May 11, 2009 – Between trail mile marker 4.5 and 5.0 you will see new HCPV towers within SNWA River Mountains Water Treatment Facility. HCPV stands for High-Concentration Photovoltaic. These units will generate approxmiately .208 Mega-Watts to help meet SNWA power needs. SNWA is committed to generate 20% percent of its energy needs through renewable resources by 2015, which parallels Nevada’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards.
Photo below taken May 10, 2009 by Paul Grube
Southern Nevada Water Authority has provided me the following fact sheet on this installation. See below…
RMWTF Solar Panel Installation
To promote its overall goals of sustainability and green living, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has initiated a renewable energy project to generate solar electricity. The project includes the installation of photovoltaic [solar] panels on the northeastern corner of the River Mountains Water Treatment Facility. (RMWTF)
The project will initially include approximately eight 55-foot-wide by 40-foot-tall solar modules on pedestals. A close-up example of what these solar modules will look like can be viewed as you drive northbound on Highway 93/95, just past the Russell Road exit on the east side.
The panels’ anti-reflective coating will maximize sunlight utilization while minimizing light reflection. There will be no emission of excess heat, and the system will not utilize storage batteries. To maximize efficiency, the panels will gradually rotate to track the sun’s daily movements during daytime hours; however, the system will operate noiselessly.
The systems being installed are from Amonix, Inc. and are two-axis tracking concentrating solar photovoltaic units. The Fresnel lenses on the units concentrate the sun approximately 500 times on one square centimeter multi-junction solar cells. The multi-junction cells are a new technology that captures more of the light spectrum to produce more energy. The nominal rated value of the six units installed is 222 kW. During peak solar insolation days the output can be as high as 300 kW. The amount of energy the systems will produce at nominal conditions is 555,000 kWh per year. This is enough to power approximately 37 medium sized Las Vegas homes. The units will begin producing test power by the end of May 2009 with a full in-service date in mid-July when all of the data collection hardware is installed. The total installation is costing approximately $9,000 per kilowatt.
This project is part of the SNWA’s continuing commitment to enhance the sustainability of our desert community. If you have any questions, please contact Robin Rockey at 862-3405 or via e-mail at [email protected] .
What is the residential cost of a kWh in Nevada? In Michigan a residential delivered kWh totals about $0.13 (coal sourced).
At 1521.6 kWh / day, the SNWA $1998000 investment is producing $72151 worth of electricity per year (actually less than that because of maintenance, security, administrative, etc).
That is less than 3.6% return on investment. How does that compare with hydro, wind and solar turbine?
These solar panels remind me of Star Wars Return of the Jedi …..star cruisers landing on the moon of_______, with the cute little furry bears.