Is this a good use of our Tax money?

Toledo City Council OKs $65,000 for solar project

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090121/NEWS16/901210330

According to the table below, Toledo only has sunny days 52% of the time:

http://www.weathertoday.net/weatherfacts/percentsunny_city.php

Does this mean these solar panels will only work half the time?? I had a neighbor put out those solar lights along his walkway outside. He ended up throwing them away because they'd never get enough sun during the day to light em up at night, so he figured why put up with mowing around lights that dont work.

Im all for green, but common sense needs to come first. I dont know the answer to this question but if they want to do something like that wouldnt wind turbines be a more viable answer? Ive not researched it, but it seems to me that we have more than 52% of our days with enough wind to turn a prop...

No votes yet

more info that makes me think this idea's a bust:

While $65,000 is less than the originally proposed $200,000 for a design/engineering study, it's still money the city doesn't have to waste - and certainly not on a project that the private sector should be doing. When this was first suggested, I had a conversation with an engineer who specializes in solar fields. He was shocked to hear the $200,000 figure and said that most studies for the size being considering by Toledo (5 acres) should cost only about $50,000. But that's beside the point.

There is no reason for the city to spend this money - and no reason for the city to build a solar field - at least, not for the purposes stated of 'building the city's reputation in the solar industry.' How many businesses do you think are going to decide to move to Toledo because we spend $5 million or so building a solar field? None...not when our tax structure makes other areas more attractive for making a profit.

And then there is the lack of designation of a site for the solar field. Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has suggested it could go near the water treatment plant, but there wouldn't be enough space in that location, unless the city takes over the golf course.

According to proponents of the idea, it would take about 15 years to recoup the investment through savings achieved. That's 15 years to see a return on our investment. But as the solar engineer told me, the technology in the solar area is changing rapidly and technology that today is state of the art will be outdated and obsolete in a few years, much less in 15.

If this is such a good idea, let the private sector do the study and build the field. If no one in the private sector is interested in putting forth their own money for it, that means it isn't worth the cost and the city shouldn't 'invest' our tax dollars either.

Again - this info came from the Thurber's Thoughts Blog and was written by Maggie.

is all Demonrats know! After decades of deficit spending in D.C.,and in Toledo...economically challenged Dims, spend tax dollars exactly ,like drunken union officials waste union members money on.Golf course,spa's, union business trips to Hawaii,etc.And you stupid idiots vote for them ALL THE TIME!! Any wonder Toledo and D. C. is broke? Budgets, are guesses by socialist buffoons,brain damaged by syphilitic madness.

www.takebacktoledo.com

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Does this mean these solar panels will only work half the time??

No, it just means that photovoltaic modules are less efficient on days with cloud cover. As long as there is light, energy is produced.

I had a neighbor put out those solar lights along his walkway outside. He ended up throwing them away because they'd never get enough sun during the day to light em up at night, so he figured why put up with mowing around lights that dont work.

The incandescent solar yard lights were crap. However, the LED solar yard lights work well because they require 1% of the power used by the incandescent lights.

Im all for green, but common sense needs to come first. I dont know the answer to this question but if they want to do something like that wouldnt wind turbines be a more viable answer? Ive not researched it, but it seems to me that we have more than 52% of our days with enough wind to turn a prop...

The greatest benefit right now that solar possesses is that it is most efficient when energy use is at its peak. Hot summer days brought the California power grid to its knees, but solar can offset the spike in power demand from air conditioners. Wind can only help if the wind is blowing, which rarely happens during the month of August.

When this was first suggested, I had a conversation with an engineer who specializes in solar fields. He was shocked to hear the $200,000 figure and said that most studies for the size being considering by Toledo (5 acres) should cost only about $50,000."

Most solar installations are not placed on a landfill cap, which is why the cost is above average. See Love Canal for more information.

According to proponents of the idea, it would take about 15 years to recoup the investment through savings achieved. That's 15 years to see a return on our investment. But as the solar engineer told me, the technology in the solar area is changing rapidly and technology that today is state of the art will be outdated and obsolete in a few years, much less in 15.

Sure, panels installed today will be technically obsolete within a few years, but the depreciation schedule doesn't change. Solar panels typically have a lifespan of 25-30 years, so new technology does not affect the profitability of the current PV modules.

That being said, this could all be done under a power purchase agreement at a much lower upfront cost to the city.

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

..have energy-producing sites vs. solar produced by individuals (home owners and small businesses)? Of course, some homeowners might be put off by other home owners having solar panels on their roofs.

Old South End Broadway

The current lost to friction is minimal over small distances and with low currents, so it would make little difference if the panels were placed in one location or a distributed network.

There's a city full of walls you can post complaints at

..less than a third of its daylight hours as sunshine, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/16/business/worldbusiness/16solar.html?pa.... People complain about utility costs, but I imagine it is still cheaper to pay them than the upfront cost of installing solar panels. Until a way is found to bring incentives to the public for either solar or wind power I think we better be looking at coal power for our electrical production (no matter how "dirty" it is).

Old South End Broadway

...would consider renewable energy, or is it cheaper for them to continue with the sources they now use. After all, they can just continue to raise our rates until we install our own renewable sources.

Old South End Broadway

This reminds me of when I attended a Toledo city council meeting.

The issue was how the city used the water dept to convert the facility into a hydroelectric plant using current resources. It would increase cost efficiency and pass savings onto Toledoans. But the problem is delivery.

Outside of downtown (downtown the city owns the wires) the city would have to rent the lines of the other companies (reducing the savings), or it could put in it's own lines (above ground are expensive and below ground are more expensive)

To that I wondered why didn't the city just distribute the cheaper electricity to only downtown. They already have the resources without spending any more money. That way along with tax abatements to relocating businesses Toledo businesses would have lower overhead than the suburbs and could stop the flow of jobs out of Toledo and into other areas.

Plus I think most Toledoans would want a chance at a better job than a lower electric bill.

MikeyA

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