[Byron, California USA]
Furious construction activities seen at the 3 MegaWatt (MW) GV1’ (prime) Concentrating PhotoVoltaic (CPV) project.
|From GreenVolts GV1: Rising Sun – Part 2|
Approaching the GV1’ site from Mountain House Road, I could already observe new structures. I delayed visiting after GreenVolts GV1: Rising Sun because of the rainy California winter and my mending broken toe. Early Saturday afternoon, ground preparations were in full swing by the Remedial Construction Services, L.P. (RECON) team.
First, there are now two (2) completed tilt and roll style dual axis trackers each with sixteen (16) arrays. In turn, each array appears to have 16 (sixteen) GreenVolts, Inc. GV-235 230W Concentrator PV Modules, eight (8) mounted east and west of the primary tracker axis respectively. There are four (4) control units mounted on the trackers and what look like central inverters alongside. I estimate 117.8 kW (kilowatt) of CPV capacity has been constructed so far. Many concrete footers have also been prepared at the site for additional trackers. Given the above calculations, around fifty-one (51) trackers will be needed to develop the 3 MW GV1’ project.
As I walked up and then back down the public Kelso Road to photograph the project from different angles, a RECON safety officer and a co-worker approached me. I was not sure what to expect, but my actions were beyond reproach. I addressed their questions, identified myself, and we struck up a conversation about the project.
After a double take, I said the arrays were not tracking the sun. The RECON folks said they had seen the arrays tracking on a regular basis, and a power line was being moved as part of their site preparations. I understand the trackers will fill the leased land at Kelso Road spaced about 40 feet apart. When I later looked for a revised GV1’ site plan at the Alameda County Community Development Agency website, the GreenVolts webpage was gone although there were meeting minutes (GREENVOLTS, INC.,/KUHN, PLN2010-00126) “to consider adoption of a Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration (SMND)”.
At maybe twelve (12) feet or 3.66 meters high, the new tilt and roll tracker is much taller than the original, low profile CarouSol design. Instead of visual impact, discussions by the East County Board of Zoning Adjustments focused on land use mitigation including landscaping for a high fence:
and Mitigation Measure 18-4-E Ag Resources Plan, to require 20 acres, instead of a 1:1 ratio, of prime farm land, a minimum of seven acres of which be included under the physical footprint of the solar array portion of the site, cultivated with plant and/or animal crops, with a time period of three years of project completion. Member Goff seconded the motion which carried 2/1 with the Chair dissenting.
The GreenVolts GV1’ development is bulldozing ahead. But how much testing has been done to validate the new GreenVolts design? I did not see a single GreenVolts representative at CPV-7, let alone a paper, poster, or presentation. A renewed GreenVolts patent search results in nothing once again. Perhaps GreenVolts has taken steps to hide their patent applications for as long as possible or maybe they just don’t need no stinkin’ patents!
Speculations aside, it is clear GreenVolts has a fetish for round binary numbers.