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Telluride Energy develops hydro
projects which take advantage of
existing infrastructure including
dams, canals and pipelines.
Innovators continued from page 14
losses along the high-voltage DC cable means the wind farms can be
farther offshore in a better wind resource. And we’ll have black-start
capability, meaning we can reboot the grid if something onshore
takes it out. We’ll have better energy security with a high-capacity
line buried 6 feet, in parallel to existing lines. And all of this taps just
a tenth of the potential we see there.”
Needham sees a future for similar trunk lines wherever a rich wind
resource lies close to load centers. The mid-Atlantic coast comes first
because it constitutes the biggest load center with the highest energy
prices. But he can see similar projects working in the shallow waters
of the Great Lakes and possibly the Gulf Coast. The Pacific Coast is
problematic because of its deeper waters.
Going forward, Google sees more opportunities for renewable
energy investments. “If we don’t find it attractive, we won’t do it,”
Needham said. “We don’t have to be in the space.” He cycles back to
Google’s own long-term need for cheap clean energy. “Our goal is to
see renewable energy deployed widely and cheaply. We want to get
more renewable energy onto grids at the lowest possible cost.” ST
In “Solyndra and the Shakeout” (November/December issue) we
misstated the cost of polysilicon at the top of its arc, and therefore miscalculated its price drop. The text should read “Three and a half years
ago, when the cost of polysilicon approached $250 a pound, Solyndra’s silicon-free product was a hot commodity. …By the time Solyndra’s application was approved in March 2009…polysilicon prices
had dropped by about 85 percent.” We apologize for the error.
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Copyright © 2012 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.