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New aerial images of Apple's planned NC fuel cell, solar farms emerge - Page 2

post #41 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

I hope the thing is tornado proof.

It probably will not only be tornado proof, but will be a tornado maker as well!
post #42 of 141
Spy photo journalism. This is what Wired has become? Pavarazzi to Apple's celebrity. Taking aerial and guessing what it is.
post #43 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGJ View Post

... I still fully support nuclear energy. ... Japanese government were just stupid to place such a facility in a zone near an earthquake zone. whereas in Britain, the biggest earthquakes we get are 2.7 on the Richter scale.

I find this to be an unnecessarily offensive remark that makes little sense.

All of Japan is an earthquake zone.
This doesn't make all the Japanese people automatically "stupid" for using nuclear.
post #44 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcasey View Post

You should tell the people in japan that nuclear power is the cleanest power around..its strange the govt. has closed down all nuclear power plants and are now looking for new sources of power, that does not require perm destroying japan and wipe out its people.

This is just lies and nonsense.

Not only is this not true (the government's reaction), but it implies the existence of a huge problem with nuclear power in Japan that also simply doesn't exist.

Please resume watching FOX.
post #45 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Well let's hope they got some great deals on those solar panels during the auctioning off of Solyndra, that, along with the purchase of a few Chevy Volts to traverse the complex ought to make it the greenest fuel cell, solar farm in NC... Well, except for all the missing green trees, shrubs, and grass... </facetious>
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Does your pastor assign you to make these sillyass remarks - or the kool aid party?
post #46 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is just lies and nonsense.

Not only is this not true (the government's reaction), but it implies the existence of a huge problem with nuclear power in Japan that also simply doesn't exist.

Please resume watching FOX.

Do you have even the slightest appreciation of how close Japan came to an unmitigated disaster that would have permanently destroyed not only their country but much, much more, including large swathes of the west coast of the North and South American continents? There were six China Syndromes that nearly came into being. Six! Why? Because even one of those going China Syndrome would have knocked out the cooling systems for the other five!

And don't pull that "Fox News" crap either. Just because some right wingers have pulled the wool over the eyes on some weak intellects on the left, that doesn't mean we're all susceptible. Nuclear has huge problems. Japan proved that beyond even the shadow of a doubt. And any environmentalist with half a brain knows that.
post #47 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The appropriate opportunity cost of capital to benchmark this - or any other - project is not the return on cash.

While that's normally true of most companies, it's not really the case for Apple. They have mountains of cash sitting around and they are not in a position where they have to choose between alternatives.
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post #48 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Do you have even the slightest appreciation of how close Japan came to an unmitigated disaster that would have permanently destroyed not only their country but much, much more, including large swathes of the west coast of the North and South American continents? ....

Sorry and no offence, but if you actually believe this junk you need to see a doctor.

Everything you say here is either completely false or wildly, (emphasis on the "wildly"), exaggerated. I'm not going to spend the time arguing it with you as it would be pointless.

Edit: I thought you were the same person on the first post since you replied to my reply. To be clear, the first person's post is completely inaccurate and just full of made up stuff. The second post here is more like 95% wild, wild, wild, exaggerations with just a soupçon of lies.
post #49 of 141
Apple's datacenter must be up and running as close to 100% of the time as possible. Apple can't rely on Amazon's servers for this. The only other option is to build your own and diversify your energy source to the extent possible.

It's a business decision to have an upfront cost for downstream reliability. If people perceive that Apple is reliable then it will payoff with more customers down the line, including corporations and at the state and federal level.
post #50 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What the country needs is diversication into alternate sources of nuclear power. The unfortunate reality is that almost every single research dollar for future nuclear systems goes into one system. A system by the way that has seen little success in the last 25 years or so. Instead we need to get the government to fund a diversity of possible paths to new nuclear energy systems.

Wow, more government spending on energy??? Did we learn nothing from Solyndra'??

2.7 Billion down the rat hole, so far...
http://forums.charlotteobserver.com/?q=node/15715

Let the private sector invest in energy that works.. About the only thing the government is good at is throwing $850,000 parties in Vegas...
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post #51 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacQuest View Post

It probably will not only be tornado proof, but will be a tornado maker as well!

Nothing above ground is Tornado proof.. But they don't have that many in NC..
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post #52 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMGS View Post

Nothing above ground is Tornado proof.. But they don't have that many in NC..

I'm sure tornados don't reach into the stratosphere. We need an iCloud city.

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post #53 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

How much more will it cost to maintain all those solar cells and biogas than just buy some mass produced energy from the local power company? One of these days all these little extra expenses are going to add up and Apple will find themselves unable to compete.

Apparently Apple has written agreement to sell the local electric company the electricity generated by this to help them meet there green power requirements and that would help offset the cost of the maintenance and up keep of these two plants.
post #54 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This doesn't make all the Japanese people automatically "stupid" for using nuclear.

I never said the Japanese people were stupid.
post #55 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

While that's normally true of most companies, it's not really the case for Apple. They have mountains of cash sitting around and they are not in a position where they have to choose between alternatives.

That statement is wrong, with all due respect. While 'cash' is generally worth cash when it's sitting around, the only true measure of the opportunity cost of cash when it used for something -- anything -- is the cost of capital, regardless of the amount that is sitting around. The actual cost of capital of a particular investment will, in turn, depend on the returns you can get on risk-equivalent investments elsewhere.

I didn't write the rules of finance.

In this particular case, however, the cost of capital may be tough to measure, since there are aspects to this investment that go far beyond just the purchase price of grid-delivered electricity foregone. It is, however, not what the cash currently earns.

That's about all I wish to say about it. Have no interest in getting into an argument over this!
post #56 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

Do you have even the slightest appreciation of how close Japan came to an unmitigated disaster that would have permanently destroyed not only their country but much, much more, including large swathes of the west coast of the North and South American continents? There were six China Syndromes that nearly came into being. Six! Why? Because even one of those going China Syndrome would have knocked out the cooling systems for the other five!

And don't pull that "Fox News" crap either. Just because some right wingers have pulled the wool over the eyes on some weak intellects on the left, that doesn't mean we're all susceptible. Nuclear has huge problems. Japan proved that beyond even the shadow of a doubt. And any environmentalist with half a brain knows that.

Actually, you're the one that needs to read up more about this. The failures were fundamentally man-made, resulting from a long chain of poor decisions. It was a very poorly maintained plant, and all kinds corners were cut over the past few decades. Then they tried to hide these fact, and blamed it all on the earthquake and tsunami (the preparations for which, it also turns out, were woefully lacking). There is a ton of evidence out there if you want to look.

And the fact that it is a first-generation nuclear power plant just made it worse. It's like a car built in the early 70s that is still on the road -- think about how far the technologies have come since then.

Today's nuclear reactor technologies --3rd generation -- are remarkably safe. That is simply a fact. Fourth generation reactor technologies coming on stream are even more so.
post #57 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMGS View Post

Wow, more government spending on energy??? Did we learn nothing from Solyndra'??

2.7 Billion down the rat hole, so far...
http://forums.charlotteobserver.com/?q=node/15715

Let the private sector invest in energy that works.. About the only thing the government is good at is throwing $850,000 parties in Vegas...

You're exaggerating the role of the government based on a handful of investments -- in a long list -- made by the DoE.

You're also exaggerating the role of the private sector. The experience of the US private sector in solar has been worse in the past 18 months. Chinese manufacturers have been cleaning their clocks. IOW, the private sector was as flatfooted, if not worse, in investing in "energy that works."

About those parties.... unfortunately, the 'private sector' has been an equal opportunity offender -- while we're at anecdotes, remember Dennis Kozlowski's multimillion dollar toga birthday parties?
post #58 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The problem can be clearly bee seen in the waste of land in these photos. Solar electric has its uses as supplemental power if incorporated into a acolytes structure. Here we see over a hundred acres wasted for a facility that will never cover all of the facilities energy need. That is an incredibly sad sight to see.

In a nut shell the mad rush to solar electric will result in far more environmental damage than any other source of so called green energy. This is the problem amply demonstrated by the arial photos. Frankly it is far more damaging than strip mining as at least the land can be turned back to nature after resources extraction.

I'm all for better sources of energy but covering the planet in solar electric plants is one hedious thought.

It is tough to see dozens of acres of farmland consumed for the largest non-utility solar installation in the country. But let's not overreact. Consider oil shale, or strip mining for coal, or even hydroelectric (Lake Powell drowning Glen Canyon, anyone?). These technologies destroy thousands of times the acreage of solar. And, unlike solar, the damage of coal and oil shale extraction extend far beyond simple land use.

It is preferable (though not ideal) to locate solar plants in desert areas, which are both sunny and less rich as habitats (although also precious). The Desertec Foundation calculates that ALL of Europe's electricity could be generated by solar located on less than 1% of the Sahara (see http://www.desertec.org/en/global-mission/ ). And the work on this project is now underway. We need to do the same in the USA.

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post #59 of 141
The last thing we need to do is to turn this into a political discussion but the references in this case where valid and signify the corruption and ethical problems in the solar electric industry. Frankly the Obama administration isn't the only one to get suckered by these guys, they just fell big time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eideard View Post

Does your pastor assign you to make these sillyass remarks - or the kool aid party?
post #60 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

That statement is wrong, with all due respect. While 'cash' is generally worth cash when it's sitting around, the only true measure of the opportunity cost of cash when it used for something -- anything -- is the cost of capital, regardless of the amount that is sitting around. The actual cost of capital of a particular investment will, in turn, depend on the returns you can get on risk-equivalent investments elsewhere.

I didn't write the rules of finance.

Obviously not - you're too busy misunderstanding them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost
Opportunity cost: "In decision making, Opportunity Cost is the difference between the net value of the path which was chosen and the net value of the best alternative which was not chosen."

Apple has $100 billion sitting around doing essentially nothing. They have more than they need for any possible acquisitions or investment in the business. Therefore, the best alternative is either to let it sit in a 1% return investment or distribute it to shareholders. Either way, the alternative is to earn 1% interest or to give it to the shareholders - which means a zero percent return.

A typical solar installation, the payback period is around 10-20 years, so there's a 5-10% annual return (assuming no energy price increase).
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post #61 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Obviously not - you're too busy misunderstanding them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opportunity_cost
Opportunity cost: "In decision making, Opportunity Cost is the difference between the net value of the path which was chosen and the net value of the best alternative which was not chosen."

See sentence 4: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/site...iew0/chapter2/ from Brealey & Meyers (which, btw, is likely the most widely used finance textbook in the world).

It's a summary from Chapter 2. Not one of the advanced chapters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

A typical solar installation, the payback period is around 10-20 years, so there's a 5-10% annual return (assuming no energy price increase).

Actually, payback and expected return depends on the scale (capacity), location, and whether it's PV or CSP. There is no "typical."
post #62 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

See sentence 4: http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/site...iew0/chapter2/ from Brealey & Meyers (which, btw, is likely the most widely used finance textbook in the world).

It's a summary from Chapter 2. Not one of the advanced chapters.

You're ignoring the fact that Apple is an unusual company in an unusual situation. They have essentially unlimited resources within the context of what it costs. As I said - in most cases, you'd compare what else the company could do with the money.

But in Apple's case, they already have the resources to do anything they wish, so your definition isn't meaningful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Actually, payback and expected return depends on the scale (capacity), location, and whether it's PV or CSP. There is no "typical."

I'm in that business. It most certainly is possible to define a typical figure considering that we already know the location and the size and the type.
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post #63 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

.... so your definition isn't meaningful.

It is not my definition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I'm in that business. It most certainly is possible to define a typical figure considering that we already know the location and the size and the type.

If so, can you point me to a decent financial analysis of a 20MW solar PV project? I am curious as to how you arrived at the 5% - 10%. Seriously (i.e., not trying to be snarky or argumentative).

Add: You can PM me if you do wish to share the data publicly.
post #64 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Apple is doomed.

I just think a company should watch their costs, that's all.
post #65 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcasey View Post

You should tell the people in japan that nuclear power is the cleanest power around..its strange the govt. has closed down all nuclear power plants and are now looking for new sources of power, that does not require perm destroying japan and wipe out its people.

Tell the people of the Gulf states how clean off shore drilling can be. Or bats and birds how safe wind is.
post #66 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

It is not my definition.



If so, can you point me to a decent financial analysis of a 20MW solar PV project? I am curious as to how you arrived at the 5% - 10%. Seriously (i.e., not trying to be snarky or argumentative).

Add: You can PM me if you do wish to share the data publicly.

I'm not going to share any of our customers' information, but it's easy enough to google it. You have to be careful because some people are claiming ridiculous numbers without having any data (as little as 1 year and as much as 200 years). Make sure you trust the source. Also, make sure it is recent because solar costs have been declining at double digit rates.

One example:
http://money.msn.com/business-news/a...05&ID=14855366
"Most systems have a payback period of 10-15 years. Using Solar3D cells, the payback period can be reduced to 6-9 years"

My used of 10-20 years is therefore pretty conservative. If the payback is 10-20 years, that's a 5-10% annual return. The return, of course, becomes shorter if energy prices increase and becomes longer if energy prices drop. The former is more likely.
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post #67 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I just think a company should watch their costs, that's all.

And Apple is doing so. They are very cash-rich right now and have more money than they know what to do with. Investing some of that cash to provide (essentially) free energy in the future is a pretty wise investment.

However, if you're not happy with the way Apple invest their money, just don't buy their stock. Problem solved.
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post #68 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


Add: You can PM me if you do wish to share the data publicly.

Ugh. Of course I meant "...if you do not wish to...."

Hopefully that was obvious.
post #69 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I don't care how the tree huggers whine about it. I think the clear-cutting of pristine land that supports ecosystems to install acres of solar arrays that take immense resources and some of the nastiest environmentally-damaging chemicals to manufacture just so some eco-huggers and claim "green" is a bad idea.

I really want to believe in green energy and I hate coal-burners, but the reality is that this is more PR to shut the mouths of eco-whiners than anything else. What we need seriously is more investment in alternative energies, especially nuclear. Someday, I'd love to include fusion but that most likely will not happen in my lifetime.

If we can produce small-scale nuclear reactors that are just big enough to power huge centers like these, using modern technologies and safety protocols, that would just pave the way for more advanced units down the road.

If environmentally-friendly solar panels can be manufactured, and with increased light-energy ratios, sign me up. I'd love to see every rooftop, both personal and commercial fitted with solar panels like these with serious government incentives as well. All those millions of acres of empty rooftops would do much better than razing acres of habitats.

I'll most likely get flamed for this but the world cannot sustain itself with solar and wind. Anyone believing otherwise needs to approach me to purchase that bridge I'm selling for $1.

And how is storing nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years Even being considered as a sane solution? Oh yeah, I know, its recyclable, bla bla bla, meanwhile, California kelp is now contaminated with radioactivity frm the Fukishima disaster a year ago.
post #70 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

I'm not going to share any of our customers' information, but it's easy enough to google it. You have to be careful because some people are claiming ridiculous numbers without having any data (as little as 1 year and as much as 200 years). Make sure you trust the source. Also, make sure it is recent because solar costs have been declining at double digit rates.

One example:
http://money.msn.com/business-news/a...05&ID=14855366
"Most systems have a payback period of 10-15 years. Using Solar3D cells, the payback period can be reduced to 6-9 years"

My used of 10-20 years is therefore pretty conservative. If the payback is 10-20 years, that's a 5-10% annual return. The return, of course, becomes shorter if energy prices increase and becomes longer if energy prices drop. The former is more likely.

I've seen detailed, current numbers for installations in the 500 - 1000kW capacity range, and the delivered price of electricity needs to be about 18 - 20 cents per kWh -- with subsidies (which are in danger of disappearing) -- for it to break even. I assume it's (obviously) lower for 20MW, but still much above current average for grid-delivered electricity (about 11 cents/kWh).

The 5% - 10% therefore seems high.

Yes, panel prices have been plummeting, but it's only about 40% of costs. Installation and inverter costs have stayed the same or risen.
post #71 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

And how is storing nuclear waste for tens of thousands of years Even being considered as a sane solution? Oh yeah, I know, its recyclable, bla bla bla, meanwhile, California kelp is now contaminated with radioactivity frm the Fukishima disaster a year ago.

Did anyone die?
post #72 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Did anyone die?

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...135859288.html
post #73 of 141
What is the average lifespan for a nuclear plant? Meanwhile, solar PV installed on US space stations and satellites are still operating since the 1950s.
post #74 of 141
Quote:

You're kidding, right!? This is the kind of embarrassing cr4p that is getting the good (science) thrown out with the bad.

It's a travesty.

See http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...a-death-study/

PS: As an FYI, the Scientific American is not some right-wing rag.
post #75 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

What is the average lifespan for a nuclear plant? Meanwhile, solar PV installed on US space stations and satellites are still operating since the 1950s.

The US has about 110 nuclear power plants (the largest number of any country in the word), average age 30+ years.
post #76 of 141
Quote:

Is that a reliable article? I had not heard of 14,000 deaths in the US due to fukushima.

Are the conclusions widely accepted or are they controversial?
post #77 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

Is that a reliable article? I had not heard of 14,000 deaths in the US due to fukushima.

Far from it. See above.
post #78 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The US has about 110 nuclear power plants (the largest number of any country in the word), average age 30+ years.

For reference, most existing plants were licensed for 30-40 years. As a plant nears the end of its design life, it is possible to do a life extension project which involves extensive modifications to get an additional 10 years (it is possible to get multiple extensions for a plant, so there is no absolute maximum life).

However, as the plant gets older, the cost of maintenance increases and the cost of a life extension project eventually becomes uneconomical. One way or another, we need to have a plan to replace the existing nuclear plants, most of which will be taken out of service over the next 20-30 years.
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post #79 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

For reference, most existing plants were licensed for 30-40 years. As a plant nears the end of its design life, it is possible to do a life extension project which involves extensive modifications to get an additional 10 years (it is possible to get multiple extensions for a plant, so there is no absolute maximum life).

However, as the plant gets older, the cost of maintenance increases and the cost of a life extension project eventually becomes uneconomical. One way or another, we need to have a plan to replace the existing nuclear plants, most of which will be taken out of service over the next 20-30 years.

And what an incredible economic opportunity that will be, considering each one will cost $5B - $10B to build.

Think of all the upstream and downstream business opportunities! Everything from Caterpillar tractors, to computers and control systems, to engineers,........ One could go on.
post #80 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

A good facility designed to reduce energy usage will use less than 30 kW per square foot (daily average). That would put the total energy usage at roughly 15 MW for this data center, with the peak usage occurring during daylight hours. Now, the solar system has a peak output of 20 MW, but taking into account nights, cloudy days, etc, they probably average only about 30% of that - or 6 MW. So the solar system can probably provide closer to 40% of the total power usage, not 9.8%. And if Apple is using state of the art methods to reduce energy usage, the power usage could be even lower, so solar might providing even more of the total.

Based on your 30 kW psf estimates, Apple's data center would average 15 GW of power. A typical data center uses about 200W per square foot.
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