Campaigning for Trustee of
Overton Power District

Hello, Friends!


I have been actively campaigning to serve you as a Trustee of Overton Power District. In my heart, I know I can do more for the ratepayers than any other candidate. I have the electrical engineering and management experience to help guide OPD through the changes coming to the power industry. I will fight to have more public engagement at Board meetings and in making decisions that affect us all. I am completely independent with no allegiances to any special interest groups, no business or personal conflicts of interest and no donors to pay back because I am not accepting donations. I will do my very best for you. If you want me to represent you, you can mention me to your friends, forward them this newsletter or give them my web address.

Ivanpah Solar Electric
Generating System

Last week I attended the annual meeting of the Nevada Rural Electric Association (NREA) in Henderson. The highlight of the meeting was a tour of the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California, just outside of Primm.


The system has three tall towers, each surrounded by more than 100 thousand steerable mirrors which reflect sunlight to the top of the towers, heating water into steam. The steam flows down the towers to steam-powered generators. Each tower system can generate a bit more than 100 MW of power, for a total capacity of about 390 MW. 


The first figure shows a tower from a distance, across the field of mirrors. Travelers along I-15 are quite awed by the sight. The second figure shows a tower up close, and distorted because the camera was at ground level. The buildings house some of the generating equipment. The third figure shows one corner of the interior of the control room. This corner is used to control two of the towers. Another set of computers controls the third tower, and a third set of consoles controls all the mirrors.


Operation and maintenance of the system is quite complex. Mirrors need frequent pointing calibration, so many are in calibration at all times. They also need cleaning and other maintenance. The equipment at each tower needs to be maintained similarly to other generators.


Quite a few operators are needed in the control room, and there were a number of staff in offices. To illustrate the difficulty, only one of the three systems was operational during the tour.


Ivanpah cost quite a bit more than solar electric arrays of similar capacity and is much more complicated. Time will tell if this concept will be used in future systems.



NREA Meeting

This was my first time at the NREA meeting, and meeting the people was an important aspect. There were attendees from most or all of the utilities that comprise NREA. Managers, other employees and board members were present. I was quite impressed by the people and their attitude of cooperation. There are three types of utilities in NREA: cooperatives of which the customers are members; municipal utilities such as Boulder City Electric Utility; and improvement districts, such as OPD. Many of the presentations focused on co-ops, but the material was pertinent to all.

Three planned speakers couldn't make the meeting because they are legislators who had to be at the special session on Tesla in Carson City. The meeting planners and other presenters did a good job at filling the available time and maintaining the interest of the attendees.

I found the meeting well worth my time. I gained some specific knowledge and a better understanding of rural electric companies. It helped prepare me to better serve as Trustee, if the voters choose me to represent them.

I will be talking more about what I learned at the NREA meeting in subsequent newsletters.
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