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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.
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It's become a familiar story with the Trump administration: Scientists write a report that shows the administration's policies will cause environmental damage, then the administration buries the report and fires the scientists.
By Jake Johnson
Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.
The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.