Bionic leaf: Researchers use bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel — ScienceDaily

So the fact that Apple entered into the PPA with First Solar, helped First Solar get the project ready for construction. Construction will start on the California Flats Solar Project in mid-2015 and is supposed to be finished by the end of 2016. First Solar said that the Monterey County Planning Commission has approved the project, but now it needs to be approved by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Cook said that the amount of solar that Apple is purchasing from the farm will be enough to provide clean power for its new campus in California, all of its other offices, all 52 retail stores in California, and its data center in the state. Before Cook made the announcement he noted that We know at Apple that climate change is real, and our view is the time for talk has past. The time for action is now. Apple has committed to use 100 percent clean energy, and over the past few years has been implementing that goal by building and financing solar farms, among other methods. At the end of 2013 I took an in-depth dive into Apples clean energy strategy . Apple has built solar farms in North Carolina, one outside of Reno, Nevada, and will also use solar to power a command center data center in Arizona, announced last week .
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Solar farm capable of powering 160,000 homes opens in California – Yahoo Finance

It was a perfect match.” Silver and Nocera began collaborating two years ago, shortly after Nocera came to Harvard from MIT. They shared an interest in “personalized energy,” or the concept of making energy locally, as opposed to the current system, which in the example of oil means production is centralized and then sent to gas stations. Local energy would be attractive in the developing world. “It’s not like we’re trying to make some super-convoluted system,” Silver said. “Instead, we are looking for simplicity and ease of use.” In a similar vein, Nocera’s artificial leaf depends on catalysts made from materials that are inexpensive and readily accessible. “The catalysts I made are extremely well adapted and compatible with the growth conditions you need for living organisms like a bacterium,” Nocera said. In their new system, once the artificial leaf produces oxygen and hydrogen, the hydrogen is fed to a bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha. An enzyme takes the hydrogen back to protons and electrons, then combines them with carbon dioxide to replicate–making more cells. Next, based on discoveries made earlier by Anthony Sinskey, professor of microbiology and of health sciences and technology at MIT, new pathways in the bacterium are metabolically engineered to make isopropanol.
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The Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, located in Riverside County about 170 miles (273 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, was operating at full capacity and providing 550 megawatts of electricity to the grid, the Department of the Interior said. The farm’s official opening on Monday came weeks after California Governor Jerry Brown laid out an ambitious plan for 50 percent of the state’s electricity to be generated by renewable resources over the next 15 years. At its unveiling, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell commended Brown for “implementing policies that take action on climate change and help move our nation toward a renewable energy future.” The farm provides enough energy to power 160,000 average homes and displaces 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road, the agency said. The farm is located on about 4,000 acres (1,619 hectares) managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management, the sixth solar project opened on public lands since 2009, Jewell said. The power generated is being provided to Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Southern California Edison under long-term contracts, said the farm’s developer, Arizona-based First Solar. Project owners, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, GE Energy Financial Services, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, benefited from about $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. The loan program has been derided as a waste of money, with critics pointing to several large startups that took federal money then declared bankruptcy.
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Apple spending $850 million to build solar energy farm in Monterey County | Monterey News – KSBW Home

He noted that the company’s computer centers already are powered by various forms of renewable energy. First Solar is building the facility in Parkfield, Calif., and will sell additional energy from the farm to utility Pacific Gas & Electric. The 2,900-acre California Flats Solar Project occupies 3 percent of a property owned by the Hearst Corporation. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2015 and to be completed by the end of 2016. Apple will receive 130 megawatts of electricity from the solar project under a 25-year power purchase agreement.The output of the remaining 150 MW of the project will be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric under a separate long-term agreement. “Apple is leading the way in addressing climate change by showing how large companies can serve their operations with 100 percent clean, renewable energy,” said Joe Kishkill of First Solar.
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