Tesla Becomes Cheapest Source of Electricity in Hawaii

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Musk’s company continues to make great strides in power matters, and his latest feat is producing renewable energy for less per kilowatt an hour than fossil fuel power stations on the island of Kauai. Basically, the setup uses Powerpacks to grab energy in the day and reserve it for nighttime, when—duh—there isn’t any sunlight to exploit. Hawaii intends to be completely powered by renewable energy sources by 2045.

    …once the sun goes down solar panels become pretty useless. But Tesla and Hawaii have a solution that'll use the sun's rays both day and night using Powerpacks built at the Gigafactory. The Kapaia project is a combination 13MW SolarCity solar farm and 53MWh Tesla Powerpack station on the island of Kauai. In partnership with the KIUC (Kauai Island Utility Cooperative) the project will store the sun's energy during the day and release it at night. The station (along with Kauai's other renewable resource solutions including wind and biomass) won't completely keep the island from using fossil fuels but it will temper the need.
     
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  2. tikiman2012

    tikiman2012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    What happened to that kid that came up with solar panels that can capture ultra violet light years ago for his science fair project? That's what we need.
     
  3. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Isn't that how solar panel farms are setup anyway?

    It would be pretty stupid to not use a solar setup without batteries.
     
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  4. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Cheapest electricity provider in Hawaii is like saying skinniest sumo wrestler in Japan.

    The problem I see with solar, is where do you put big farms so that they aren't an eye-sore? Hawaii is beautiful and land is hugely expensive. I would have thought that geo-thermal would be the way to go.
     
  5. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well they better hurry with that super tight deadline of almost 30 years....
     
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  6. Cobra

    Cobra 2[H]4U

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    It kind of makes sense they want to be 100% renewable. It is a great test of existing technology because they are so small. If they can't do it, who could?
     
  7. Terpfen

    Terpfen [H]ardness Supreme

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    Tesla is a second tier energy company. Meaning, they do not generate energy, they package it. They basically build big batteries that others fill for them. While the commercialization of battery power is great, especially to replace things like diesel generators for homeowners, it's not particularly impressive in and of itself.

    The biggest thing to happen to energy in the last 20 years is oil shale, not Tesla.
     
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  8. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

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    You'd think they'd be able to do something with all of those volcanos. Tons of free energy just sitting there waiting to be used.
     
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  9. marcoi

    marcoi [H]ard|Gawd

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    they need to populate the moon with solar panels and batteries then enable wireless charging for the whole planet.
     
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  10. ChoGGi

    ChoGGi [H]ard|Gawd

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    Been around for a bit longer than 20 years, just crude oil has been cheaper for the past while.
     
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  11. leeleatherwood

    leeleatherwood [H]ard|Gawd

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    No, that's only feasible for small setups like a home or on a ranch or something.

    Solar farms in the MW+ range generally don't store energy, the ones that do use molten salt.
     
  12. Wrecked Em

    Wrecked Em [H]ardness Supreme

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    Hawaii has had several multi-megawatt solar installations for about a decade. I find it very hard to believe that Tesla's is the first to cost less than local fossil fuels.
     
  13. PaulP

    PaulP Gawd

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    Hawaii has too many people and not enough acreage for solar power to make sense. Even if you have enough storage to run off of at night, you still need to produce that power during the day in addition to meeting the day-time power demand. Nuclear makes more sense in their case. For tropical islands with smaller populations, solar PV makes a lot more sense.
     
  14. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    this

    all those sources of heat and no uses???

    what in the fuck?
     
  15. Pez

    Pez [H]ard|Gawd

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    Wasn't there a concept for water-based solar farms? Just floating bunches of panels several miles out, connected by underground cabling?
     
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  16. amddragonpc

    amddragonpc [H]ard|Gawd

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    Elon compared it to fossil fuel source? That wasn't hard. Hawaii has alot of wind turbines. Compare it to that, Elon.
     
  17. Terpfen

    Terpfen [H]ardness Supreme

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    Of course it's been around longer than 20 years. The point is that advancements allowed oil shale to be more economically extracted on a larger scale, particularly due to fracking. That's the big energy revolution going on right now, not battery packs from Tesla.
     
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  18. jiminator

    jiminator Capt Obvious

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    eh, solar has made huge strides the past few years. wind, not so much. battery technology has also vastly improved in terms of density and recharge capability. There are like almost continuous announcements on both these topics so the future is looking really good in that area.
     
  19. EchtoGammut

    EchtoGammut 2[H]4U

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    The University of Hawaii has been doing this for a number of years in a long-term research project studying how to better optimize energy distribution. This is a pretty well-documented project, so I am surprised there is no mention of it in this article. One of the parts of this project is they have been installing solar panels on people's homes, then using advanced grid and local battery storage to optimize power distribution.
     
  20. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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  21. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    when did batteries become renewable? Just curious.
     
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  22. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ [H]ardForum Junkie

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    can't li-on batteries be recycled?

    same with lead acid batteries.
     
  23. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I dunno man, those remote islands get storms like you wouldn't believe from time to time. There's no nearby landmasses to slow any developing systems, so when they hit, they hit HARD.

    So that seems kind of a precarious idea, compared to a land based facility that you can build pretty beefy.
     
  24. Tweak42

    Tweak42 Gawd

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    Many people don't realize the state of Hawaii is a chain of separate islands, each having different population density, economic wealth and power grids demands.

    Kauai is far less populated, doesn't have any major industrial factories, and farther out from any active volcano so geothermal is questionable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  25. tikiman2012

    tikiman2012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Solar panel roofs. No more power companies.
     
  26. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    Most houses can't support their power consumption with solar panels alone. Most houses don't have the storage capacity to store excess for the night either.
     
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  27. jiminator

    jiminator Capt Obvious

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    keep in mind most existing solar is not intended to replace power, just reduce it during times of heaviest consumption (daytime). the powerwall should start to change things
     
  28. tunatime

    tunatime 2[H]4U

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    Build a few reactors and be done?
     
  29. jiminator

    jiminator Capt Obvious

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    can't imagine that would ever be allowed in hawaii, also costs to build there would probably be prohibitive.
     
  30. tikiman2012

    tikiman2012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Are you willing to keep the waste at your house?
     
  31. MikeTrike

    MikeTrike [H]ardness Supreme

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    Speaking of solar energy capture and storage for night use...

    upload_2017-3-9_18-34-35.png
     
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  32. Tweak42

    Tweak42 Gawd

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    Environmentalist aside, it would have to be built on the big island where there is more land, less people, and higher altitude to avoid tsunamis. Then it would require 300+ miles of undersea high voltage lines to connect to the other islands. So definitely cost prohibitive.


    We can't even get 1 new reactor built on the mainland much less multiples. Hawaii only has population of 1.5mill spread across 6 islands. By comparison NYC has 8.4mil.
     
  33. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    Mirrors in space that reflect the sun beams back down to a panel in Hawaii to generate electricity.


    Because if you watched Stargate, you'd know tapping geo-thermal power near an inactive volcano will reactivate the volcano. ;P
     
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  34. tybert7

    tybert7 2[H]4U

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    Oil shale is only a temporary fix, long term the vehicle fleet WILL electrify. And that is where solar is a boon since you keep getting "free energy" from the sun.
     
  35. CacaSapo

    CacaSapo Limp Gawd

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    Notice that nowhere is cost mentioned, ROI will be 100 years on this thing. lol
     
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  36. dgz

    dgz [H]ardness Supreme

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    Sounds like it would be a disaster for marine life. Terrible idea all around imo.
     
  37. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    Better idea. Those wind farms that sit several miles off the coast. Put some solar panels on them.
     
  38. Terpfen

    Terpfen [H]ardness Supreme

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    Everything is temporary. This goes without saying. Meanwhile, oil shale is more efficient than solar.
     
  39. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    Almost all fossil fuels are more eifficient than solar because fossile fuels are basically solar power, except somebody else has done all the hard work of collecting that solar power and storing it in a very convenient form. It's like being handed fully charged batteries over and over again. It's not hard to see why our entire society has been built on various fossil fuels.
    Tesla owns solarcity. Solarcity manufactures solar panels.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2017
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