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Comments about ‘Rocky Mountain Power to develop solar project’

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Published: Wednesday, March 26 2014 4:55 p.m. MDT

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lket
Bluffdale, UT

wow finally a energy company has seen the future. hopefully it will get others to follow. they win in a few years show higher profits than other because once in place a company will make huge profit because very little money is neede once in place.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

If you replaced Rockey Mountain Power with Conoco Oil and electricity with oil, you would already have a few dozen comments from liberals whining about subsidies and how evil they are.

Ok liberals, time to show us how much you hate subsidies to big businesses. Lets hear about how evil this project is.

You do know that the only reason why this project and projects like it are viable is because the government gives away so much money.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

The article does not say how much area is required. Assuming, for the sake of discussion, that the panels are 10'x10' (much larger than residential panels), then 9000 panels would require 900,000 square feet, or about 20 acres, not counting spacing between panels, mounting hardware, ancillary equipment, etc. The total area would be somewhat larger than the panel area.

Consider, for comparison, the Wal-Mart distribution center warehouse just north of St. George. Scaling off of Google Earth imagery, it is about 1520'x680', or over 23 acres, comfortably over the above estimate for panel area. How much potential for solar is there in existing rooftops with existing infrastructure and grid connections?

Pacificorp has a storage yard at its North Temple power plant that has a few power poles but is mostly vacant. It is well over 7 acres. You can't get any closer to a grid connection than there.

I'm all for increasing renewables and solar, but why expand into new land when there is so much existing space available, if a little imagination is put to the task?

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Lagomorph" why do they need to use vacant land? Why not rent housetops to supply the land needed? Depending on the terms of the lease, I would consider renting them space on my rooftop to put a few solar panels.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

@RedShirt: My point exactly. There is so much potential space available in urban areas close to infrastructure, the grid, and consumers. Panel arrays in parking lots would serve the dual purpose of sheltering/shading cars and producing energy. Factories and warehouses could lease out roof space, perhaps trading the space for a share of the power. Residential, too, though the economies are probably in the larger installations. You wouldn't have to pay for new transmission lines from Milford or wherever because the power is produced near the point of use.

The electrical utilities need to rethink their business model and get creative. Maybe lease the hardware (panels) to the consumer, like Ma Bell did (before divestiture). Remember when we rented our phones?

BTW, did you notice we actually agreed on something?

As for your first post, don't you know that subsidies for things WE want are good, subsidies for things YOU want are bad? :)

John S. Harvey
Sandy, UT

+1 on Lagomorph's comment. Distributed solar makes much more financial sense for the rate payer. Rocky Mountain Power could "acquire" residential and commercial PV on its system for pennies on the dollar if it would just expand it's solar rebate program.

It is even better to integrate distributed PV into the system as the distributed nature of it means some of it will usually be "on" during the day, whereas if you have one centrally located project any passing cloud reduces the entire project's output.

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