Susan  Kraemer on Muck Rack

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Freelance Journalist

Independent renewable energy correspondent. Exclusive in-depth coverage for @cleantechnica @CSPToday @REWorld @PVInsider @W_E_Update and more

Crescent Dunes curbs Avian risk after standby algorithm change — SolarReserve has seen no bird deaths at its 110 MW Crescent Dunes CSP project in Nevada since it changed the standby algorithm on the plant, Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve, told CSP today. SolarReserve has now experienced almost four months with no avian mortality at its 110 MW Crescent Dunes CSP project in Nevada, after changing the algorithm for aiming heliostats in standby position, Smith said.

"Bird-Killing Solar" Falls Short of Foes' Kill-Rate Hopes — Clean Power Far from the "28,000 fried birds!!" touted by desert solar opponents, the Ivanpah solar power tower project yielded only 695 actual avian detections in its first year of operations.

One weird trick prevents bird deaths at solar tower power plants — Sorry about the clickbaity title, but as it turns out, the solution to a serious problem discovered last year at Ivanpah - the first solar power tower in the US - actually has turned out to be "one weird trick." Below is the exact problem, and how the problem was solved.

Designing renewable contracts that value CSP storage — Instead it is testing pilot projects using batteries at utility-scale, even though it must be obvious to bean counters at utilities that batteries are never going to compete with utility scale CSP storage. By Susan Kraemer The 32 MWh battery storage pilot for USD$49.9 million at Tehachapi works out to $1,500 dollars per kilowatt hour.

Plant Upgrades: the case for repowering PV installations early — Everyone is aware that PV panel output can be expected to be reduced by an estimated half percent each year, and power contracts and tariffs take account of this gradual and predictable decline in generation over time. But what about when output falls short of expectations? Plants not performing to expectations?

Can rooftop solar and utilities get along? — Talk of a "utility death spiral" in Germany, Australia and the US as rooftop solar grows has put a blockade between the two factions. We look at collaboration options that could keep residential solar and utilities united. Distributed solar advocates have been cheering the 'utility death spiral' hastened by the increasing adoption of behind-the-meter solar.

New potential source of CSP finance: Pension funds buy in — Two big Canadian pension funds that recently toured SolarReserve's Crescent Dunes solar facility are now in the process of buying out part of Banco Santander's 26.8% stake in the project. By Susan Kraemer SolarReserve's project development company, Tonopah Solar Energy was formed to develop the 110 MW Crescent Dunes Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project in Tonopah, Nevada.

An inside look at the development of the Mojave CSP project — The US Department of Energy had made the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project possible through its Loan Guarantee Program; guaranteeing $1.2 billion of project's $1.6 billion investment. By Susan Kraemer Mojave is now the fourth CSP project over 250 MW to come online in the US, and the third using parabolic trough CSP.

Novel financing of CSP as publicly owned infrastructure — Two CSP projects have just been financed as 'public goods' whereby the state guarantees their investors will get paid off within 25 years, but in return it gets to own the projects from then on. It's an old idea that gains new relevance in the age of climate mitigation.

Abengoa building on storage expertise in smaller Palen proposal — Abengoa is now evaluating a new design that could reduce proposed capacity but plans Palen as a single tower including thermal energy storage. By Susan Kraemer After 4 years, the 500 MW Palen tower project being carefully shepherded through California's exacting solar permitting process by BrightSource Energy and Abengoa as Palen Solar Holdings (PSH) was unexpectedly withdrawn in its final iteration two months ago.
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May 25, 2015

@sarahkliff @michaelwhudson Old news: Commonwealth Fund found even 74% of Republicans happy customers in 2014: see 12…

May 24, 2015

Because desert NIMBYs kill #solar permits - CA approves expensive dirty 500MW gas peaker = more fracked ground water…

May 24, 2015

14.5GW of CA #solar prevented from competing against todays approval of Carlsbad $2.6 billion 500MW dirty nrg peaker…

May 23, 2015

@canislatrans Fossil energy power plants kill 24 million birds a yr:… No mention by you in yr anti solar energy blog

May 22, 2015… Great to see E&E News cover huge problem of fossil energy noncompliance with bird kill data collection @canislatrans

May 22, 2015

@KateGalbraith Amazing finally USFWS goes after fossil fuel: by far wildlife's greatest threat. Will solar haters notice: @canislatrans?

May 22, 2015

RT @billmckibben: Arch Coal has lost so much value--down to 66 cents a share--that the NY Stock Exchange is threatening to delist it…

May 22, 2015

RT @nytimes: You consume more than 300 gallons of California water every week. Here's what that looks like

May 21, 2015

RT @insideclimate: Ruptured pipeline spills 21K gallons of oil off Calif coast; slick extends 4 miles along stretch of beach. @reuters:

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