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Thread: Put solar panels along the Anthony Henday

  1. #1

    Default Put solar panels along the Anthony Henday

    Could we use solar panels to power various things along the Anthony Henday or feed power into the grid?

    The utility corridor and space alongside the Anthony Henday seems like it might be a great and convenient/efficient place to build a solar farm. It could even encircle the city. In the meantime couldn't some of the the angled berms be used for non-tracking solar panels?

    Could solar panels even offset some of the cost of building the noise abatement berms?

  2. #2
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    In France last week and there was one area off the national freeway that they had solar panels on the noise reduction walls. Not sure if it was the development behind it or the for,the freeway itself. Seemed to be a good use of otherwise wasted space.
    Last edited by booster; 25-10-2016 at 04:15 PM. Reason: spelling
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Could we use solar panels to power various things along the Anthony Henday or feed power into the grid?
    How is that more efficient than building a proper solar farm? I'm sure a proper farm would be easier to maintain (less distance, less electrical wiring, concentration / multi use of equipment, etc.).



    You might as well build a hydro damn by AHD, or a windfarm, or a gas power plant, or... I think there is a place for solar on traffic message boards and similar, but that's happening anyway.
    Last edited by moahunter; 25-10-2016 at 04:03 PM.

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    Wholesale solar panels cost around $12-14/SF of installed area. They would generate roughly 15kwh/yr/SF of installed area.

    A basic grid 100' wide by the full 80km ring road with a very simple structure to angle them to ~50deg would cost on the order $1.5Billion. It would generate enough power for 55,000 households on average.

  5. #5

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    Put solar panels along the Anthony Henday


    Why not leave it as it is. Let's try to keep areas of the Henday with some kind of green belt around it as it is. Why start cluttering the whole ring road up with solar panels. If we start doing that we may as well start putting up pop corn stands, fruit stands, cappuccino cafes, a few strip malls, oil change places, greasy spoons etc.
    It's a ring road for cripes sake not a dumping ground. Built to move traffic and goods around the city. Let's try to make the trip less cluttered.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  6. #6

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    I think it's a good idea. Totally wasted space that's reserved for utilities. Well, generating power seems like a good utility.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  7. #7

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    Generating an eyesore.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  8. #8

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    Toll booths would look a lot better to the real taxpayers of this Province.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Toll booths would look a lot better to the real taxpayers of this Province.
    "real taxpayers" ? As opposed to the unreal taxpayers?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobleea View Post
    Wholesale solar panels cost around $12-14/SF of installed area. They would generate roughly 15kwh/yr/SF of installed area.

    A basic grid 100' wide by the full 80km ring road with a very simple structure to angle them to ~50deg would cost on the order $1.5Billion. It would generate enough power for 55,000 households on average.
    Interesting. There's also areas with significant acreage. Additionally, noise studies are probably going to require berms be built. Not pretty.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Could we use solar panels to power various things along the Anthony Henday or feed power into the grid?
    How is that more efficient than building a proper solar farm? I'm sure a proper farm would be easier to maintain (less distance, less electrical wiring, concentration / multi use of equipment, etc.).



    You might as well build a hydro damn by AHD, or a windfarm, or a gas power plant, or... I think there is a place for solar on traffic message boards and similar, but that's happening anyway.
    How is it less efficient when it occupies free land? Must it be laid out in a square and occupy quality farmland?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Toll booths would look a lot better to the real taxpayers of this Province.
    "real taxpayers" ? As opposed to the unreal taxpayers?
    As opposed to the taxpayers who think the Henday is invisible.
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    How is it less efficient when it occupies free land? Must it be laid out in a square and occupy quality farmland?
    Line loss is a real thing.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    How is it less efficient when it occupies free land? Must it be laid out in a square and occupy quality farmland?
    Line loss is a real thing.
    If you are comparing an 80km circumference donut installation to a squat square, sure.

    I would think the line loss from this would be far less than the line loss from our closest generating station.

  15. #15

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    Given that our closest generation station actually exists inside the Henday, you'd be wrong.
    Last edited by noodle; 26-10-2016 at 08:43 AM. Reason: Added map link
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    How is it less efficient when it occupies free land? Must it be laid out in a square and occupy quality farmland?
    Then farm or plant forestry beside the AHD if you wanna use that land. You aren't making sense, just because the city owns a TUC doesn't mean that it has to build inefficiently on it versus a compact and efficient solar farm which can be maintained easier, will have less transmission loss, will allow multiple use of electrical components, etc. Solar farms are not cost effective anyway without government subsidies, hamstringing it by spreading out over a massive circle isn't going to improve that, its just going to make it a lot worse.
    Last edited by moahunter; 26-10-2016 at 08:47 AM.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    How is it less efficient when it occupies free land? Must it be laid out in a square and occupy quality farmland?
    Then farm or plant forestry beside the AHD if you wanna use that land. You aren't making sense, just because the city owns a TUC doesn't mean that it has to build inefficiently on it versus a compact and efficient solar farm which can be maintained easier, will have less transmission loss, will allow multiple use of electrical components, etc. Solar farms are not cost effective anyway without government subsidies, hamstringing it by spreading out over a massive circle isn't going to improve that, its just going to make it a lot worse.
    Forestry would be good because it would provide some pollution offset. (Possibly with greater efficiency since they'd be close to the source instead of planted hundreds of km away. ) The trees could be harvested, but like solar, harvesting trees in a great circle...

    Taking high quality farmland out of production, or razing untouched natural land to build solar raises interesting conflicts in terms of optimizing our environmental degradation.

    Line losses? Interesting issue. The powerlines are right there, the various users/usages are nearby. Connecting to them though? I don't know.
    Last edited by KC; 26-10-2016 at 09:03 AM.

  18. #18

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    That's not really how generation, transmission & distribution work. You can't just connect to nearby lines willy-nilly, dump in whatever voltages you want & call it a day. In order to minimize line losses, you need to increase voltages. Increasing voltages requires additional infrastructure, from substations at either end to larger, larger conductors & more ungainly poles to hold up said high voltage conductors. A long & relatively skinny ribbon of PV panels would require numerous substations along its length & an insane amount of transmission infrastructure to make it work reliably & efficiently. And then all of that would need to be maintained in perpetuity, a cost borne by all Albertans, regardless of their proximity to or benefit from the infrastructure.

    Hell, the public consultation requirements alone would doom any project through sheer bureaucratic overhead. Everyone within a few hundred metres of the TUC, the solar farms, and each & every new transmission line/substation/stitch of new infrastructure would need to be consulted in depth & people within a km or two would need to be contacted & consulted at a much lower level of scrutiny. The Heartland Transmission Project would seem like a drop in the bucket compared to this & that was a years-long consultation process in itself for what amounts to a single squiggly line basically adjacent to the city.
    Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by noodle View Post
    That's not really how generation, transmission & distribution work. You can't just connect to nearby lines willy-nilly, dump in whatever voltages you want & call it a day. In order to minimize line losses, you need to increase voltages. Increasing voltages requires additional infrastructure, from substations at either end to larger, larger conductors & more ungainly poles to hold up said high voltage conductors. A long & relatively skinny ribbon of PV panels would require numerous substations along its length & an insane amount of transmission infrastructure to make it work reliably & efficiently. And then all of that would need to be maintained in perpetuity, a cost borne by all Albertans, regardless of their proximity to or benefit from the infrastructure.

    Hell, the public consultation requirements alone would doom any project through sheer bureaucratic overhead. Everyone within a few hundred metres of the TUC, the solar farms, and each & every new transmission line/substation/stitch of new infrastructure would need to be consulted in depth & people within a km or two would need to be contacted & consulted at a much lower level of scrutiny. The Heartland Transmission Project would seem like a drop in the bucket compared to this & that was a years-long consultation process in itself for what amounts to a single squiggly line basically adjacent to the city.
    That's interesting. I know you can't connect willy nilly but thanks for all the other information. Therefore, it also seems that windmills must be highly inefficient in terms of their infrastructure requirements as they tend to be strung out over hills and dales for miles and miles.

    I guess the reality is that the concept of user pay rarely ever works while NIMBY reigns supreme.

    Well, scrap this idea. ButI did get some new perspectives on it.
    Like my idea of using solar to run our cabins, it just doesn't work. Seems that solar, wind, etc. have a long way to go (maybe decades) before anyone can sensibly adopt their usage for anything significant.




    Wind Energy Is Extraordinarily Expensive And Inefficient

    by Anthony Watts

    August 6, 2012


    Press Release
    London, 6 August: The Global Warming Policy Foundations has warned policy makers that wind energy is an extraordinarily expensive and inefficient way of reducing CO2 emissions. In fact, there is a significant likelihood that annual CO2 emissions could be greater under the Government’s current wind strategy than under an alternative Gas scenario.


    Professor Gordon Hughes (University of Edinburgh), on behalf of the GWPF, has also assessed the likely impact of wind power on household energy bills.

    In his economic analysis, submitted by the GWPF to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee, Prof Hughes concludes that meeting the Government’s target for renewable generation would increase households electricity bills by 40-60% by 2020.

    The necessary investment for this Wind scenario would amount to about £124 billion. The same electricity demand could be met from 21.5 GW of combined cycle gas plants with a capital cost of £13 billion – the latter option is cheaper by an order of magnitude.
    According to Professor Hughes, “the average household electricity bill would increase from £528 per year at 2010 prices to a range from £730 to £840 in 2020 under the Mixed Wind scenario. These figures amount to increases of 38% to 58% in the average household bill relative to the baseline under the Gas scenario. The equivalent ranges for the other scenarios are 29-46% for the More Onshore Wind scenario and 40-62% for the Future Offshore Wind scenario.”

    “The key problems with current policies for wind power are simple. They require a huge commitment of investment to a technology that is not very green, in the sense of saving a lot of CO2, but which is certainly very expensive and inflexible. Unless the current Government scales back its commitment to wind power very substantially, its policy will be worse than a mistake, it will be a blunder,” Professor Hughes said. ...

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/...d-inefficient/

    Why is Wind Power so expensive?
    an economic analysis
    Gordon Hughes
    Foreword by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne
    The Global Warming Policy Foundation
    GWPF Report 7


    To put it plainly, this means that every 10 new units' worth of wind power installation has to be backed up with some eight new units' worth of fossil fuel genera- tion. This is because fossil fuel sources will have to power up suddenly to meet the de ciencies of wind. Wind generation does not provide an escape route from fossil fuel use, but embeds the need for it. it is clear that wind power does not offer a decent alternative to fossil fuels.

    http://thegwpf.org/images/stories/gw...-windpower.pdf
    Last edited by KC; 26-10-2016 at 10:39 AM.

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