Solar Project of the Year Winner: Agua Caliente

Here's a quick look at the winner of our Solar Project of the Year Award in our 2012 Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards Program.


March 20, 2012
There are two big issues with distributed PV- one is scale/development costs. Imagine the rat's nest of having to go home to home trying to use people's roofs, and then the legal contractual issues in having to negotiate this with each person. Technologically, you need to have access to transmission and in residential areas the grid is not able to handle utility scale power generation.
The second big issue is regulation- because of outdated laws to protect utility monopolies and reduce competition, it is illegal or infeasible in many markets to sell power onto the grid. In most places it's illegal to even string a wire across the street. So there are a number of regulatory hurdles blocking otherwise sound soluutions. That said, if you can figure out ways around some of these challenges, there are many interesting possibiilties
Terry Harrold
March 11, 2012
Logistics play an important role in the decision to mount PV systems on rooftops, to get that number of panels on rooftops would require the cooperation of a vast number of homes and businesses. Currently there is not enough genuine interest in the masses to cooperate to this scale. As for the environment, the solar farm does no harm to the environment, it emits no hydrocarbon gas, does not leak diesel fuel into the soil. They simply produce electricity cleanly. The native wildlife is not affected, and might even appreciate the shade provided by the panels. The foundations are not on a pavement so rainwater is not an issue either. I don't see the problem and if more investers like Mr. Buffet and Mr. Turner were to get involved, we would have a lot more farms out there helping us reduce our reliance on oil,foreign or domestic.
February 27, 2012
Advertising bought and paid for by First Solar.
Jack Tull
February 24, 2012
Surely there must be enough buildings with roofs exposed to the sun that can have solar panels installed rather than interfering with the environment by putting solar panels in the desert. Why not get volunteers to have solar panels installed on their roofs?
I would be very happy to volunteer my roof in Seattle. I've written to Seattle City Light about this, but got no response.

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