We waited a couple of days before mentioning this development, in hopes that we’d be able to include exultations from the solar industry that Louisiana’s largest utility was coming over to their side.
Alas, silence at this development…
New Orleans will soon become home to the city’s first utility-scale solar project that not only harnesses the power of the sun, but stores it as well.
One of only a few like it in the United States, the project will pilot the integration of utility-scale solar generation and state-of-the-art battery storage technology while simultaneously establishing a benchmark for utility-scale solar generation performance in the New Orleans metro area.
“As part of our resource planning process, we are committed to studying and evaluating renewable energy resources that make sense for the customers and city we serve,” said Charles Rice, president and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. “This project will allow us to study the feasibility of utility-scale solar here in New Orleans and also the extent to which battery storage can help compensate for the intermittency of sunlight.”
On blue-sky days, the sun is at its peak between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., which is when solar panels are most efficient at converting sunlight into electrical energy. However, blue-sky days aren’t always guaranteed, and the sun’s peak doesn’t typically coincide with customers’ summer peak usage during late afternoon hours. This can be accessed from this android mobile casino site from here and android casino app.
“Here in the South, and particularly along the Gulf Coast, cloud cover and thunderstorms can pose a problem when relying on the sun for energy,” said Rice. “By combining solar panels with battery technology, we can evaluate the potential to technically and economically store and deliver solar energy to our customers when they need it most.”
The 1 megawatt project, which will be built on existing company property off Chef Menteur Highway, will consist of more than 4,000 solar panels and is estimated to be in service by late 2016. Entergy New Orleans went through a competitive proposal process to identify the preferred vendor. Every three years, Entergy New Orleans files an integrated resource plan with the New Orleans City Council that outlines how the company plans to meet customers’ future power needs.
The last IRP was filed in October 2012 and the next is scheduled for October 2015. In September 2014, the council adopted a resolution and order establishing a procedural schedule to consider utility-scale renewable technologies as part of Entergy New Orleans’ integrated resource planning process. This pilot utility-scale solar and battery storage project will help with future integrated resource plans developed for New Orleans.
“The company has worked with the council, utility committee members, advisors and other parties to come up with a workable approach to ensure renewable resources are evaluated consistently with the 2015 IRP requirements, while still maintaining safe, reliable and affordable service for our customers,” said Rice.
Entergy New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 171,000 customers and natural gas to some 105,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $12 billion and approximately 13,000 employees.
You almost get knocked over by the lack of excitement from Entergy about being forced by the New Orleans City Council, which is an even greater fountain of bad ideas than the Louisiana state legislature, to supply power through solar energy. They know that this won’t be an efficient part of their energy mix, and they wouldn’t provide an estimate of the cost for this bird-killing wonder.
A one-megawatt power generation facility is nearly nothing. It’s a science project, and from Entergy’s perspective it almost looks like an exercise in telling the New Orleans City Council, which regulates Entergy inside the city of New Orleans (the Public Service Commission regulates utilities everywhere else in Louisiana), “You want to see solar energy at work in New Orleans? Fine. We’ll build this boondoggle for you to prove how stupid it is.”
But what we don’t see, amid this Democrat-mandated triumph of renewable energy, is any reaction from the usual sun-worshipping subjects.
The Alliance For Affordable Energy? Not a word.
The TUSK people or any of the others? Nope.
We’ve got a theory as to why.
The money which backs all the solar people comes from a specific industry, and it comes for a specific purpose. This isn’t about getting the sun to replace oil and gas, or coal, or nuclear power – it’s about selling solar panels to rich people to put on their roofs and making taxpayers subsidize the sale and the subsequent function of those solar panels.
It’s about putting government money in the hands of the manufacturers and retailers of those solar panels, pure and simple.
So PosiGen and Solar City and the rest couldn’t care less that Entergy is looking into solar energy. That doesn’t push their bottom line in the least, and it certainly doesn’t help them sell more solar panels to rich people.
Thus, not a word of exultation.
So Entergy is building a solar plant, and nobody’s happy about it. Not Entergy, not the solar people, and definitely not the birds who fly around Chef Menteur Highway. Probably not the pilots who fly planes in and out of Lakefront Airport, either.