Peaceful Uses for Niagara Falls Airport/Air Base Solar Power Generation

… Our country should have a serious conversation about alternative non-military uses for now useless military bases (as if they were ever useful!), such as the air base at Niagara Falls NY….the base has a lot of tree-less space that could be devoted to solar/wind energy production. In this case the clean, renewable energy coming from Niagara Falls could be increased by a whopping %60 …

Solar Power Generation Plan to Replace Jobs and Income
from Maintenance and Piloting of Military Planes or Drones

  • Option 1:
    • Entire Airport/Air Base used for solar power generation (area bounded by: Packard Rd, Porter Rd., Niagara Falls Blvd, Walmore Rd., Lockport Rd.)
    • Approx. Area: 8 million square meters….80% covered by solar panels
    • Assuming 0.15 KW peak output per square meter (15% solar panel efficiency)
    • Total peak capacity: 960,000 kW at high noon
    • Assuming 3.0 full-sun hours per day (3 kWh/m2/day of solar radiation)
    • Total annual output = 960,000 kWh X 3 sun hours/day X 365 days/year = 1,051,200,000 kWh/year
    • Cost to build: approx. $3 billion (@ $3.3/Watt),
    • or, 10.1 days of our current spending on war (@ $200,000 per minute)
    • Annual income generated: $115,600,000 (at $0.11/kWh)
    • Cost to Operate/Maintain: $45.5 million (@$50/kW/year)
    • Number of Jobs to maintain solar array: 546 (@$50,000)
    • Enough power for 110,000 homes (at 700 kWh/home/month); Disadvantage: no more airport!

     

  • Option 2:
    • Niagara Falls Air Base, military section only (Area bounded by: Tuscarora Rd, Lockport Rd., and Walmore Rd.)
    • Approx. Area: 2 million square meters (80% covered with solar array)
    • Total peak capacity: 240,000 kW (at high noon)…assume 3 hours sun each day for 365 days per year……
    • Total annual output = 240,000 kW X 3 sun hours/day X 365 days = 262,800,000 kWh/year
    • Cost to build: $800 million (at $3.3/Watt), or 2.8 days of our spending on war
    • Income generated from annual output: $28,900,000 per year (at $0.11/kWh)
    • Cost annually to Operate/Maintain: $11.4 million
    • Number of Jobs to maintain solar array: 136 (@$50,000/each)
    • Advantage: More than enough solar power to supply all 22,000 homes in the City of Niagara Falls
    • Another Advantage: Civilian Airport Retained

  • Option 3:
    • Cover the Lewiston Pump Storage Reservoir with a solar array
    • Area: approx. 7.7 million square meters (80% covered by solar array)
    • Total peak capacity (at high noon): 924,000 kW>
    • Total annual output: 1,011,780,000 kWh/year (assume 3 sun hours/day x 365 days/year)
    • Cost to build: $3.0 billion (@ $3.3/Watt — but needs underwater structural support)
    • Income generated from annual output: $111,296,000 (at $0.11/kWh)
    • Cost annually to Operate/Maintain: $44 million>
    • Number of Jobs to maintain solar array: 528 (@$50,000)
    • ——————————————————-
  • Current Lewiston pump storage capacity: 300 million Watts
  • Pump storage capacity + solar array: 1,224 million Watts (increase of 400%)
  • Option 2 + Option 3:
    • 1460 million Watts added generating capacity (at a cost of $3.7 billion)
    • Total annual income: $140,196,000
    • Current hydroelectric capacity: 2400 million Watts (Robert Moses Plant) + 300 million Watts
      (Lewiston Pump Storage).
    • With added solar capacity — approx. 60% increase in clean energy generating capacity coming from Niagara Falls…
    • Total number of jobs to maintain solar arrays: 664 @$50,000 each (Total: $33 million)
  •           ————————————–
    • Current Pentagon Spending at Niagara Falls Air Base: $168 million annually; $88 million payroll for 3,500 jobs (BN, Jan 26, 2012) – average: $25,000 per job
    • If we borrowed $3.7 billion @ 4.5% interest, we would pay $168 million
      annually in interest payments.

  • Bottom Line:
    • We are already spending the equivalent money to build option 2 + option 3 solar arrays in Niagara Falls….. the money is directed at wars, instead of green, clean energy.

Sources:

  1. http://www.nrel.gov/rredc2./pvwatts/
  2. Google Earth (for land areas)
  3. Cost and Performance Data for Power Generation Technologies, February 2012 ….. cost estimates to build large scale solar arrays, (page 38)….Name of document: nrel-cost-report.pdf
  4. JEDI tool at www.nrel.gov
  5. quickfacts.census.gov/
  6. Niagara Falls Solar Power Generation July 10 2012.docx

You can get a pdf of this document  **here**.
July 10, 2012

Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>