This is a terrible idea. It's as bad as biofuel crops. Manure needs to be used as fertilizer. Orchard trimmings and agricultural waste ought to be composted to build humus (fertile, living, top soil). Burning these things is utterly stupid. These things retain carbon. Burning them will release the carbon into the atmosphere along with smoke and pollution in general. Why are these people being so evil? They're being greedy and shortsighted on account of it.
Solar-thermal isn't so bad, but burning biomass on such a scale is dumb.
Coalinga solar plant would also burn manure
David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, June 12, 2008
A proposed Central Valley power plant will tap three potent sources of renewable energy at once - the sun, crop stubble and cow manure.
The plant, near the old oil-patch town of Coalinga in Fresno County, will combine a large solar farm with a generator that burns orchard trimmings, agricultural waste and, yes, excrement.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will announce Thursday that it will buy electricity from the plant, which will be built by Martifer Renewables, a U.S. subsidiary of a Portuguese company. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Large solar farms use mirrors to focus sunlight on liquid-filled tubes, producing steam that can turn a turbine and generate electricity. Called solar thermal or concentrated solar, this technology can produce far more power than the solar panels homeowners install on their roofs.
The Coalinga project will be able to generate a maximum of 107 megawatts of electricity, enough for roughly 80,000 homes. Rows of mirrors will cover almost 640 acres. The project could be built as soon as 2011.