Tag Archives: Palen

Approving Palen may not have been too Bright

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1In 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.

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Protector of the Sacred Sites

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PMOriginally 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.

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New Lux Research Report Predicts a Comeback for Concentrated Solar Power

By Roy L Hales

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 3.43.47 PMIn 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.
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California Energy Commission On Palen’s Negative Impact

California Energy Commission On Palen’s Negative Impact on the desert’s sensitive plants and animals, CO2 emissions, & Native American sacred sites

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The California Energy Commission’s environmental analysis of the Palen CSP project is only the most recent of many set-backs for a company that many think of as the flagship of Obama’s Industrial solar fleet. According to the executive summary, the negative impacts on “Cultural resources,” “land use,” and visual resources all need to be mitigated.
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