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Solar tracking system to power geothermal plant

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solar tracking system to power geothermal plant

Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), located in Roseville, CA and SPG Solar, located in San Rafael, CA have announced that they will join forces to build one of the largest solar arrays on the West Coast, near the City of Clearlake.

This is going to have far-fetched uses. To begin with, The 1 megawatt single-axis solar tracking system will provide renewable energy to an existing pump station that supplies the NCPA Geysers Geothermal Energy Plant near Middletown, CA. The near future (September 2008, to be precise) would see the photovoltaic array being used to collect solar power to pump wastewater into the geysers, which will, in turn, be used to generate renewable geothermal power. Replacing grid power to operate the pump station with a nonpolluting fuel source will also assist the state in meeting its greenhouse gas emission goals. Replacing grid power to operate the pump station with a nonpolluting fuel source will also assist the state in meeting its greenhouse gas emission goals.

Let’s take a look at the compositions, works and strengths of the array. The $8.2 million installation consists of 6,300 solar modules that will produce 2.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power 300 homes and offsetting nearly 800,000 lbs of carbon dioxide per year. The solar plant will supplant PG and E-provided grid power that had been powering the pumps. The NCPA Geysers Geothermal Plant uses wastewater from Lake County and injects it into the geothermal reservoir. The reservoir converts the wastewater into steam, which is used by geothermal power plants to produce electricity.

Jim Pope, NCPA General Manager, sounds very positive about the project. He says,

The significance of this project is the creative use of clean energy and a system design in which we will deploy one renewable energy source to power another. This solar investment demonstrates our continued commitment to investing in environmentally responsible resources, reducing our carbon footprint and lowering costs for our utilities and public power customers.

Steve McKenery, SPG Solar Vice President of Commercial Development, adds that solar power can be used for large-scale industrial, or in this case, energy generating applications.

Via: Energy Daily

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