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Green Economy Ted_Turner

Published on March 15th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

8

Southern Turner Renewable Energy to Start First Solar Project This Month

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March 15th, 2010 by
 

Wow! Ted Turner’s newest renewable investment firm;  Southern Turner Renewable Energy has wasted no time in signing its first solar plant, a 30 MW thin film PV project they just contracted from First Solar, within months after opening their doors for business.

Construction will start this month.

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The brand new company began business last month to develop and invest in large-scale solar photovoltaic projects throughout the US Southwest.  It is a very smart alliance between CNN media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner, who owns more land than any other individual in the US, and is an avid environmentalist – and Southern Company, an energy generation giant attempting to develop a greener sensibility.

Southern had looked into CCS for its next coal plant, ultimately decided against it (greenhouse gases are only one issue with coal plants, after all, mining is still toxic) and is taking its first step into renewable energy, in converting a 96 MW coal plant in Georgia to biomass from agricultural waste.

Now the giant is moving on from biomass boilers, to trying to develop completely fuel-free renewable energy like solar – and in allying with someone who holds the solution to solar’s one problem: lots and lots of NIMBY-free land – the company is showing that this just might be a serious alliance.

For Turner, too, the alliance makes sense. As one of the wealthiest environmentalists in the US, he was previously able to invest in renewable energy, but lacked the experience to make it work.  “Southern Company’s experience in power project development, construction and operations, and customer relations help make this a strong alliance, and I look forward to working together,” says Turner.

Surprisingly, given all that private land supply, – and given the difficulties that land ownership could surmount for solar project development – the particular land in Northern New Mexico that this first project will be sited on is actually not quite on Turners land, but is right next to it.

First Solar, which just completed construction of a similar sized thin film solar project for PG&E  in California, will handle the engineering, procurement and construction.

Already the power is spoken for. The project; Cimarron I has a power purchase contract for a 25 year supply of solar power with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which supplies 44 electricity cooperatives in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Ted Turner and First Solar are no strangers. In 2007, Ted Turner sold a previous renewable business investment, Turner Renewable Energy, LLC to First Solar.

Turners holdings amount to two million acres. The new company will explore developing both his own land as well as other sites. Great start.

Source: Recharge

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Barbara

    I live in the area were the Cimarron 1 project is to be built. I hope the project begins soon, our area needs this project. The small town of Maxwell is turning into a ghost town. Due to the lack of availabel jobs our residents are moving away, taking with them the very children that our schools depend on.

    In preperation of the project Trinidad State Junior Collage contacted Tri-state and the Cimarron 1 people to find which courses they offer my son to prepair him for the coming of this solar plant. My son will graduate from TSJC with a certificate in welding. He will apply for a job at the Cimarron 1 plant as soon as the applications are availavle. Thank you Ted Turner for your investment into this renewable energy project.

  • Barbara

    I live in the area were the Cimarron 1 project is to be built. I hope the project begins soon, our area needs this project. The small town of Maxwell is turning into a ghost town. Due to the lack of availabel jobs our residents are moving away, taking with them the very children that our schools depend on.

    In preperation of the project Trinidad State Junior Collage contacted Tri-state and the Cimarron 1 people to find which courses they offer my son to prepair him for the coming of this solar plant. My son will graduate from TSJC with a certificate in welding. He will apply for a job at the Cimarron 1 plant as soon as the applications are availavle. Thank you Ted Turner for your investment into this renewable energy project.

  • ablazev

    Getting into solar is a good thing, starting with CdTe PV panels, however, is not.

    CdTe PV panels are loaded with Cadmium–ferociously toxic, carcinogenic heavy metal–whose long term behavior and safe operation in large scale fields under desert sun exposure have not been properly tested nor decisively proven. Nor are there any attempts in that direction, that I’m aware of.

    Covering thousands of acres with cheap, potentially toxic, CdTe panels, without proving their safe operation in LARGE SCALE fields during 25-30 years of continuous operation in DESERT areas, is ignorance and greed combined into one act of utmost negligence, the outcome of which somebody eventually will be held responsible for. Who will that be?

    The US and world’s scientific communities must take a close look at the fragile CdTe/CdS thin films structure, the flimsy, frame-less panels design and their interaction with, and behavior under, the harsh desert elements for the duration BEFORE allowing millions of these panels without a relevant safety record to cover Earth’s surface.

    It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of this, and any other mass produced product, with such great impact on environment and life in general!

    • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

      If you could munch through the coating and eat quite a lot of the thin-film encapsulated that would be toxic. But the DOE has taken a close look and found it is almost impossible to release cadmium from solar panels. Also you have to weigh your options. Compared it with the much higher cadmium emissions from routine coal use.

      http://www.nrel.gov/pv/cdte/pdfs/cdte_lca_review1.pdf

  • ablazev

    Getting into solar is a good thing, starting with CdTe PV panels, however, is not.

    CdTe PV panels are loaded with Cadmium–ferociously toxic, carcinogenic heavy metal–whose long term behavior and safe operation in large scale fields under desert sun exposure have not been properly tested nor decisively proven. Nor are there any attempts in that direction, that I’m aware of.

    Covering thousands of acres with cheap, potentially toxic, CdTe panels, without proving their safe operation in LARGE SCALE fields during 25-30 years of continuous operation in DESERT areas, is ignorance and greed combined into one act of utmost negligence, the outcome of which somebody eventually will be held responsible for. Who will that be?

    The US and world’s scientific communities must take a close look at the fragile CdTe/CdS thin films structure, the flimsy, frame-less panels design and their interaction with, and behavior under, the harsh desert elements for the duration BEFORE allowing millions of these panels without a relevant safety record to cover Earth’s surface.

    It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of this, and any other mass produced product, with such great impact on environment and life in general!

    • http://cleantechnica.com/author/susan Susan Kraemer

      If you could munch through the coating and eat quite a lot of the thin-film encapsulated that would be toxic. But the DOE has taken a close look and found it is almost impossible to release cadmium from solar panels. Also you have to weigh your options. Compared it with the much higher cadmium emissions from routine coal use.

      http://www.nrel.gov/pv/cdte/pdfs/cdte_lca_review1.pdf

  • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky

    Aw, cool! Makes me proud to call him a former employer!

  • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky

    Aw, cool! Makes me proud to call him a former employer!

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