In a curious reversal of their decision a year ago, California Energy commissioners (CEC) Karen Douglas and David Hochschild recently approved the Palen solar project. The same “significant and unmitigable impacts” were cited. This project is just as damaging to the area’s cultural resources, which is why local American Indians oppose the project. Local environmentalists are still opposed. Palen still sits in the middle of a bird migration route and, according to the chapter network director of Audubon California, will incinerate more birds than Ivanpah is doing. Palen still has a negative impact on the scenic vista. This latest application does emphasize energy storage. Only now it appears the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t approve the solar receiver at the top of the tower. Approving Palen might not have been too bright, at least not until they get their facts straight.
Originally Broadcast on Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ, 89.5 FM
Audio from Thursday, August 7. The first part of that program was about a First Nations burial ground on Grace Islet in BC. The podcast below, “Protector of the Sacred Sites,” ran from 9:12 – 9:30. It revolves around the clash between solar projects and Native American Sacred sites in Southern California.
In 2010 concentrating solar power (CSP) projects like Ivanpah were heralded as the future of utility scale solar projects. Spain and the US led the World in the development of this technology. Since then, they have since largely fallen to the wayside in the wake of inexpensive photovoltaics (PV) and presently survive in niche applications. The average CSP system costs 37% to 60% more than a comparable PV system. A new report from Lux Research predicts this will continue until CSP providers develop components that operate at high temperatures, integrate low-cost thermal energy storage (TES), reduce materials and maintain system performance. Continue reading New Lux Research Report Predicts a Comeback for Concentrated Solar Power→