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US Pays $2B To Develop Concentrating Solar Power Projects 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-collecting-the-sun dept.
coondoggie writes "The US Department of Energy today said it was conditionally committing $2 billion to develop two concentrating solar power projects that it says will offer 500 megawatts of power combined, effectively doubling the nation's currently installed capacity of that type of power. Concentrated solar systems typically use parabolic mirrors to collect solar energy."
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US Pays $2B To Develop Concentrating Solar Power Projects

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  • by hackertourist (2202674) <hackertourist@xmsnet . n l> on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @03:40PM (#36454958)

    Actual information about the Mojave Solar Project can be found here [abengoasolar.com] and here [abengoasolar.com].
    The technology used in the MSP isn't entirely new (has been used in at least one other plant) but looks to be an incremental improvement.
    The plant features heat storage using molten salt, and won't be using fossil fuels as nighttime backup.

  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @04:28PM (#36455542) Homepage Journal
    Yeah! It's not like NASA has any current missions that are providing valuable science to our society [nasa.gov] at all. It's nothing but a worthless jobs program!

    I don't necessarily agree or disagree with the rest of your post, but please educate yourself about the space industry before commenting on it. I'm getting really tired of correcting ignorance on what is supposed to be a News for Nerds site. Thanks.
  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday June 15, 2011 @04:47PM (#36455756)

    Yes. Trade deficits, blah, blah. At the end of the day they have falling bonds and weak dollars. We have a physical plant. This reminds me a lot of the fear that people expressed when the Japanese were buying high profile buildings here in the 80s.

    This isn't an office building, nor is it a museum relic. It's not going to last forever, nor is it going to be sufficient for supplying power forever. Any kind of power plant requires well-trained people to keep it running, and if you plan to use more power in the future (which everyone should, unless you're in Detroit), then you're going to need to either upgrade this plant or build more of them. If all the expertise to do all this resides with foreign companies, then you're stuck with having to go back to them when you need to expand in the future, or if you have any big problems. This isn't a very good situation to be in with your vital infrastructure.

    The Japanese buying big office buildings isn't the same. It's pretty trivial for a company to move all its offices out of one building and into another one down the street in case the new landlord tries to double rent. Sure, it takes a bit of money to hire movers and change the letterhead and set up the cubicles and install new network cabling, but it's really not a big deal. It's a totally different matter when your power plant supplier wants 5x as much for a second plant which you absolutely need in order to avoid rolling blackouts.

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