Thursday, January 22, 2015

Solar or Gas

Blythe, CA  High 77  Low 49

I really need to catch up on blog posts. We are currently in Quartzsite but I am going to make a couple of posts about our time at the Bluegrass Festival in Blythe.

We arrived at the fairgrounds in Blythe on Wednesday afternoon. The actual Bluegrass Festival didn’t start until Friday. On Thursday morning the Festival offered a free tour and we decided to go for it.

We got to tour the Solar Generating Facility and the Blythe Energy Center.

George, our tour guide.


The NRG Energy solar facility was built in 2009 and has a capacity of 21 MW. It consists of 350,000 PV panels which generate enough electricity to serve the needs of 17,000 homes.


In the above picture, the building with the number 14 on it is an inverter. There are 21 inverters which are slightly larger than the ones in our RVs.

 DSCN0500Ginny and Mickey were on the tour with us.

The facility displaces over 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year which is the equivalent of taking 2,200 cars off the road.


There is no water used, it’s a silent operation and requires only one employee to run the facility.

One of their weather stations.


Next we went to the Blythe Energy Center which is a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant. This plant burns natural gas to produce electricity.


Everybody was issued ear plugs because it is a noisy operation. The combined cycle means that they use a gas turbine generator which not only produces power but also exhaust gases which produce steam. The steam is used to run a steam turbine generator which also produces energy.

There are 75 people who work at this plant and it is capable of producing 1,100 MW.


I didn’t understand a lot of the presentation they made so I sent Jim on the actual walking tour of the plant without me. No pictures were allowed inside.


  1. So the bottom line is that solar is far superior in environmental terms?

  2. Interesting. It seems that solar is the leading way to produce energy.

  3. I love bluegrass, though I swear when I listen I can feel my IQ's worth it.

  4. We love our solar, but it does take a huge setup to produce enough,great for the environment though.

  5. How interesting and what a fun tour. However, how in the world did you have time to blog now?

  6. I would have enjoyed that tour. Thanks for the post about it.

  7. Funny, when I saw your title I was thinking you were talking about solar power versus running a generator.

  8. There is a huge solar farm just 1.5 miles up the road from my Dad's house and it was started in 2009 as well and puts out 23.4MW although I think the one you saw is consistently putting out it's top power which the one near my Dad's house is much, much further north and would have lots of overcast days. Still I think the solar and wind is the way to go.

    We love the solar panels we have on Sherman, no need for the generator!

  9. Seems amazing that the solar plant only requires one employee.

  10. WOW, That's fascinating !! I know I sure do love my little solar set-up !

  11. We were going to install solar on our house in Oregon - then we found out we are not on the sun's regular route!! (jk) Interesting article. there is a large solar array at the junction of I-205 and I-5 in Portland. We saw it coming home today and wondered how much power it can generate on a day like today. It is used to generate power for freeway illumination.

  12. That was pretty interesting. That solar power is quite something.

  13. I am always excited to see solar energy making a difference. We love Bluegrass too. Hope you enjoyed the music.

  14. Good morning Sandie! It was SO good meeting you yesterday! You are the sweetest dearest person! Thank you for organizing Blogger-Fest 1--it was so much fun to put faces with names & blogs! I know our paths will cross again if not before then at least at Blogger-Fest 2! Until then, you & your sweetie take good care.

    We enjoyed this post about solar power--it seems to be affordable & very efficient in those areas that get a lot of sun. Glad it's becoming more widely used. We have solar & big ole batteries on the TT & are very happy with the set-up!

    Safe travels & BIG hugs!

  15. Wouldn't it be great to have a little stix 'n brix house with solar on the roof? I sure love have my own energy on board The Palms.

    Great job with the BloggerFest yesterday - I loved seeing so many people meeting and having a good time. Soooo many smiles! :)

  16. We love solar power. With a lot of sunshine here in Alberta they should really look into that instead of concentrating on that dirty oil.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.