We Don’t Need No Stinking Giant Mirrors


The southern Alberta city of Medicine Hat is pulling the plug on a $13-million concentrated solar power facility after operating it for about five years.
The project’s goal was to test whether the technology was a feasible way to employ the sun’s heat to replace some of the natural gas used to make steam at the city-owned power plant, said Coun. Phil Turnbull, chairman of the city’s utility committee.
The answer, unfortunately, was no, as the project’s small and unreliable contribution to the community’s power needs didn’t justify the cost of maintaining its rows of mirrors and pipes through snowy winters and dusty summer days, he said.
“I think people sometimes look at what we did and say, ’What a waste of money.’ But it wouldn’t have been a waste if it had been successful in taking it to the next step,” Turnbull said Thursday.

It was a waste of money, Phil.

h/t Bob

48 Replies to “We Don’t Need No Stinking Giant Mirrors”

  1. the money quote: “The project was to add about one megawatt of power to the 250-MW capacity main power plant, but it often didn’t even supply that much, he said.”

    they spent more than $13 million to attempt to reduce the use of natural gas by 0.4% for less than 1/3 of a day on average.

    for reference, Medicine Hat typically enjoys 2544 hours of sun a year.

    1. Ohhhhh … it was just a “test”. Uh huh. Just a “test”. The same way totalitarian Socialism was “just a test” in Venezuela.

      Why do voters across the West continue to swallow and accept these LIES spewed by the politicians they elect?

    2. let me do a wee bit of math.
      1 MW @ $13,000,000
      thus 250 X 13,000,000 = 3,250,000,000
      3 Billion ‘with a B’.
      now, reduce that raw figure by, oh, 90% for economies of scale.
      300 Million.
      now bump THAT back up by 100% for the lifetime of the generators for maintenance etc.
      600 mill. now ya gotta recycle it and build another one.

      any takers?

  2. “In Medicine Hat, meanwhile, the utility committee’s next chore is figuring out by next fall what to do with the mothballed project”
    I suggest we take all the pie-in-the sky virtue signalling projects initiated by governments and put em in a pie-in-the sky virtue signaling museum ha ha ha.

    1. Give it to California. I hear they need power down there.

      The Tides Foundation can pay the trucking.

      1. A $13M solar project in CA ? Ahhhhhh hahahahahaha ha ha … ouch, my stomach … hahahaha ha ha …

        My local BART station spent that much just to install solar panels on elevated carport structures that covered about 25 of the 3,000 parking stalls. My local elementary school district spent that much to cover 2 of their portable classrooms in solar panels. Cause they’re “gonna generate FREE electricity FOREVER!!” And it’s “green” What $ price wouldn’t you PAY for THAT!!??

          1. The BART Board of Directors will submit a sealed bid of $35M. What price is too much for an eco-Nirvana?

    2. “In Medicine Hat, meanwhile, the utility committee’s next chore is figuring out by next fall what to do with the mothballed project”

      Winnipeg has the Goebbels’ Human Rights Museum of Political Indoctrination. Medicine Hat could open the Museum of Politically Inspired Waste.

  3. One of the councilors was quoted as saying this:

    “… we have discovered that during the winter months there is less available energy from the sun because of the angle of the sun and how the Earth tilts making it less optimal for solar heating…”

    No shit sherlock. Ya could’ve asked any 500,000 yr old Neanderthal ffs. That council should in my opinion re-pay the City (the Taxpayers), every cent they spent and will spend tearing it down…out of their own Pockets.

    Of course that, sadly won’t happen.
    I fully believe we absolutely MUST change the way politicians make financial decisions. You wanna do something..?? You ASK those that are financing said something (Us the Taxpayers), and you put out all the info, how long said tax (needed to financially support said something), will be applied. if you get 50%+1 you go ahead, if less – No deal.

    They call them propositions in the US. Smart.
    And when we do separate – we had better go with a US style Constitution instead of the utter BS of parliamentary so called Democracy….no one can afford to live in it.

    1. And a legislature of 2 houses, one which has seats allocated by population, one by geography, all, directly elected. That way, cities, like Redmonton can not dictate to everyone else.

      If there was anything but crap quality leader ship in the political parties, they would see that these reforms, implemented on a national basis would be the only way to save confederation.

  4. CO2 has nothing to do with Glowbull Warmening. Period. It’s fake, a fraud and every one of our “political Parties” is full on retarded on promoting this fakery.

    What’s the level of CO2 concentration today….400-410 ppm? CO2 is a trace gas vital to life on this Planet. Below 250 ppm certain plants don’t produce fruits, seeds, whatever and below 200 ppm people (and other carbon based life, like your doggie) will become extinct ie; dead. Period. Ask these “leaders” what level they wish CO2 to be at and how much do they want us to pay in money and lives to get there. Then ask them what China is doing about it, or India or even the USA. They aren’t. They laugh at us.

    Our “contribution” to CO2 production is about 2% and it won’t even kill you. CO2 is not “pollution” as our Climate Barbie states. She’s fed that line by her “department” big thinkers…politicized Civil Service. They want you DEAD. Shut the Sun down and ask yourselves how much CO2 will keep the lights on or keep you warm, because the Sun drives “weather” on this Planet, not the LPOC. DO some reading, folks.

    It’s a fake “problem” and Canadians are stupid to believe it.

    1. CO2 used to be thousands of times what it is today and virtually all of it was sequestered by abundant life, much more abundant than it is today. The atmosphere used to be 80 times as dense and most of it was CO2. Those white towering east slopes of the Rocky Mountains – calcium carbonate. I wouldn’t be surprised if those alone held more carbon than today’s atmosphere. If you’ve ever dug a well pretty much anywhere in Alberta there is coal – carbon. Earth was approaching the point that life was soon to be extinguished from lack of CO2. We saved it in the nick of time. While the climate liars say increased CO2 will bring deserts, the fact is that the historical biosphere under large multiples of current CO2 levels could only be described as lush.

    2. Its been fake since day 1. (somewhere around 1992..?)

      Simply a Monetized Weaponized gas …. why.?
      …Cause ya cant do that to Solar Radiation.

    3. Facts and truth are very difficult for Canadians. I have been saying what you are saying for long time now. I guess the powers that be never heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out” which is why they fall for computer models instead of real science. Geology is real science even if you are retired.

      1. Dr Tim Ball said, somewhere, that for many so-called climate “scientists” GIGO means “Gospel In, Gospel Out”. For them, it is all about, feelings, getting paid and beliefs.

    4. As Freeman Dyson points out, the non-climatic effects of CO2 are very beneficial, and greatly outweigh the climatic effects of CO2.

      He also points out that the explicit climate models have been absolutely wrong in predicting the increase in temperature that should be attributable to increases in the CO2 level. The observed increases in temperature have been far smaller then were predicted by the climate models. In the real world you change the model when it doesn’t agree with what you observe, but of course climate science is actually a faith based system totally divorced from what is observed in the real world.

  5. The sad part is that so many people have bought into this ideological driven horrendous fraud.

  6. The kicker is the NDP government signed a $100 million contract to buy solar power…after this failure. Because Photovoltaic (PV) makes so much more sense than concentrated solar power (CSP) despite the exact same problems with snow, dust, hail and long,dark winters.

    For the sake of taxpayers, governments should employ the most sceptical and asperger afflicted engineers, chemists and physicists they can find, not the ass-kissing yes-men they currently employ. There needs to be a whole department dedicated to bluntly explaining to politicians and bureaucrats that their energy policies are idiotic (with tenure-like job protection, of course). High IQ, neuro-divergents to the rescue. :))

    1. “the ass-kissing yes-men they currently employ.”

      And why haven’t these engineers lost their credentials through incompetence? It was all 100% predictable. You don’t spend $13 million when you can spend $100,000 on an engineer to tell you your idea sucks farts. Ah! That’s where the ass kissing part comes in – telling politicians what they want to hear. Like everyone telling Emperor Red Rachel what a nice white cowboy hat she had on when she wore it backwards.

      1. The engineers usually have an advisory and implementation role. It’s the managers, ambitious by nature, who interact with the political class. They are the definition of ass-kissing yes-men. It’s how they got promoted.

        The stories I’ve heard from chemists and engineers about their bosses and contract tendering. Taxpayers would be livid.

  7. politicians become politicians to further they own agenda, not as servants of the people for the people. And most “conservatives” are no better. And people wonder why I am against those who would try and shove their religious agenda down my throat. I ma eve agree with their cause, just not the fact they would use force of law to instill on me!

    1. I agree with your statement. Completely.

      It is wholly counterproductive to FORCE beliefs on another human. Everyone’s natural reaction to FORCE is equal and opposite FORCE. Again, it’s one of those things built into our DNA. And as far as the State FORCING “religion” on anyone … the only FORCING I see taking place is the FORCEABLE imposition of LGBTQqqqeu faith, so-called Green faith, and bureaucratic Deep state government faith. The government has done NOTHING to FORCE the Christian faith on anyone or anything. Quite the opposite. Abortion? If you see the debate as a “Christian” topic, and not a fundamental SCIENCE topic about LIFE … then you are allowing your anti-Christian “belief” to cloud your judgement.

      My God does not call me to cloud my judgement with illogical “beliefs” The fundamental foundation of Christianity (and many other religious belief systems) is simply that mankind are not animals. We are sentient organisms. The ONLY sentient organisms (sorry, dolphins are not people. Elephants who care for their young and “cry” are not people). We believe our sentience is divinely given, you believe it is chemical stew and Billions of years of evolution). That’s a fair and honest debate, both ways.

      But, my 666NME friend … I will not FORCE my love on you. Rather, I stand next to my Christ, who is knocking on the door of your “heart” (read: mind). Gently knocking … hoping you someday … open the ironclad door

  8. Somebody should tell the good people of Kamsack SK before the town fathers ‘invest’ any more money tax money in their hair brained idea.

  9. Heh… that’s like Sam the Somebody Salesman ringing your doorbell and saying:
    “Look, we’ve invented the square wheel…
    it’ll fit better in your garage”…

  10. “Medicine Hat’s experience is consistent with evidence that suggests Canada is too far north and doesn’t get enough uninterrupted sun to make concentrated solar work”

    Imagine that. Maybe they thought the decades-old solar insolation ‘evidence suggesting’ that there’s not enough winter sunlight to take the frost off of a fruit fly was wrong or had changed:

  11. KRAMER: I’m completely changing the configuration of the apartment. You’re not gonna believe it when you see it. A whole new lifestyle.

    JERRY: What are you doing?

    KRAMER: Levels.

    JERRY: Levels?

    KRAMER: Yeah, I’m getting rid of all my furniture. All of it. And I’m going to build these different levels, with steps, and it’ll all be carpeted with a lot of pillows. You know, like ancient Egypt.

    JERRY: You drew up plans for this?

    KRAMER: No, no. It’s all in my head.

    MORTY: I don’t know how you’re going to be comfortable like that.

    KRAMER: Oh, I’ll be comfortable.

    JERRY: When do you intend to do this?

    KRAMER: Ohh.. should be done by the end of the month.

    JERRY: You’re doing this yourself?

    KRAMER: It’s a simple job. Why, you don’t think I can?

    JERRY: Oh, no. It’s not that I don’t think you can. I know that you can’t, and I’m positive that you won’t.

    KRAMER: Well, I got the tools. I got the pillows. All I need is the lumber.

    MORTY: Hey, that’s some big job.

    JERRY: I don’t see it happening.

    KRAMER: Well, this time, this time you’re wrong. C’mon. I’ll even bet you.

    JERRY: Seriously?

    HELEN: I dont’ want you betting. Morty, don’t let him bet.

    KRAMER: A big dinner with dessert. But I’ve got till the end of the month.

    JERRY: I’ll give you a year.

    KRAMER: No, no, no. End of the month.

    JERRY: It’s a bet. (They both “pinkie swear” to lock the deal)

  12. The simple reason solar and wind don’t work is easy: the energy concentration from either is too low compared with other competing energy sources. Infrastructure and operating costs are way too expensive for what you get. Anyways it didn’t matter that the science didn’t work so much as the UCP winning and the never-ending subsidy tap of money being suddenly turned off. Such a waste.

    1. When it comes to wind and solar, inputs will always exceed output. A losing proposition.

  13. This project was a stunning success, by the standards of municipal politics.
    Millions of OPM spent.
    Cuzzie Bro and helpers got 6 months of work.
    Joes Kama Sutra and Electric Contracting made some lovely millions,working on the taxpayers behalf.
    The Mayor will still be bragging about the “Benefit” to the community, at least 3 of the local council will be running for MLA using this project as proof of their Gang Green Credentials.
    This kind of brain dead extravagance will never end.
    Not while Federal Agencies are free to corrupt small town politics with borrowed (By Federales) money.
    When we reset the Kleptocracy, all tax money must come from the bottom .
    The one taxpayer shall never pay more than 10% of actual income.
    The local government gets that money,it remits only 10% of that to the Province.
    The Province remits 10% of its income to the feds,if the Federales actually provide a national army.
    Want to see the bloated pustulence we call government dry up and blow away?
    Cut off its ability to steal.
    Destroy its ability to buy gullible councillors.

    1. Exactly, the notion of subsidiarity is totally missing in politics today. Municipal politicians are bought off directly with federal bounty and those same politicians who couldn’t describe to you how their sewage system works campaign on saving the planet from catastrophic GW. They are the perfect marks / targets for hysteria-campaigning, US funded, Green NGOs.

  14. But it wouldn’t have been a waste if it had been successful

    There’s something canonical, classical and profound about this statement.

  15. The fact they pulled the plug is an encouraging thing to me – along with the fact that the Medicine Hat mayor and council refused to attend a conference in Quebec while the provincial government there is boycotting Alberta oil. I think that they are starting to wake up, are disconnecting from the “borg” collective, and are starting to make rational choices. The current mayor didn’t approve of the system, only inherited it, and wouldn’t have approved of it even back in 2014 when it was finished (see: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/medicine-hat-solar-thermal-plant-embraces-green-energy-1.2883470).

    It’s good to see that they shut it down, instead of continuing to drink the Kool-Aid.

    Interesting how – it seems like every time – the projected power from these systems is MASSIVELY over-estimated (lies??? – you decide). Here’s the money quote from the CBC story (obviously bovine scatology in retrospect):
    “The new solar thermal plant is expected to generate enough energy to power 150 homes per year and is one step towards reaching the city’s goal of relying on renewable energy for 25 per cent of its electricity by 2025.”

  16. Recently when the Premier of Sask. was asked about the expected shutdown of the two coal fired power plants here he mused that perhaps he’d set up a small nuclear plant at each site. The left lit up like someone had shoved a firecracker up their…..you know where. Personally I’d love to see that done even if as a tax payer I’ll be paying for it for the rest of my life.