californian city of Bakersfield, the third sunniest city in the US.
The plant has a space age look, with 300m rows of mirrors designed to concentrate the sun's power on tubes carrying steam.
"Ausra has the world's first hybrid coal-solar power plant which is based in NSW, Australia, and now we have the first Ausra stand-alone facility operating in California," Ausra president Bob Matthews said.
Ausra was founded by Australian researcher Dr David Mills who developed the solar technology at a University of Sydney lab.
The company, now headquartered in Palo Alto near San Francisco, plans a larger solar-thermal plant at California's Carrizo Plain to power 120,000 homes.
© 2009 AAP
Ausra designs, manufactures, installs, and operates solar thermal energy systems for customers around the world. Amid growing public demand for clean energy, our next-generation solar thermal energy systems provide reliable, scalable, and cost-competitive renewable energy solutions for both power and industrial steam customers.
Our solar thermal energy technology is the most land-efficient in operation, is easily manufactured and installed, and serves as a hedge against volatile fuel price fluctuations and emissions regulation costs. It is part of our customers' integrated sustainability strategy for fuel and carbon market risk reduction—at competitive prices.
May 13, 2009
Maybe they should have used the old Solar Power Tower near Barstow. It was up a few years ago. Or maybe no one including the Govenor knows about it. I was fortunate enough to be driving by it as a trainee in a 18 wheeler one day. My trainer who had passed by it many times did not know what it was. The really neat thing was that all the mirrors were aimed at a point just above the tower. The combined beams of light lit up the atmosphere forming a perfect glowing halo of light.
April 9, 2009
Although I agree with using solar power, building a solar farm is wasting space that could be sued for other things. In My Opinion if solar is to be used effectively it should be built on spaces that are already used and wasted energywise to become dual use. I speak of all business & home roofs, parking lots, and highway medians, and if we build giant VAWTs maybe on top of them too. Building solar farms as more sprawl is something I think can be avoided.
April 9, 2009
"Aquatank" wrote: Although I agree with using solar power, building a solar farm is wasting space that could be sued for other things. In My Opinion if solar is to be used effectively it should be built on spaces that are already used and wasted energywise to become dual use. I speak of all business & home roofs, parking lots, and highway medians, and if we build giant VAWTs maybe on top of them too. Building solar farms as more sprawl is something I think can be avoided.
All so called, green energy, are eco disasters in their own way.
loss of trees & other animal habitat.
The damming of rivers & destruction of rivers for Hydroelectric energy.
Hmmm.... What are the negatives associated with Solar power? Maybe wind... We've had minor porblems with that, and damming rivers absolutely isn't the best thing for local ecosystems... But how about solar? As far as I can tell solar is pretty safe.
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd."
April 9, 2009