Jan 2

AV Solar Ranch One: Solar on Steroids?

Posted on Jan 02, 2012 under Uncategorized | Comments are off

AV Solar Ranch One 

A 230MW solar project, currently under construction in the Antelope Valley of California.

AV Solar Ranch One, still in the early stages of construction, is one of many solar and wind energy projects proposed for the west Antelope Valley. Although AV Solar Ranch One was recently acquired by Exelon Corporation, a leading electric utility provider, the facility will be built, operated and maintained by First Solar. We happen to live near this facility, and I couldn’t resist snapping this photo on the way by, during our New Year’s Day outing.
This photo was taken from the corner of California State Route 138 and 170th Street West, facing NW. Pictured here is only a small part of the entire project. Solar Ranch One will be on an irregularly shaped tract of land covering both sides of highway 138, and both sides of 170th Street West, covering an area approximately 2 miles by 1-1/2 miles. Not so pretty is the prison-like fencing which is being constructed to secure the entire complex. Though polite, the security guard who came over to discuss “photography guidelines” with me did not seem pleased with my interest in the site.
I am a fan of solar energy, but I am not a fan of mega-projects like these. My biggest objection to large solar and wind energy projects is the huge tracts of land they spoil. At least First Solar claims that they “will utilize low-profile solar panels to preserve scenic vistas,” which is one-heck-of-lot better than wind energy companies can proclaim, with their towering wind turbines defacing entire mountainsides!
I prefer a decentralized approach to electric power generation. I much prefer seeing solar panels on south-facing residential roof tops; or in rural settings, a few wind turbines scattered here-and-there throughout the countryside. Of course, I am a big proponent for electrical backup systems, particularly solar backup systems, to decrease our sole dependence the electric grid, individually and collectively.
Investment in solar energy is a wise decision. In recent years, the cost-per-watt for installed solar has been dropping, while the cost of energy has been increasing. Throw in government incentives, and it’s not much wonder that individual consumers and energy companies alike are suddenly interested in implementing solar energy solutions.
I look forward to continuing the discussion of these cost benefits in the next post at My Solar Backup Depot. Feel free to submit your comments on the issues mentioned here, or any other issues relating to solar backup systems. To comment on a particular post, simply click on that post’s title, and scroll to the bottom of the page where it says, “Leave a Reply.”

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