Tar Balls Reach Texas & Abengoa Receives $1.45B DOE Loan For Solar Plant

Posted on July 7th, 2010 by

Tar balls spotted in Lake Pontchartrain and Galveston, Texas beaches, Abengoa Solar receives $1.45 billion loan from DOE and a new solar-powered plane model took off in Payerne, Switzerland, for its first 24-hour test flight.


Tar balls have been spotted in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain and on beaches near Galveston, Texas this week. Currently, more bad weather has forced teams to only partially connect the Helix Producer vessel to the leaking oil well.  When fully operational, the vessel should draw up to 53,000 barrels of oil a day. Once the vessel is fully connected, then officials will then decide within 10 days if removing and replacing the containment cap is a worthwhile exercise.

President Obama has announced that a $1.45 billion conditional loan guarantee will be given to Abengoa Solar Inc. to finance the construction and start-up of a 250 MW concentrating solar power generating facility.  The plant, located in Solana, Arizona, will be the first in the US that will use parabolic trough solar collectors and an innovative six-hour thermal energy storage system. Over 900,000 mirrors will be installed in the plant and a mirror manufacturing facility will be set up to support the demand for mirrors. The project will create 1,600 jobs and provide enough clean power for approximately 70,000 homes. The Solana project will bring the total amount of concentrating solar power (CSP) supported by the Department to nearly 650 MW.

A new solar-powered plane model took off in Payerne, Switzerland, for its first 24-hour test flight today. The plane has a 262.5 foot wingspan and carries 12,000 solar cells. The hope of this third test flight is to first take the plane to an altitude of 27,900 feet by the evening, then it will be decided if the plane will be able to fly during the night. The ultimate goal for co-founder Bertrand Piccard is to develop a plane that can fly around the world without using fuel. If this test is successful, Piccard, who achieved the first nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in a balloon, in 1999, said that the next test will be an Atlantic crossing.

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3 People have left comments on this post

» Anjanette Groehler said: { Jul 7, 2010 - 09:07:51 }

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