Could NextEra Sue the NREL?

Amazing as it seems, some of those most angry about religion and faith-based movements seem to give their support for causes on faith alone, it seems such a contradiction, but apparently not for them. Among these people are many elected officials in my State of washington, they are cocksure that anything touted as green is good. In their world, very complex topics can be rendered simple within the hour.   

We might take a survey at the local Mall, and ask people about the DOE’s mission, why they were formed in the first place, and what their mission should be?

I’d expect about 45% of the people surveyed to say that the Government knows where best to spend our money, fact is, a portion of this group may not even understand it’s our money they spend.

But among the other 55%, how many will think to use real investments, and real relationships the DOE, (NREL) has forged to study the DOE’s effectiveness? How many would rise from their seats and condemn such an effort, and why?

We’ve all bought products that have fallen far short of the advertisements and marketing hype. Many of us expect our Government to produce more useful products, or perhaps better yet, to stay out of the role of making products for our consumption.

My opinion, NextEra bought a power plant Marketed by the NREL, as I said, they stopped just short of using dancing girls to help market the Amonix 7700 trackers according to my measure.

What we have now is a field  full of Amonix 7700 trackers that are actually on line, and in service! Yes, this is the NextEra power plant at Hatch, New Mexico.  No doubt in my mind that NextEra could have been influenced by the DOE’s strong endorsement of the product in their decision to invest.  

I couldn’t find any healthy skeptical comments at the DOE  about any phase of the Amonix 7700 production, use of materials, where they planned to deploy the technology, etc. Perhaps I missed something, let me know in comments if you will..

So.. how’s this power plant doing, and does anyone care?          

http://www.nrel.gov/news/features/feature_detail.cfm/feature_id=1491

With the strong endorsement the NREL gave the product, would we expect that they had reviewed the design, and felt reasonably assured the product would deliver a value to the customer close to the promises made by Amonix?

If the NREL hadn’t made this level of investment in studying the product, why would they endorse it? My thought today.. is no one will care, and how sad I think that is.  Will NextEra care if this power plant is found to provide far less value than advertised? Will they have any avenue to seek compensation?

GB

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to Could NextEra Sue the NREL?

  1. Bill Knighton says:

    Can we get the price for these 7700 cpv trackers? That’s frustrating me as I try to do simple math on alt energy concepts when all you have to go on is press releases and jubluent regurgitations on the green power sites. It’s said these are contributing to the deptment of energy’s goal of $1/watt. What does that mean? Are they at $2 now or $20?

  2. Bill Knighton says:

    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/office_eere/pdfs/amonix_sbir_case_study_2010.pdf
    Here is said their mega module potentially reduces cost to below $3/watt. Their use of the word “potentially” means that it was not near $3.

  3. Bill Knighton says:

    Here is a good story about a guy who drove to alamosa to see their 7700 cpv power plant in action. He also has some statistics. $4-$5 per watt. This may be a link that is already on utterpower. My web browser says I’ve been there before but I don’t remember it.
    http://guntherportfolio.com/2012/02/in-search-of-the-cogentrix-alamosa-solar-cpv-project/

  4. Sort of off-topic for your latest post, but I discovered a really interesting site that has some real time and animated historical data on the North American power grid. It’s at:

    http://fnetpublic.utk.edu/
    Especially, the ink:
    http://www.youtube.com/PowerITLabUTK

    Last item:
    I worked for a company that made a LOT of microfilm readers, reader-printers, etc.
    Almost every design had a nylon gear somewhere in the geartrain, generally to reduce noise. In every case, that gear failed long before the rest of the machine showed any significant signs of wear or obsolescence. So, in every case, we replaced that gear with one made of either steel or bronze. I was there for over 30 years and they still kept making them that way. Now, of course, microfilm has just about gone the way of the dodo bird.

    • George B. says:

      Pete, thanks for your post.. the gear failure.. the reasons for the action, so many engineers are forced to address design critera in a certain order, and all capped by cost :-) I’ve left you links in place, thanks.. g

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