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Another glorious solar scheme fails ignominiously, “fast clouds”, “rusty pipes”, dumb decisions

Posted By Jo Nova On May 22, 2017 @ 12:59 pm In Global Warming,Renewable | Comments Disabled

Another award winning solar project collapses: it was a $105 million dollar scheme. One company, Areva, lost about $50m and so did the taxpayer. Everything went wrong, management, planning, cheap poor quality steel from China, industrial dispute that left 80% of the pipes rusting on a dock. Three thousand solar reflectors are sitting unused in what was a potato paddock in Dalby. Nobody wants to buy them. They’re obviously worthless. CS Energy is state owned power utility, and it spent $50m but pulled to pin to save wasting another $50m.

In 2011 Julia Gillard raved about how it was going to save 35,000 tons of carbon.

“Ms Gillard says the project could be one of many under the new carbon tax scheme.

“With the clean-energy future I want for our nation, I want it to be a norm,” she said.”

Fans of renewables will cite the management problems as the reason for the failure, not some inherent problem with solar. But the “Clean Energy Culture” is the problem  — the same pathetic, uninformed and corrupt decision-making that subsidizes solar so unnecessarily also creates the same dud decisions in management, legal, and industrial relations. The environment that makes a complicated, uneconomic project look appealing because it might change storms a hundred years from now is the kind of culture that piles up toxic Green Tape, buys crappy steel, and can’t accomplish something as simple as getting pipes off a flooded dock. And that was six years ago and we are just hearing about it now thanks to the Clean Energy Media Brain.

‘Fast-moving clouds’: How CS Energy’s Kogan Creek Solar Boost project failed

It was supposed to supply cheaper, greener energy to up to 5000 homes but after six years and tens of millions of dollars, a cutting-edge solar energy project has produced nothing other than a large taxpayer-funded pile of scrap.

Only 5000 homes?  That’s $20,000 per house which doesn’t sound like “cheap” electricity.  Solar is so dismal that even bulk solar power in the sunniest spot in the world was going to take years to break even — and that’s if it worked.

Three thousand solar panels sit unused on a concrete pad after the pioneering Kogan Creek Solar Boost project was shelved due to rusting pipes and “rapidly moving clouds”.

Those are $100m pipes?

A veteran project manager with 30 years’ experience, Mr Canham detailed a litany of planning, management and communication failures, compounded by the “aggressive” management style of Areva Solar’s US-based executives.

Mr Canham said pipes had rusted when they were left uncollected at the Port of Brisbane during the 2011 floods because of a dispute between Areva and shipping company DHL. As a result only 20 per cent of them were useable.

Funds came from the Queensland Government’s Carbon Reduction Program  and a Commonwealth agency, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Typically, when people waste other people’s money, they don’t care much:

“ARENA never came to the site,” he said.

“They were supposed to come every three months. They were really into this solar thing and they never came once.

“With the state government – the same thing. Never saw anyone.”

Gave the prize a bit too soon, maybe?

The technology’s inventor, Australian scientist Dr David Mills, in 2014 received an Order Of Australia for his work on solar power from the Abbott government.

 David Evans points out the media bias as pro-solar hype is yet again followed by silence:

Here’s what the article, in the left-leaning Sydney Morning Herald, doesn’t say: Another catastrophic failure in green energy and public money destroyed.

Did the ABC report it? I’ve searched their news website for “Kogan Crek solar” and found only an article from 2014 on the technical hitches being encountered, a 2009 article on the 600 jobs being created by solar power, a 2011 opinion piece extolling renewables, a 2011 article “Gillard spruiks massive solar power project”, and a 2010 article on climate and energy. No mention that it had failed, as far as I can see, let alone the headline articles about a catastrophic failure of a government-financed solar plant.

Since 1970 or so, one hyped solar project after another has been announced in awed terms. But when they flat-line, crickets.

h/t Andrew, Dave B, OriginalSteve.

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