Wind pricing beat expectations, 3.1GWh asparagus, & more! #41

Today from the Clean Power Hour, we discuss the development of a global power grid, wind pricing that beat expectations, an asparagus farm that generates electricity, a new whitest white, and more! This excessive commentary is brought to you by Tim Montague and yours truly – the CommercialSolarGuyJohn Fitzgerald Weaver.

First, here’s the podcast – now onto the news:

global power grid map

NordLink – the “green cable” – between Germany and Norway is now fully in operation

…I’m very jealous that the Europeans seem to know how to build complex projects that go under the ocean on time and on budget. Plus the above image, from this link, is an image of a global power grid’ layout.

’623 km long; 1,400 MW capacity at ± 525 kV; Offshore: 516 km submarine cable; Onshore: 54 km underground cable (Büsum – Wilster/Schleswig-Holstein) and 53 km overhead line (Vollesfjord – Tonstad/NO)’’

First Video of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter in Flight, Includes Takeoff and Landing (High-Res)

…This is cool, the first human flight on another planet. And it just so happens to be solar powered with lithium ion batteries.

NASA Picks SpaceX for Artemis Human Lunar Lander Development

…First, it’s cool as heck that we’re going back to the moon. Second, really interesting process: SpaceX won’t deliver the astronauts to space – but pick them up at the ISS and transfer them to the moon and back.

The agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket will launch four astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft for their multi-day journey to lunar orbit. There, two crew members will transfer to the SpaceX human landing system (HLS) for the final leg of their journey to the surface of the Moon. After approximately a week exploring the surface, they will board the lander for their short trip back to orbit where they will return to Orion and their colleagues before heading back to Earth.

French photovoltaic greenhouse delivers 3.1 GWh and 4 tons/hectare of asparagus in one year

Four years after the commissioning of this 33,000m² greenhouse, our feedback is positive, with a yield of four tons/hectare for this first year of growing green asparagus from Provence, after a period of diversified cultivation including zucchini, turnips, [and] sweet potatoes during the first three years and a production of 3.1 GWh of green electricity, which is the equivalent of the consumption of 700 households, excluding heating

Solar panel innovation is much more than efficiency

…we specifically brought this article up in reference to a discussion last week about the differences of working with the new larger solar panels on the market. Note the above image, and how Trina considered explicitly how the solar panels might fit in the shipping container.

Spec pages note that each pallet can be stacked 30 modules high, and that a 40′ container can hold 600 modules total. That’d be a total of 303,000 watts per shipping container. This number is more than 50% greater than historical values, meaning the cost of shipping solar modules has fallen by that much.

Solar PV Panels tightly packed into a shipping container

Pennsylvania solar farm land lease rates: Q&A

Pennsylvania solar farm land lease rates have risen. Community solar projects, of approximately 15 acres, are now generating land lease payments of $20,000 per year for 25 years.

Time-lapse installation of wind turbine at Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre located just off the north east coast of Scotland in Aberdeen Bay

…The boat here is called a jackup rig – for obvious reasons that you’ll see shortly.

B2Gold commissions world’s largest off-grid solar plant

During the daytime, the new 30 MW solar plant allows three out of six heavy fuel oil generators to be shut down; the energy production of the residual three generators could also be significantly reduced. The 15.4 MWh battery storage compensates energy generation fluctuations and assures a reliable operation, which allows up to 75% of the electricity demand of the gold mine to be covered by renewable energy during the daytime.

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments Completes Financing of 79-Megawatt Assembly Solar III Project

…The story here isn’t really about this specific solar power plant, but is instead about Tim being proud of a local boy turning into a financial wizard, who is now moving heavily into renewable energy.

D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI), a leading provider of cost-effective renewable energy across North America, today announced the financial closing of Assembly Solar III, a 79-megawatt solar project in Lennon, Michigan.

Expert elicitation survey predicts 37% to 49% declines in wind energy costs by 2050

…Wind power cost projections going forward via interviews of industry experts, lots of cool research – but check out this one image below. The last time these interviews occurred – everyone was wrong and undershot projections. What should we think about these current projections?

We show that experts in 2020 expect future onshore and offshore wind costs to decline 37–49% by 2050, resulting in costs 50% lower than predicted in 2015. This is due to cost reductions witnessed over the past five years and expected continued advancements. If realized, these costs might allow wind to play a larger role in energy supply than previously anticipated. Considering both surveys, we also conclude that there is considerable uncertainty about future costs.

Wind pricing beat expectations. Results from the 2015 expert elicitation compared with recent published estimates of realized LCOE

The whitest paint is here—and it’s the coolest. Literally.

…I wonder how much this material on a commercial rooftop would increase albedo and thus bifacial solar panel generation.

‘barium sulfate – the reflective materials – particles are all different sizes in the paint. How much each particle scatters light depends on its size, so a wider range of particle sizes allows the paint to scatter more of the light spectrum from the sun.’

Robotic solar panel installation

…It’s an old video, and I don’t think anyone globally is installing this way, but it’s something to consider from a vision of potential. Last week’s show highlighted 5B – which is sorta kinda like this technique.

Power companies urge Biden to implement policies to cut emissions 80% by 2030

Washington should implement policies, including a clean energy standard, or CES, to ensure the electricity industry cuts carbon emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2030, the group of 13 power interests, including generators Exelon Corp (EXC.O), PSEG(PEGPP.UL) and Talen Energy Corp, said in a letter to Biden.

And now, the podcast:

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About John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.