Saving Hoover Dam by Majdi & Manaugh
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SUBJECT: Your proposal has been selected as a Finalist!
Congratulations! Your proposal in the Energy-Water Nexus contest has been selected to advance to the Finalists round.
Be proud of your accomplishment – more than 350 proposals were submitted and only a very small number have been advanced through these two rounds of judging.
As a Finalist, your proposal is eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as the contest’s Popular Choice award, which is determined by public voting.
If you haven’t already, you will soon receive an email from the Climate CoLab staff with details about the voting period. If you don’t receive that email within the next day, or have other questions, please contact the Climate CoLab staff at email@example.com
All winners will be announced the week after the voting period ends, on September 12, 2015 at midnight Eastern Time.
Both Judges Choice and Popular Choice will receive a special invitation to attend selected sessions at MIT’s SOLVE conference and present their proposals before key constituents in a workshop the next day, where a $10,000 Grand Prize will be awarded. A few select Climate CoLab winners will join distinguished SOLVE attendees in a highly collaborative problem-solving session. Some contests have additional prizes given by the contest sponsor.
We have attached the final judging comments below.
Thank you for your work on this very important issue. We’re proud of your proposal, and we hope that you are too. Again, congratulations!
2015 Climate CoLab Judges
This proposal should be applauded for the degree of thoughtfulness and thoroughness that it presents. The multi-purpose approach to reduce evaporation and increase energy generation is a contemporary topic with Lake Mead currently at danger levels. This revised proposal clearly addresses all of the notes and comments given from the judges in the first round. The example given from Japan helps illustrate to the reader the idea being brought forward and the revised costs of the project make it more feasible. The proposal was well presented. The scope of potential benefits to a large region of the United States is significant.
The relation to the energy-water nexus was addressed well in this revised portion, but the discussion regarding the multi-jurisdictional issue that this project may face can be even more drawn out. The negative potential effects on water quality, environmental health, and ecological well-being of an intervention of this scale are under-explored. The reduction in evaporation is calculated in only a rudimentary way, and requires deeper investigation. Aside from the WGA, what are other ways to encourage a project of this nature to move forward? Involvement from Congress? Federal Agencies? Involvement from State Senators or Assembly members? Something you should also consider is the Investment Tax Credit for solar power. The costs of the project could be fleshed out more, especially given the appearance that this may be a a high cost option for limited impact Who do you propose front the costs of a project of this nature? How can the costs and benefits be extrapolated to a second level - benefits and costs to consumers (irrigation and cities, esp.), and the benefits of non-combusted fossil fuels? These second-level benefits and costs may help to justify the project (or argue against it).
SUBJECT: Your proposal has been selected as a Climate CoLab Semi-Finalist!
Proposal: Saving Hoover Dam
Contest: Energy-Water Nexus
Congratulations! Your proposal submitted to the Energy-Water Nexus contest has been selected to advance to the Semi-Finalists round.
You will be able to revise your proposal and add new collaborators if you wish, from July 1st until July 14, 2015 at 23:59pm Eastern Time.
Judges' feedback are posted under the "Evaluation" tab of your proposal and below. Please incorporate this feedback in your revisions, or your proposal may not be advanced to the Finalists round. We ask you to also summarize the changes that you made in the comment section of the Evaluation tab.
At the revision deadline listed below, your proposal will be locked and considered in final form. The Judges will undergo another round of evaluation to ensure that Semi-Finalist proposals have addressed the feedback given, and select which proposals will continue to the Finalists round. Finalists are eligible for the contest’s Judges Choice award, as well as for public voting to select the contest’s Popular Choice award.
Thank you for your great work and again, congratulations!
2015 Climate CoLab Judges
This proposal is interesting and we enjoyed the multi-purpose approach to reduce evaporation and increase energy generation. With Lake Mead at danger levels, this is an important topic. The benefits seem to be well thought out and the research conducted seems to be intelligible. This is an interesting idea that was well presented. The submitters clearly answered the questions and were thoughtful and thorough about their responses. They articulated their vision well.
More details on the type of floating panels that the authors are suggesting be used for this project. Also, there is not enough discussion about how a floating PV solar farm would avoid obvious dangers (think storms, the technologies interacting with water, sea life, birds, people who are in the vicinity). I also think there is not enough discussion about the challenges that come with multi-state/federal involvement with projects of this magnitude. A more detailed and practical proposal would also clarify the solution being presented in regards to the energy-water nexus. The principal issue is the economics. We do not see how this could possibly cost $1.2b. The value of the water saved and energy produced is very much less that that.
Jul 14, 2015
Response to Judges’ Comments Comment 1 – More details on the type of floating panels that the authors are suggesting be used for this project. Response 1 – To provide more details on the proposed floating solar PV farm we have added text to the original description in the “What actions do you propose?” section and we have included (a) a photo of an installed floating solar PV farm in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan and (b) a schematic diagram of the floating modules with specification provided by the French manufacturer Ciel & Terre. *** Comment 2 – Also, there is not enough discussion about how a floating PV solar farm would avoid obvious dangers (think storms, the technologies interacting with water, sea life, birds, people who are in the vicinity). Response 2 – In the additional description of the floating solar PV farm (see response to previous comment) we report that the connected floating modules are engineered to withstand extreme physical stress, including typhoon conditions with winds up to 118 mph. The floating modules are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This material is 100% recyclable, UV and corrosion resistant, and drinking-water compliant. We expect the installation will include a security cordon and standard maritime traffic signage to alert and keep away nearby boat traffic. *** Comment 3 – I also think there is not enough discussion about the challenges that come with multi-state/federal involvement with projects of this magnitude. Response 3 – Multi-jurisdictional projects pose great challenges. However, states in the Western U.S. have made a tremendous amount of progress toward establishing a unified front in dealing with the impact of climate change. We have added text in the “Who will take these actions?” section to discuss how the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) is helping to create a cooperative environment for collective action to deal with critical issues in the Western U.S. Some of the WGA initiatives are: • Weather and climate risk • Energy and transmission • Forest health and wildfire • Clean, reliable water supply • Wildlife corridor and crucial habitat *** Comment 4 – A more detailed and practical proposal would also clarify the solution being presented in regards to the energy-water nexus. The principal issue is the economics. We do not see how this could possibly cost $1.2b. The value of the water saved and energy produced is very much less than that. Response 4 – We have revised the project cost estimate to $837 million. The original estimate included a 50% surcharge for work performed on water; similar surcharges are usually needed for off-shore installations. After consulting with experts, we came to realize that none of the specialized equipment or additional effort required for off-shore installations would be needed for deploying the floating solar PV farm on Lake Mead. The cost of a similar installation in Japan for a 92-MW solar PV plant is $290 million (2015). Extrapolating, without taking into account economies of scale, yields $879 million for a 279-MW solar PV plant. So, $837 million is a reasonable estimate. The final cost at implementation time is expected to be lower as PV panel costs keep going down and efficiency keeps going up. ***