solar powered texas terafactory

Ehninger1212

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Of course it didn't, you didn't know that? Facebook gets its electricity *delivered* by Oncor, Texas's largest transmission and distribution electric utility.
Lol... of course I know that. Sorry, your post made it seem like you were saying Facebook was getting power directly from the Clayton county wind farm. Like a direct line.
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Crissa

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Lol... of course I know that. Sorry, your post made it seem like you were saying Facebook was getting power directly from the Clayton county wind farm. Like a direct line.
Well, they are.

It's not like there's an exclusive road from any place you buy goods from and your house, yet you buy from them. Sometimes it goes through several middlemen first, like say if you bought a beer: you bought joe's beer, but he sold it to a distributor who sold it to a grocer, who sold it to you.

Electricity is similar, just there are 60 packets per second and you really can't tell them apart once they're in the network.

-Crissa
 

Sirfun

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When Tesla announced they bought the land in Austin, I went on Google Earth to check it out. One thing I found interesting is the massive Solar farm in Webberville nearby. It looks about double the area of the footprint of the buildings Tesla is working on and it's only 6.5 miles away.

solarfarm.jpg
 
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TruckElectric

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When Tesla announced they bought the land in Austin, I went on Google Earth to check it out. One thing I found interesting is the massive Solar farm in Webberville nearby. It looks about double the area of the footprint of the buildings Tesla is working on and it's only 6.5 miles away. View attachment 4066
















View attachment 4066
I remember someone had mentioned that solar farm on this board but I didn't realize how big it is.

Would be cool if one of the Quad Squad would do a fly-over with a drone.
 

ajdelange

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Even if they don’t have a solar array set up right away sustainable energy is plentiful here in Texas, they will easily be able to power it with 100% renewable energy.
They can only power it with what they generate on site or buy from the utility serving them. Being in the business they are in they will doubtless install lots of solar on the roof and lots of storage adjacent. How much of their total demand comes from that depends on the demand and the size of the solar installation.

What they buy from the utility is as clean as it is. The utility buys their electricity from many sources and can theoretically buy from anyone who is connected to their grid. They could only buy from renewable producers but, while I don't have any idea about this region, I would guess that not every supplier on their list of vendors uses solar, wind or geo. So what comes off the pole is going to be X% clean and 100 -X% dirty and there isn't anything they can do about the latter except buy "REC"s. Every producer of clean energy gets a credit from the government for having produced each kWh of clean energy. He can sell these to producers of dirty energy and this gives the buyer the ability to zero out an equivalent amount of dirty energy. As producers can be fined for producing too much dirty energy the RECs have value.

As an example I get half my energy from solar and the other half from the utility which is 70% dirty so the electricity I use is 35% dirty. I can sooth my conscience by buying RECs (directly from my utility) to cover the 35% and, like Al Gore, claim I use 100% clean.
 
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ajdelange

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This is in response to the Wow on my last post.

It all gets a little abstract because you can't really tell where your electricity goes to or comes from. If my solar system is generating 6 kW and I am using 3 where do the other 3 go (I have no batteries other than in the car)? They go out to the pole. If my neighbor on the same transformer is pulling more than 3 kW then it is clear that the transformer we share is taking power from the utility and that, therefore, my total production is going to his house and mine and the utility is getting none. But they will credit me for 3 kWh for each hour things stay like this and they will get credit for producing 3 kWh clean energy (at least I think that's how it works - I certainly don't get any RECs for my solar production). The neighbor is getting renewable energy at no premium and isn't even aware of it.

Say I charge my car that night. Am I using free and renewable energy to charge it? Well no. My PV system isn't producing anything at night and my meter is ticking off 13¢ a kWh. But effectively this electricity doesn't cost me 13¢ a kWh because my meter ran backwards at 13¢ a kWh when I was sending power out earlier in the day. So I get a $ credit for the electricity and I "declare" a clean credit for it too. Given that the solar system in a year produces about half as many kWh as I use I say that my cost is 6.5¢/kWh and I am 65% clean (equal parts of 100% clean solar and 30% clean utility).

Now I can charge my car with 100% solar. It requires that I only charge during the day and I must set the charge level such that I am not taking anything from the utility. I will do this from time to time but what's the point? The overall result is the same. I may be able to claim "the car runs on solar" but some other part of my electric consumption (e.g. heat pump) then is only 30% clean.

To add to the confusion my utility buys RECs and is happy to sell them back to me not as such but as "clean energy". If I want to pay a premium per kWh I get clean or cleaner kWh. Or so they would have us believe. Beyond that I don't have to buy electricity from the utility. I can buy it from other companies that only sell "clean" electricity. Of course it has to be delivered by my utility and so is, in fact, the very same as what I get if I buy from them.

Plainly this is all pretty complicated and confusing but as P.T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute". Now this is a good thing because, when all the smoke and mirrors are pushed aside my best understanding of what is happening is that the gal up the road with the Biden posters on her lawn soothes her upper middle class guilt by paying a premium for her electricity which is used to buy RECs the proceeds of which, after all the middle men have taken their cuts, wind up in the pockets of an outfit that generates renewable energy even though that outfit may be many states away and she never got a microjoule from them. The revenue from REC sales allows these companies to effectively sell electricity at more than the wholesale rate and thus be viable. They are being subsidized. Investors are more likely to build more of them and the nation benefits by the advancement of renewable energy.

There may be a familiar ring to this to some of you. Those who invest in Tesla are well aware that a hefty chunk of Tesla's revenue come from selling zero carbon credits to other automakers. Same idea here.
 
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Ehninger1212

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This is in response to the Wow on my last post.

It all gets a little abstract because you can't really tell where your electricity goes to or comes from. If my solar system is generating 6 kW and I am using 3 where do the other 3 go (I have no batteries other than in the car)? They go out to the pole. If my neighbor on the same transformer is pulling more than 3 kW then it is clear that the transformer we share is taking power from the utility and that, therefore, my total production is going to his house and mine and the utility is getting none. But they will credit me for 3 kWh for each hour things stay like this and they will get credit for producing 3 kWh clean energy (at least I think that's how it works - I certainly don't get any RECs for my solar production). The neighbor is getting renewable energy at no premium and isn't even aware of it.

Say I charge my car that night. Am I using free and renewable energy to charge it? Well no. My PV system isn't producing anything at night and my meter is ticking off 13¢ a kWh. But effectively this electricity doesn't cost me 13¢ a kWh because my meter ran backwards at 13¢ a kWh when I was sending power out earlier in the day. So I get a $ credit for the electricity and I "declare" a clean credit for it too. Given that the solar system in a year produces about half as many kWh as I use I say that my cost is 6.5¢/kWh and I am 65% clean (equal parts of 100% clean solar and 30% clean utility).

Now I can charge my car with 100% solar. It requires that I only charge during the day and I must set the charge level such that I am not taking anything from the utility. I will do this from time to time but what's the point? The overall result is the same. I may be able to claim "the car runs on solar" but some other part of my electric consumption (e.g. heat pump) then is only 30% clean.

To add to the confusion my utility buys RECs and is happy to sell them back to me not as such but as "clean energy". If I want to pay a premium per kWh I get clean or cleaner kWh. Or so they would have us believe. Beyond that I don't have to buy electricity from the utility. I can buy it from other companies that only sell "clean" electricity. Of course it has to be delivered by my utility and so is, in fact, the very same as what I get if I buy from them.

Plainly this is all pretty complicated and confusing but as P.T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute". Now this is a good thing because, when all the smoke and mirrors are pushed aside my best understanding of what is happening is that the gal up the road with the Biden posters on her lawn soothes her upper middle class guilt by paying a premium for her electricity which is used to buy RECs the proceeds of which, after all the middle men have taken their cuts, wind up in the pockets of an outfit that generates renewable energy even though that outfit may be many states away and she never got a microjoule from them. The revenue from REC sales allows these companies to effectively sell electricity at more than the wholesale rate and thus be viable. They are being subsidized. Investors are more likely to build more of them and the nation benefits by the advancement of renewable energy.

There may be a familiar ring to this to some of you. Those who invest in Tesla are well aware that a hefty chunk of Tesla's revenue come from selling zero carbon credits to other automakers. Same idea here.
In much less words, this is what I was trying to elude to. Our grid is more "dirty" than "clean" in Texas. If Tesla wants to use 100% renewable energy its a matter of who they send the money too, but ultimately they are using, coal, natural gas, nuclear wind and a tiny bit of solar. With some other odd things mixed in? Thats why I was saying the FaceBook data center in Fort Worth does not literally have a direct line to the Wind farm its "Getting all" its power from. It just doesn't work like that, the wind farm is simply offsetting their consumption.
 

ajdelange

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Keep in mind that there are lots of acres on Teslas site including roofs and that each acre can produce perhaps 1700 MWh/yr which would power my house 53 times over. And that's just one path to clean. They could also go to that farm mentioned in No. 18 and say "We want to buy x% of your output". The utility then does no more than transport the energy but they would still have a pretty good basis, IMO, for saying they were using clean energy.
 

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Of course Terafactory Austin will run on solar power, it stands to reason. Tesla is at the forefront of renewable energy, it would be silly to own Solar City and not install panels on your factory, right?
 

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Of course Terafactory Austin will run on solar power, it stands to reason. Tesla is at the forefront of renewable energy, it would be silly to own Solar City and not install panels on your factory, right?

I imagine there's an opportunity cost associated with that.

Why not sell those panels to end users? There's profit in that.
There's no profit in selling them to yourself.
 

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As long as the cost of installing solar and energy production is worth more than the money they would make in selling those solar panels to customers. I mean eventually they will, like in Nevada, but it may take longer than most people think it will.
 

Sirfun

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This is in response to the Wow on my last post.

It all gets a little abstract because you can't really tell where your electricity goes to or comes from. If my solar system is generating 6 kW and I am using 3 where do the other 3 go (I have no batteries other than in the car)? They go out to the pole. If my neighbor on the same transformer is pulling more than 3 kW then it is clear that the transformer we share is taking power from the utility and that, therefore, my total production is going to his house and mine and the utility is getting none. But they will credit me for 3 kWh for each hour things stay like this and they will get credit for producing 3 kWh clean energy (at least I think that's how it works - I certainly don't get any RECs for my solar production). The neighbor is getting renewable energy at no premium and isn't even aware of it.

Say I charge my car that night. Am I using free and renewable energy to charge it? Well no. My PV system isn't producing anything at night and my meter is ticking off 13¢ a kWh. But effectively this electricity doesn't cost me 13¢ a kWh because my meter ran backwards at 13¢ a kWh when I was sending power out earlier in the day. So I get a $ credit for the electricity and I "declare" a clean credit for it too. Given that the solar system in a year produces about half as many kWh as I use I say that my cost is 6.5¢/kWh and I am 65% clean (equal parts of 100% clean solar and 30% clean utility).

Now I can charge my car with 100% solar. It requires that I only charge during the day and I must set the charge level such that I am not taking anything from the utility. I will do this from time to time but what's the point? The overall result is the same. I may be able to claim "the car runs on solar" but some other part of my electric consumption (e.g. heat pump) then is only 30% clean.

To add to the confusion my utility buys RECs and is happy to sell them back to me not as such but as "clean energy". If I want to pay a premium per kWh I get clean or cleaner kWh. Or so they would have us believe. Beyond that I don't have to buy electricity from the utility. I can buy it from other companies that only sell "clean" electricity. Of course it has to be delivered by my utility and so is, in fact, the very same as what I get if I buy from them.

Plainly this is all pretty complicated and confusing but as P.T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute". Now this is a good thing because, when all the smoke and mirrors are pushed aside my best understanding of what is happening is that the gal up the road with the Biden posters on her lawn soothes her upper middle class guilt by paying a premium for her electricity which is used to buy RECs the proceeds of which, after all the middle men have taken their cuts, wind up in the pockets of an outfit that generates renewable energy even though that outfit may be many states away and she never got a microjoule from them. The revenue from REC sales allows these companies to effectively sell electricity at more than the wholesale rate and thus be viable. They are being subsidized. Investors are more likely to build more of them and the nation benefits by the advancement of renewable energy.

There may be a familiar ring to this to some of you. Those who invest in Tesla are well aware that a hefty chunk of Tesla's revenue come from selling zero carbon credits to other automakers. Same idea here.
You say a little absract, I say very complicated. The wow was in response to your last sentence, where you said you could purchase REC's to sooth your conscience.
I think I'm like most consumers and have no conscience about where my electricity comes from. I didn't even know purchasing REC's was a thing.
 

FutureBoy

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You say a little absract, I say very complicated. The wow was in response to your last sentence, where you said you could purchase REC's to sooth your conscience.
I think I'm like most consumers and have no conscience about where my electricity comes from. I didn't even know purchasing REC's was a thing.
There are a number of ways one can offset one's carbon emissions. For instance, there are groups out there that will plant trees for a fee based on your estimated carbon footprint (think Al Gore and his private jet).

I haven't seen carbon exchanges that one can personally use to offset personal carbon though.

But Puget Sound Energy (what is available here near Seattle) does have a program to allow you to pay a bit of a premium for renewable electricity instead of the normal mixed energy. In my case they sent me a letter and said I could choose to have any percentage of my electricity be from exclusively renewable sources. Now it's kind of a cheat here in Washington though because we have a lot of renewable coming from hydroelectric. PSE is rolling out more solar and wind from what I understand (and there is a pilot geothermal plant I believe). But my thought was that with so much hydroelectric, if I decide that I want say 100% renewable, do they just count my energy as part of the hydroelectric that already exists? If so, doesn't that just ever so slightly take away renewable energy from those who have not made such a selection? Won't those people be accounted for as a slightly larger percentage coming from the non-renewables?

Overall, unless the energy company builds out additional renewable and retires existing non-renewable, everything about this scheme is really just an accounting exercise. I pay a little bit more for my energy and I feel good for using renewables. Those that don't feel so inclined pay the normal rate and end up using a higher percentage of non-renewables. And the power company takes my cash and hopefully uses it to invest in more renewables but that is not a very transparent situation so who knows what is really happening there.
 

Crissa

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If so, doesn't that just ever so slightly take away renewable energy from those who have not made such a selection? Won't those people be accounted for as a slightly larger percentage coming from the non-renewables?
Yes. And it means that companies can economically produce more renewable energy since they're getting a better price for it than the fossil sourced energy which isn't getting paid a premium.

-Crissa
 

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I imagine there's an opportunity cost associated with that.

Why not sell those panels to end users? There's profit in that.
There's no profit in selling them to yourself.
I disagree. There's profit in the savings from using your own solar power over paying the local utility provider for their power, and after so many years...power is free!
 
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