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.
Britain's Prince William interviewed famed broadcaster David Attenborough on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland.
During the sit-down, the 92-year-old naturalist advised the world leaders and business elite gathered in Davos this week that we must respect and protect the natural world, adding that the future of its survival—as well as humanity's survival—is in our hands.
What's more, the accounting firm predicts that another 21 million electric cars will be on the road globally over the next decade due to growing market demand for clean transportation, government subsidies, as well as bans on fossil fuel cars.
By Matthew Savoca
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans has become a global environmental crisis. Many people have seen images that seem to capture it, such as beaches carpeted with plastic trash or a seahorse gripping a cotton swab with its tail.
Greenland is melting about four times faster than it was in 2003, a new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found, a discovery with frightening implications for the pace and extent of future sea level rise.
"We're going to see faster and faster sea level rise for the foreseeable future," study lead author and Ohio State University geodynamics professor Dr. Michael Bevis said in a press release. "Once you hit that tipping point, the only question is: How severe does it get?"
Finally, some good news about the otherwise terrible partial government shutdown. A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot issue permits to conduct seismic testing during the government impasse.
The Justice Department sought to delay—or stay—a motion filed by a range of coastal cities, businesses and conservation organizations that are suing the Trump administration over offshore oil drilling, Reuters reported. The department argued that it did not have the resources it needed to work on the case due to the shutdown.
Most people have heard of the Amazon, South America's famed rainforest and hub of biological diversity. Less well known, though no less critical, is the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland.
Like the Amazon, the Pantanal is ecologically important and imperiled. Located primarily in Brazil, it also stretches into neighboring Bolivia and Paraguay. Covering an area larger than England at more than 70,000 square miles, the massive wetland provides irreplaceable ecosystem services that include the regulation of floodwaters, nutrient renewal, river flow for navigability, groundwater recharge and carbon sequestration. The wetland also supports the economies of the four South American states it covers.
By Andrea Germanos
Organizers said 35,000 people marched through the streets of the German capital on Saturday to say they're "fed up" with industrial agriculture and call for a transformation to a system that instead supports the welfare of the environment, animals and rural farmers.
By Patrick Rogers
If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.