Newspaper Archive of
Lassen County Times
Susanville, California
May 1, 2007     Lassen County Times
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May 1, 2007

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Lassen County Times Tuesday, May 1, 2007 0 Continued from page 1A become the envy of green pawer enthusiasts all around our planet. Long in the planning stages, things finally are mov- ing rapidly for the power plant's designer, builder and operator, San Diego-based DBK Corporation. On Tuesday, April 24, DBK submitted the only bid for a piece of property near Sierra Army Depot owned by Lassen Community College. According to the bid pro- cess, DBK put 10 percent down on the $98,000 piece of property. The balance is due in 30 days. Then on Wednesday, April 25 DBK Chief Executive Officer Parry Boyd said the company had filed its paper- work for the $32 million pro- ject with the county. He said he hopes to quickly clear all the county's planning hurdles and break ground on the site as early as July. DBK also will utilize a neighboring piece of proper- ty. According to Boyd, the company was attracted to the area because of the 300 days a year of sunlight. In addition there are electrical transmis- sion lines already on the property as well as an under- ground natural gas line. Boyd said the company may be interested in using the natu- ral gas line for hydrogen sometime in the future, but there are no current plans for that improvement. In addi- tion, the land is fairly flat and won't require a lot of grad- ing. Actually the power plant will be built on property owned by Jasjit Kang, and the land purchased from the col- lege gives the company direct access to Wendell Road near the Amedee Field runway. "It's a nice site and a great area for what we have planned," Boyd said. "The great thing is we're building this power plant in the United States, especially California and Lassen County. We plan to make the buildings fit in with the errain and land- scape here. They're a little bit futuristic, but not in a New York style." Boyd, who's worked for more than 30 years as an elec- trical engineer, said DBK plans to construct the 200- megawatt solar power plant in two 100-megawatt phases. DBK's proposed plant will absolutely dwarf the current world's largest solar power plant a 10-megawatt facili- ty in Germany. At the end of the first phase, the DBK plant will be 10 times larger than the one in Germany. When the second phase is complet- ed, the solar power plant will be 20 times larger. When it's completed, the plant will have zero impact on the environment while sup- plying power to more than 160,000 homes and business- es, said DeborahValentino, DBK's vice president of mar- keting and sales. One of the .advantages of the DBK design is that the company doesn't have to develop the infrastructure of the entire plant to get it up and operating. "Unlike traditional power plants, we don't have to build it out to get started," Boyd said. "We can build 5- or 10- megawatts to begin and then just expand as we go." Boyd said he's been involved in the construction of gas- and coal-fired power plants since 1973, but this is his first solar power plant. Despite treading on unchart- ed ground, Boyd is confident of his company's ability to Johnstonville Quality Foods For convenient Parking & Service in Johnstonville 7am to 8:30pm Frozen Foods Groceries Beer, Wine and Ice -Drive Safely- build it and make it work. According to Boyd, most of basic design work of solar systems was completed about 100 years ago when many crit- ics of carbon-based fuels such as coal and petroleum argued solar energy should be the preferable energy source for society. Obviously, the solar industry lost that argument. Believe it or not, the first solar powered motors were developed in France during Napoleon's reign. Solar power jumped back into the public's conscious- ness back in the 1970s during the energy crisis, but once energy prices dropped the bubble burst and the idea of solar power went dormant again. According to Boyd and Valentine, it's an idea whose time has come. When Federal Express started in 1973, no one thought there was a need for overnight delivery, Valentine said. Now we wonder how we ever got by with the compa- ny's services. She said when's there's a need, a company will rise to fill that need. So it is with solar power, She said she hopes one day DBK will become a household name. Central to the DBK plant is the proprietary solar panels and fuel cell technology designed by Boy& Similar products from DBK for residential dwellings and commercial facilities are already available on the mar- ket, but this marks the first time the technology has been applied to a power plant instead of a stand-alone sys- tem. The DBK solar panels are slightly larger than normal -- 62 by 32 inches. DBK pro- duces the only 3,000 watt solar panel Boyd said his solar panels are much more efficiefit than those currently on the mar- ket. He said his panels capture 70 percent of the energy from the sun while conventional panels capture only 17 per- cent. Another unusual feature of the DBK plant is that some of that energy will be stored in hydrogen fuel cells. This will allow the plant to provide power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Boyd said he's currently negotiating with several power companies who are interested in purchasing the power his plant will generate. During the construction phase, Boyd said his company will employee hundreds of local workers. As the company expands and builds other solar power plants, those experienced workers could continue to work for the company, DBK plans to build at least three more solar power plants in California and perhaps one in the Reno area. He said the Lassen County plant "is sort of a model." Boyd hopes to continue the company's relationship with Lassen Community College and provide employment for students taking classes on power plant operation. But DBK also is interested in helping the poorest citi- zens on the planet. The company plans to donate as much as 10 percent of the solar panels it pro- duces to help the needy throughout the world. The company's solar designs could operate in remote areas completely off the power grid and provide needed services such as clean water and refrigeration nec- essary to store medicines. "We're donating one of each 10 solar panels we build to be used in impoverished areas," Boyd said. "That's a more compelling m ssion to me than just making money." Jerry Crum, M.D 251-5880 257-7953 Expect Sale Items For a class schedule this month, log.onto f' EWE QUILT 'N' SUCH 257-5451 1560 Main St. o Susanville Includes one: 18 Hole Round of Golf with Cart S30-259-GOLF (4653) Offer Expires June 28th, 2007 ;129.00 $139.00 Uune) Includes One 18 Hole Round of Golf with Cart Call toll-free 866-959-7829 " ~Po0 * " e San Diego-based DBK Corporation plans to build a 200 megawatt solar power plant at a site on Wendel Road near Sierra Army Depot. They plan to construct buildings that will blend with the environment, including this view of its administration building. The new solar power plant, repodedly the largest in world, will be built in two phases and include two large arrays of solar panels. 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