74 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Ian, what’s your source for the $2.5m price? I couldn’t see that number in the Ergon brochure. I’m not saying it’s not there, just that if it is, I’ve missed it.

    If that really is the price, though, wilful is right. It’s just a spectacular waste of money.

  2. Wilful’s $50,000 per household figure might be a bit low. The Windorah thing will produce 175 kW peak, which would mean 7 kW per household. At current prices for conventional off-the-shelf roof mounted technology, that would cost more like $60,000 per household, for a total of $1.5m, which is still well under the $2.5m that Ergon is proposing to pay.

  3. Solar Systems apparently likes to argue that the higher price of their systems is justified by the longer operating life and the fact that they’re upgradeable relatively cheaply if more efficient cells become available.

  4. 5 mirrors the size of 6 storey buildings that have to be washed before dawn every morning with R/O purified water to make them work costing $4 million plus who knows how much to run and maintain needing a full back-up diesel system.
    If it was your money, real money, that you had to pay interest on, make a profit on, amortise over a very short space of time, what do you think you would have to charge each householder? $80-100,000 a year?

  5. Well let’s see – $4 million capital cost (I’ve seen both $2.5 million and $4 million quoted let’s go with the higher number)

    Assume a 20 year operational life, straight line depreciation and a 10% fixed interest rate. (I’m feeling lazy today.)

    That’s 15% of $4,000,000 or $600,000.

    Assume $100,000 per year for maintenance costs (which strikes me as excessive).

    Then deduct the $170-190,000 or so in diesel savings.

    Comes to just over $500,000 or $5,000 per person.

    That’s all based on pessimistic assumptions.

  6. Check some venture capital prices. You’re way under.
    If it’s a fizzer it’s a write off.
    It could last 5 years, maybe longer but because it’s such a potential white elephant it’s going to have a short life.
    But it is a venture.
    100,000 litres is what they now use. Do the sums.
    They ain’t gonna save much of that.
    The real world price is about 4 times yours.

  7. Even if your revised claim is correct and I don’t think it is, your original claim was wildly inflated.

    Incidentally, smaller Solar Systems plants have been operating for the last couple of years in other otuback communities so its hardly the wild leap into the unkown you apparently think it is.

  8. My first claim was 100 times.
    $20,000 per head or $80,000 per household is close to that.

  9. You know hwat, seeing as we can’t agree about the price of the project to the nearest million dollars and you’re trying to claim a four year life fro the soalr panels I suggest we suspend this discussion and see if the system is still in operation foru years from now.

  10. Not sure of the specifics of this one particular project but I’m not prepared to consider it typical or as a basis for projections of the costs for other solar projects. In one sense we need to have real life testing of various types of systems and if Windorah shows this particular approach is too expensive and or unreliable, then that’s a worthwhile lesson – in the process of replacing the worlds dirty energy production it’s small change. What is typical is a big energy company investing small change in renewables for greenwashing purposes whilst investing vastly more keeping the dirty stuff growing strong. No real attempts to begin large scale conversion to clean energy from Ergon.

  11. You don’t think that seeing as they had to keep the old system anyway and it wasn’t their money, that it might have been a reasonable proposition to have only built one 6 storey mirror to test it out in the dust first?

  12. They may not get sandblasted into non-functionality or fall apart but being coated daily in fine dust reduces performance to possible uselessness.
    Cooper floods will reduce this [and they had one not so long back] but it is always on.

  13. As newly joined user i only wanted to say hi to everybody, even though i know that noone really gives a damn 🙂

  14. Given the urgency, the following article by myself may be of interest:

    NSW electricity privatisation can be stopped!

    NSW Premier Morris Iemma has seized upon a limited and deficient Auditor-General’s report (pdf, 354K) as grounds to proceed with electricity privatisation and plans to rush through the legislation next week.

    However, the sale has been consistently and overwhelmingly opposed by the NSW
    public and unions, and can be stopped. 

  15. PrQ,
    Just a quick suggestion – it cleaned up most of the spam going into ozrisk at one fell swoop. Put anything that refers to a .ru domain into auto-moderation – or just straight to spam.

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