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India plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farm

India plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farm.



On March 16, 2012, fourteen parties to the Distribution System Interconnection Settlement Process filed a settlement in CPUC Rulemaking (R.)11-09-011.
The settling parties represent a wide range of interests, including the state’s three Investor-Owned Utilities, IREC and various other renewable energy advocacy groups and organizations, farm associations, environmental groups and others. Considering this diversity of interests, this settlement is a considerable achievement for all those involved.
The centerpiece of the settlement is a significantly reformed CPUC-jurisdictional Rule 21 interconnection tariff. Upon launching the settlement process for Rule 21 in August 2011, the CPUC’s goal was to craft transparent rules that provide a clear, predictable path to interconnection for distributed generation while maintaining the safety and reliability of the electric grid. Following are key provisions highlighting how the proposed reforms seek to accomplish that goal:
A “Fast Track” process is introduced and designed to build on Rule 21’s successful screening process for non-export and net energy metering customers, expanding Fast Track eligibility to exporting generating facilities up to certain size limits.
A national best practice for distributed generation penetration levels is introduced, under which aggregate interconnected generating capacity can be equal to 100% of minimum load on a distribution line section. This provision is the first of its kind in the U.S.
Specific, transparent time frames for each analysis track are proposed, ranging from simplified Fast Track review to the detailed Independent Study Process.
New rules under which distributed generation developers obtain and retain queue position are set out, including publication of an integrated queue by each investor-owned utility for exporting generating facility applicants at the distribution level.
A “Pre-Application Report” is proposed as a first look at a potential point of interconnection, to assist distributed generation developers with early identification of potential technical benefits or challenges of siting decisions.
New dispute resolution mechanisms are introduced that are designed to respond to developers’ needs, including a utility ombudsman authorized to address certain interconnection-related disputes, and expedited handling of timeline-related disputes by the CPUC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.
The settlement is now undergoing Commission consideration within R. 11-09-011. The full settlement is available here: Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement Revising Distribution Level Interconnection Rules and Regulations, and includes the proposed reforms to Rule 21.

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California Free Solar
Free Solar Farms

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An article from the LA Times published in February 2012 follows below


Central Valley’s Solar Farm Rush

Tracie Cone, Associated Press

Thursday, November 10, 2011 

Fresno — Don’t call a photovoltaic power station a “solar farm” in front of Chris Scheuring.

“We all do a little spin, but calling it a ‘crop’ is like bad poetry in a sophomore English class,” says the California Farm Bureau attorney. “I should know what a crop is, and it doesn’t fit my definition of a crop.”

The question of when a farm is a farm is coming up often these days in California’s agricultural heartland, where the sunny days and wide open spaces that make it America’s most productive agricultural land are proving an irresistible mix to developers seeking to get in on the U.S. push for renewable energy.

Developers say that solar panels “harvest” the sun’s energy to turn into electricity, and that their 35-year life span is about the same as an almond orchard.

“I view this as a temporary use,” said developer Al Solis, as he made a pitch to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors last week to allow farmland planted in Asian vegetables to convert to solar.

The land rush is on, and to critics it looks like the leapfrog housing boom of the late 20th century that chopped up some agriculture regions into too-small pieces.

State laws to protect prime soils are being set aside by local governments eager to transform farm economies into the next big thing. And developers are finding it easier to persuade county boards of supervisors to tear up contracts designed to keep land in farming than to overcome obstacles placed by endangered species on undisturbed land that might be more suitable, like the non-protected portions of California’s expansive Mojave Desert.

The state needs an estimated 100,000 acres of solar arrays with today’s technology to meet its mandate that 33 percent of all energy be renewable by 2020.

“We are definitely on the leading edge of a wave of proposals for industrial solar energy on tens of thousands of acres of land,” Scheuring said. “It’s a real good time to get our signals straight about how we are going to do this on California’s landscape.”

A joint policy paper released Oct. 24 by the law schools at UCLA and UC Berkeley says that California must balance food security and energy production by identifying marginal farmland and guiding solar development to it or risk consequences. The state lost 200,000 acres of irrigated farmland to development between 2006 and 2008, and 1.3 million acres since 1984.

In Fresno County alone, where the $5.8 billion in annual agriculture production is often the highest of any U.S. county, the stakes are high. At least 32 applications for utility-scale solar projects are on file since the first one was approved in July, and four more are planned here by Pacific Gas & Electric, which gets its approval from the state. The result would be a patchwork of solar collectors scattershot across prime farmland.

Planners say they can’t recall ever having so many permit applications pending for one type of development, even in the heydays of the home-building boom.

“This is unique, and it’s pretty new,” said Will Kettler, Fresno County’s principal planner.

A bill signed in October by Gov. Jerry Brown could make marginal land far more attractive for development. The law will expedite the process by which poor soil can be developed with solar by allowing owners to more easily end their Williamson Act contracts, which grant lower tax rates in exchange for keeping the land in agriculture for 10 years.

The law should expedite development of the 30,000-acre Westlands Solar Park 60 miles southwest of Fresno, one project that has the support of the major environmental groups. All of the land is either of marginal quality or without a reliable water source, but is covered by hundreds of contracts that would have had to be undone individually.

“We can now move forward without any of the underlying risks associated with guessing how we are going to remove … private land under the Williamson Act,” said Daniel Kim, a principle in development.

Last week Scheuring filed a first-ever lawsuit hoping to close a loophole in the act, which says prime land can be developed only if no other suitable land is available. His immediate target is Fresno County, where the Board of Supervisors last month allowed the owners of 156 acres planted in melons and tomatoes to develop solar.

Critics of the supervisors’ decision point out that the region has 200,000 acres of retired land contaminated with selenium perfectly suited for sun energy.

Scheuring was motivated by an opinion from the California Department of Conservation, which advised Fresno County not to approve the project.

“There are 100,000,000,000 acres in the state and the sun shines abundantly on most of it,” the department wrote. “Electrical generation facilities do not necessarily have to be located on land with the best quality soil; however agricultural crops can only be grown on land with the best quality soil, which is a scarce and nonrenewable resource.”

Scheuring’s intent is to follow the case to the appellate level to force a statewide policy on solar development.

“It would be a strong signal to the solar industry to think more creatively about the task of siting these things within the existing mosaic of California land uses,” Scheuring said.

California Land Owners | Get a Free Solar Farm !

Generate solar power on your own land and earn $$$$$ with no cost to you at all. We provide the design, labor, and parts for your free solar farm. We are responsible for the installation and maintenance. A 20 year lease is required to benefit from the passive income generated by a solar farm on your property. Total income to the landowner during the 20 year lease period is substantial. Easy access to the land is necessary for construction and maintenance. Qualifying land needs to be adjacent to electric utility power distribution lines and within a specified distance of an electric utility substation. Contact California Free Solar for a free qualification today.

Call California Free Solar now for more information:

(209) 233-1342

Renewable Energy Programs in California

California | Renewable Energy Programs

From the California Energy Commission’s information site:

Photo of solar panel array below a blue sky with clouds

California, with abundant natural resources, has a long history of support for renewable energy.  In 2009, 11.6 percent of all electricity came from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and small hydroelectric facilities. Large hydro plants generated another 9.2 percent of our electricity.

Earlier this year Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to require one-third of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy by December 31, 2020.

Links to renewable energy programs are listed below.

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