Arizona Solar Farm Ready to Power 70,000 Homes
A $2 billion solar farm in southern Arizona is ready to power nearly 70,000 households.
Spanish company Abengoa announced this week that its massive Solana solar farm passed a series of commercial operation tests and is ready to go live. Solana is located in Gila Bend, which is about 70 miles southwest of Phoenix. The farm has 280-megawatt capacity and is the first solar farm in the country with thermal energy storage.
The company believes Solana is the world's largest parabolic trough plant. The farm contains 3,200 mirrored trough collectors that are 500 feet long, 25 feet wide and 10 feet high. The mirrors are mounted on structures that track the sun and concentrate its heat, later transforming water into steam to power a steam turbine. The thermal storage will provide six hours of energy for use after sunset or if conditions are cloudy.
"These six hours will satisfy Arizona’s peak electricity demands during the summer evenings and early night time hours," according to the company. "Dispatchability also eliminates intermittency issues that other renewables, such as wind and photovoltaics, contend with, providing stability to the grid and thus increasing the value of the energy generated by Concentrating Solar Power."
The U.S. Department of Energy loaned Abengoa $1.45 billion in 2010. Construction of the three-square-mile farm provided more than 2,000 jobs since building began three years ago. Construction required a supply chain that spanned 29 states, the company said.
In addition to 65 full-time jobs for plant operation, Abengoa guarantees $420 million in tax revenues over the next three decades.
Arizona Public Service agreed to buy all of the electricity produced by the solar plant for 30 years through a power purchase agreement with Abengoa.
Abengoa anticipates Solana preventing about 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere each year.
Monsanto, the maker of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, filed a motion June 16 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California to reconsider the chemical's addition to California's Proposition 65 list of agents known to cause cancer.
The agrochemical giant made this move based on a June 14 Reuters investigation of Dr. Aaron Blair, a lead researcher on the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) committee, that classified glyphosate as a "2A probable human carcinogen" in March 2015.
By Avery Friedman
Algae is often considered a nuisance, but for Sweden, the rapidly growing sea plant is now an asset.
As the Scandinavian country works to cut all of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, it's using algae to sop up the carbon emissions from cement.
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."