Posting in Energy
What does a 32-megawatt solar project really look like? Check out these aerial photos of the Long Island Solar Farm, which started delivering power to New York households this month.
The Long Island Solar Farm, a 32-megawatt project at the Energy Department's Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, was officially "turned on" last week. The project is made up of 164,312 solar panels and according to officials it also boasts the smallest footprint for a solar array of its output.
To get an idea of what that means -- and looks like -- check out these aerial photos of the project. In the first photo below, the Brookhaven National Laboratory is located on the left.
Some projects facts:
- The solar farm can generate 50 gigawatt-hours of energy a year, enough to power about 4,500 households;
- BP Solar crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules were used in the project. The company built and will operate and maintain the installation;
- BP Solar and MetLife co-own the solar farm through Long Island Solar Farm LLC or LISF.
- Long Island Power Authority has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with LISF;
- The energy produced under the agreement is expected to cost $298 million (including interconnection costs) over the contracted 20-year term. That's about $0.60 per month for the typical residential customer.
The Long Island Solar Farm installation is part of the largest solar energy project in the state of New York, according Brookhaven lab, LIPA and BP Solar.
Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory
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Nov 21, 2011
Nice....we plowed under 400 hundered acres of Pine Barrens to provide electricity to ~4,500 Homes?! I don't think you need to be a mathematical genious to figure out that this does not work on our Island with limited open areas. BTW I'm guessing Solyndra did not provide the panels. Apparently only China can manufacture them at reasonable cost. Please don't start a Wind Mill project, I actually like having birds around.
Placing these solar farms in areas that are useful for other more important purposes (forests, housing, agriculture) is not very practical. Build them in desert areas that have no practical use. Not only will they produce electricity very effectively, they will also give shade and allow plants to grow beneath them.
The other cost that I never see identified is the cost of the backup. These cannot replace and eliminate traditional sources as they still need to be around for the times that the solar plant cannot deliver.
I wonder how many Kwh of energy a forest of trees would store up in sequestered carbon? Admittedly there would be a harvesting delay, but many tons equivalent of CO2 would be kept in solid carbon form, with much of the O2 released back to the atmosphere. Once it had stabilized the continuous cropping and replanting would be self maintaining - unlike the PV panels. Would the energy harvested eventually be comparable to PV? But I suppose the commercial case for PV is made by the suppliers of the panels. It is a pity trees make themselves; there's not so much profit in it.
It would be good to see the true cost of each source, but we need to be including environmental and health costs. The nuclear and coal industries tend to conveniently fail to include the government subsidies, the interminable management of highly dangerous waste products, and the health cost of the pollution they cause. In fairness, solar and wind must also include manufacturing, operating, and disposal costs.
KIndly publish the details of the subject of Project cost per KW/ MW & running cost/ KWh (unit) What is the pay back period?
A very impressive use of expensive land. Now, what is the plant output in megawatts per square foot as compared to a fossil or nuclear fueled power plant? Also, what is the cost per megawatt of energy generated when compared to other fueled plants? Sure, solar and wind powered plants have wonderful merits, but at this point are very, very expensive. We need to see some true cost comparisons and how the costs are moving as these plants develop. Bottom line is the true cost per kilowatt hour to the public, without any subsidies or similar.
I never found out the name, but I saw a solar farm while flying into Atlanta a few months ago. We flew over it on approch maybe 5 - 10 miles before landing. It cannot help the plant much to have airliner shadows on it every 5 minutes for a few hours a day. Our shadow was very impressive on a sea of blue panels.
Yes, they do lose efficiency due to UV exposure. Fortunately, technology is rapidly advancing and there are now solar panels that can convert more than 33% of the sun's energy into electricity. As the efficiency increases (and the prices drop) it will be more feasible to install panels on building roofs. Soon, it will bring a smile to your face when you see your electric meter spinning backwards and helping to offset the cost of your regular electricity.