Bigger is not better.
Many have long believed that when it comes to solar energy construction,
the bigger that the generation facility is built, the lower the cost per kilowatt to the
ratepayer. And that to economically meet the solar power needs of the future, vast solar
farms in remote areas are necessary.
That dinosaur thinking has been turned upside down and debunked.
Large solar facilities in the desert are not necessary.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
In a study last year by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR),
power production and cost data for 12-sizes of solar power generation were compared, from
residential to 1,000 megawatts. It was revealed that massive projects like the one
at Ivanpah and the proposals for Daggett and Newberry Springs have no cost advantage to
ratepayers over that of rooftop solar (distribution solar) and that large facilities
While supersized facilities may, by mass production, be a cheaper way to
produce power, a California
by Crossborder Energy substantiates that the cost of transmission and management
of the power to the purchasing consumer eliminates any economic advantage of
remote solar production.
Furthermore, when the ILSR study considered residential rooftop solar,
it found that the production cost of power used on-site matches very closely to that
of massive remote solar facilities.
Additional rooftop benefits.
The Crossborder study further analyzed the financial value of the
rooftop installation costs (acquisition, installation labor, permitting and interconnection,
and permit fees) being spent locally. At this point, from a community standpoint,
the benefits from rooftop solar tips the scale to rooftop.
The ILSR study concludes that there is absolutely no consumer
advantage in building larger than 10 to 20 MW.
In comparison, the existing solar facility on Mountain View Road
in Newberry Springs is 3 MW and the Ivanpah $2.2-billion facility is capable of 392
MW. The Daggett project is proposed at 650 MW and the Newberry Springs' Minneola
project is proposed at 200 MW.
As previously referenced in a Community Alliance's News Blog,
a UCLA study has concluded that the Los Angeles region has more than sufficient rooftop
space to handle 100% distribution solar for its future needs without importing energy
from the desert or outside the state.
Currently, only corruption is winning.
When building larger, the regulating powers need to consider
who is benefiting from the greater cost to consumers. The Public Utilities
Commission should do its job and favor the maximum public benefit. Destroying
the desert environment with photovoltaic panels is bad public policy.
At the present time, the tail is wagging the dog. Corruption in
Washington is feeding taxpayer money to foreign corporations to build massive
solar fields in exchange for campaign contributions. Corrupt state and county
entities are likewise ignoring the factual data and lining their pockets.
Rooftop solar makes more sense.
Rooftop solar does not present the power failure and the terrorist
opportunities posed by large-scale solar. Taxpayer taxes should be returned to
homeowners to improve their own properties and to improve the local tax base value
of their homes. U.S. taxpayer money should not be enriching foreign corporations
that defile the American landscape.
We need incorruptible politicians that will champion America's
landscapes and who will protect the American people's best interests.
More local jobs are created with rooftop solar.
It should also be noted that the jobs created by utility-scale solar
construction go mostly to highly skilled out-of-state professional workers that travel
the country quickly installing utility-scale projects. Very few construction jobs
go to locals.
So yes, many short-term jobs are
created, but the work and money mostly go to outsiders. Rooftop solar,
on the other hand, is performed by local companies and labor who
recirculate the money locally, stimulating the local economy.
Some politicians, like San Bernardino County Supervisor Robert Lovingood,
seem preoccupied with the job creation numbers, and not observant that some solar jobs
prevent or destroy other existing jobs (like tourism) and ruin the quality of people's
If the county insisted that renewable energy goals be met by
distribution solar over utility-scale solar, more local jobs would be created.
More labor is required establishing rooftop solar than that of solar farms.
The costs level-out as the land is already acquired with rooftop solar.
The biggest cost equation may be medical.
Being totally ignored are the known health hazards of constructing
utility-scale solar facilities in the desert, especially in Sand Transport Paths.
With the continued population growth in the desert, the number of medical claims
against the County and utility-scale companies will be substantial. As the solar
facility ownerships are often flipped numerous times, and ownerships elusive, the County
will be a principle target for its negligent failure in protecting the public's health.
Credit: This news blog is a synopsis and commentary that is partially derived from an ILSR
released March 18, 2018, on solar scale comparisons. A second good reference is
here. Click on
both links for a greater insight on the topic.