A solar system win-win

  • Article by: NEAL ST. ANTHONY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 23, 2010 - 9:38 PM

An energy installation on a Fridley warehouse complex marks two clean-tech firsts in state.

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andrewnormanSep. 23, 1010:59 PM

I'm sure it's a win for TenKsolar panels and Murphy warehouse, but what about the taxpayers who are buying the panels themselves? What's my return on investment? Less fear that the polar bears are going to be extinct? Great publicity in the paper advocating more of my money be spent on solar panels? The polar bears aren't going anywhere, the earth isn't running out of oil/coal/natural gas in 50 years and I think we can all wait until solar technology doesn't need to be subsidized by the taxpayer before adopting it.

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wiserinvestSep. 23, 1011:45 PM

Who are these people tried to kid ? Reflectors are not new. They were used in the Carrizo Plains solar plant back in the 80s and proved to dramatically shorten the life of the PV modules that were used due to increased heat production from the reflectors. Check back with Murphy in five years and see how his modules are performing. Add reflectors to any solar module on the market and you'll void your warranty. Will TenKsolar be around in 5 to 10 years to honor their warranty ?

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mrmikelSep. 24, 10 8:27 AM

isn't green without removing the gravel and replacing it with plants.

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notaxmaxSep. 24, 10 8:52 AM

The cost per 100 killowatt hours using Nuclear fuel - $1.78, using coal is - $2.14. The comparison to solar would be $45.00 and $20.00 per 100 killowatt hours. It will still work poorly if at all on cloudy days and will never work at night. Storage is a nightmare of batterys and is more destructive then current generation processes. At more then 10 times the cost it still is not viable, but maybe someday it will evolve.

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fish60Sep. 24, 10 9:14 AM

Until we get ALL costs accounted for there can't be a real price comparison. Put environmental costs into the equation, put military costs into the equation, put health costs into the equation. Put ALL costs into the price comparison and then we can have a real discussion.

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treddleSep. 24, 10 9:36 AM

Some throw out the cost of nuclear and coal but fail to include the cost of the waste. The gov't still hasnt provided a permanent storage solution to nuclear waste produced by all nuclear power plants and which is being stored on site. What was the cost of three mile island and chernobyl and for the millenia those sites will be radioactive? Whats the cost of the storage of coal waste? Remember the coal ash dam the broke in Tennessee? That slurry contained all sorts of nasty chemicals and heavy metals. What is the cost to future generations that will be caused by our short sightedness? Neither Solar nor wind by themselves are not the solution, but if those two technologies offsets having to build a nuke or a coal plant it will be worth it.

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swhansberrySep. 24, 10 9:36 AM

is right. There are costs to solar technology that this puffery piece ignores. What about the tremendously poisonous chemicals used in manufacturing solar, and in its makeup? Where will these chemicals go, and how about the energy to make them in the first place? What about the costs of displaced energies from other sources? Why not just conserve to begin with? Questions such as these then become moot.

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hobie2Sep. 24, 1010:30 AM

you use the grid as the backup - that is what makes it relatively inexpensive. You size your field to twice what you need and pump the excess back into the grid when you have light - building up credits - and draw off the grid when you don't and offset that cost with the credits..... And they do make electricity on cloudy days - the brighter the light, the more they make... On days of max grid draw - hot sun, summer, mid-day, weekday - they are at max output, propping up the grid.

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rolflindySep. 24, 1010:54 AM

The article failed to mention the cost of the installation and the thousands of taxpayer dollars need to make it viable.

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ELYMANSep. 24, 1010:59 AM

The Green Institute in Minneapolis, on about 28th and Hiawatha/55, has had a solar array on its flat room for years. I guess Neal doesn't consider that 'commercial.' Someone might want to ask them how that has been working, as they are the test in the 'real world.' Of course, their panels are older solar technology.

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