Quay Valley: California’s solar powered green dream

Posted: April 19, 2015 by oldbrew in UHI, Uncategorized

A five-mile "Hyperloop" test project is planned for Quay Valley

A five-mile “Hyperloop” test project is planned for Quay Valley

Couldn’t see anything about energy storage in this report, so we don’t know where the power is supposed to come from at night when solar has stopped working. Maybe it’s in the small print somewhere. More about the hyperloop here.

Roy Higgs reports:
While California’s verdant Central Valley is the fastest growing area in the state, the entire population of the 22,500-square-mile region is a comparatively modest 6.5 million people — Los Angeles County alone boasts over 50% more residents. However, this single region, which is responsible for producing 25% of all of the food consumed in the United States, is expected to absorb many of the 10 million people the state is projected to grow by over the next few decades. It is also home to one of the most ambitious and distinctive new developments in modern American history: Quay Valley.

Conceived as a “model town for the 21st Century,” Quay Valley is designed to be a 100% solar powered, self-sustaining residential community. The Quay Valley site, located about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, encompasses 7,500 acres of private land along the Interstate 5 Freeway. Integrating the best qualities of new urbanism in a unique rural context, the project is at the forefront of a movement that Quay Valley developer GROW Holdings refers to as “New Ruralism.”

The GROW Holdings acronym stands for Green Renewable Organic and Water, appropriate for a project that aims to set new standards in using principles of organic farming, environmental stewardship, water preservation and resource conservation to become one of the most modern and environmentally responsible communities in the world.

Much more than just a residential development, however, the Quay Valley master plan incorporates robust retail, education, entertainment and hospitality features. All told, the project is slated to include approximately 25,000 homes and 20 million sq. ft. of commercial space. Formal announcements of the project’s initial anchor tenants are expected later this year. Quay Valley’s 2,000 acres of retail and entertainment is not just flexible and phase-able, but has been designed to make Quay Valley a true one-of-a-kind destination.

Highlights include: an action sports park with extreme sports like whitewater kayaking, water skiing and rock climbing, as well as the largest manmade surf opportunity in the world; an extreme-sports-themed hotel geared to outdoor and adventure enthusiasts; an array of sports fields and facilities, including a small stadium; multiple museums and cultural exhibits; a festival grounds area suitable for large gatherings, promotions and special events; a winery-style spa and resort destination; and a remarkable Serengeti African Safari Experience, complete with animals provided by San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy.

The team of architects, engineers and assorted environmental, design and development experts behind the Quay Valley plan constitutes a kind of “All Star Team,” tasked with answering the fundamental question: is there a better way? The answers to that question have sparked the innovation that will help define Quay Valley: floating solar fields to reduce evaporation, a next-generation water capture, treatment and reuse system (that will reuse 90% of Quay Valley’s water), and roadways constructed from specialized materials designed to minimize heat holding and dampen the urban heat island effect.

Most remarkable of all, however, is the 5-mile Hyperloop transportation system that will weave its way through the project. The first working Hyperloop in the world, the system is being built by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Based on the concept initially proposed by Elon Musk, the Hyperloop utilizes a large pneumatic tube—a vacuum environment — that can transport passengers at hundreds of miles per hour.

Construction is set to begin on community infrastructure in 2016, with new interchanges, roads, walkways, and public spaces. In 2017, construction on the project’s first buildings will get underway, with the project’s first phase completed by 2018. Quay Valley might seem to be in the middle of nowhere, but with five full miles of frontage on both sides of the interstate, 26 million people within a 2.5 hour drive, and a projected 10 million visitors a year, the anticipated 75,000 residents of this “city of the future” might soon find themselves in the middle of it all.

Original report: Exclusive: A look at Quay Valley | Chain Store Age.

  1. oldbrew says:

    According to the brochure ‘Residents and most businesses should never have an electric bill.’


    They’re going to need a lot of batteries?

  2. Ben Vorlich says:

    Is the Hyperloop the first of its type in the world, or a re-hashing of an old idea, which didn’t work last time.? It looks like this is a far more complex system than Brunel’s.


  3. oldbrew says:

    Ben: it’s certainly not a new idea, so yes – a re-hash with new tech.

    ‘The inauguration of the new Holborn Station on 10 October 1865 was marked by having the Duke of Buckingham, the chairman, and some company directors blown through the tube to Euston (a five-minute trip).’


    Alfred Ely Beach’s experimental pneumatic elevated subway on display in 1867.

  4. Ben Vorlich says:

    Thanks for the link Oldbrew, I knew there were more but a quick search didn’t find that reference.

  5. Dave Ward says:

    “Quay Valley is designed to be a 100% solar powered, self-sustaining residential community”

    Let’s hope that NO grid connection is installed, then we will see how practical this turns out to be…

  6. Tony B says:

    Another dream with a twist to get in the headlines to sell real estate. And when the organic farming, the water conservation, the power for water reuse and recovery, hyperloop and their entertainment plans all fail to materialize, and the “bunnies” who purchased first realize their money has gone and they’re left with a nice house in the dusty back lots of rural California without access to additional water or power, there’ll be the predictable call for government bailout assistance.

  7. oldbrew says:

    ‘a projected 10 million visitors a year’

    All arriving by electric cars and trains presumably – there’s no such thing as a sustainable airport 😉

  8. kenwd0elq says:

    Halfway between LA and SF along I-5? Oh, you mean where the former farmers have all the billboards that say things like “No Water Means No Food”. The place that is the second Great American Dust Bowl? The area where well drillers are taking contracts for five years out because of the demand, even as Jerry Brown-Out tries to regulate who can pump water from their own wells?

    THAT desert?

    [reply] sounds like the land should be cheap 😉

  9. ivan says:

    All those with ‘pie in the sky ideas’ have got together with the snake oil salesmen to make money for themselves. It will most probably end as Tony B outlines for the simple reason that no real engineers have had a good hard look at the proposal.

    Excluding all the hype, just how large is the organic farm going to be remembering that there are going to vast areas of solar panels – crops don’t like growing in the dark.

    Next, what machinery are they going to use to keep those panels clean and weed free – you can’t use chemicals on the weeds because of the organic farm – or is that supposed to be done by an army of willing slaves?

    I wonder just how many of the expected visitors are going to be happy with the place shutting down between sun down and sun up the next day. I also wonder if they are going to go back to using gas lights for both street lighting and lights in the houses?

    I could go on but I expect this is like all the green sustainable developments and will require a good solid connection to the power grid to get off the ground. But then, saying it is a green development will bring in large funds from both the state and federal government which I suspect is the general idea.

  10. oldbrew says:

    ivan says: ‘large funds from both the state and federal government which I suspect is the general idea’

    A taxpayer funded shangri-la. Nice 😉

    ‘Even with billions upon billions in subsidies, solar and wind will still account for a mere 4% of the nation’s energy supply by 2040 — a quarter-century from now. That is the conclusion from the Energy Information Administration’s latest Annual Energy Outlook, released this week.’


  11. E.M.Smith says:

    They say hundreds of MPH, so call it 2 min. A loop 5 miles long. So 5/200 hours or 1/40th for a round trip. Thats about 60/40 or 1 1/2 minutes. Call it 45 seconds to the half way point (I presume the purpose is to go somewhere, not just a round trip thrill ride…). So minimum is zero to 200 mph, then back to zero in 45 seconds… or zero to 200 in under 22 seconds. Zero to sixty about 6 seconds. I guess not a lot of standing room users…

    I know, didn’t do the accelleration as a squared fn so times are off… it’s just a quick sanity check and hundreds of mph could be 300 or 400 anyway. Plus if any time is spent at cruize, accelleration has to be higher anyway… So I smell a pointless thrill ride with little thrill…

  12. oldbrew says:

    ‘Speed bumps and vomit are the Hyperloop’s biggest challenges’ – 2013 report


    Apparently straight-ahead G-forces won’t be a problem as long as the acceleration is controlled properly, but lateral forces (see report) could cause trouble.

  13. ivan says:

    When I mentioned this to a friend he put it in a nut shell.

    The actual value of any green/eco project is inversely proportional to the amount of hype about it.

    Which applies to all green/eco projects including the windmills and solar panels.

  14. Curious George says:

    Creative use of taxpayer’s money underlies the Hyperloop project. As long as no one has defined it, we know that Hyperloop is exactly whatever this project creates. (Hyperloop in transportation, black hole in finances).

  15. Brian H says:

    A vacuum tube is a NON-pneumatic tube. No air, magnetic propulsion. Suited for runs of hundreds of miles, not local stuff. The original proposal would substitute for Moonbeam’s Hi-speed Rail boondoggle LA – S.F. at 10% of the cost. Get informed.

    [reply] the local loop is just a test track as the photo caption says

  16. Doonhamer says:

    Why does a vehicle travelling in a vacuum have to be streamlined?

  17. oldbrew says:

    Unless things have changed recently it’s not in a vacuum.

    ‘The only specific technical hints Musk has provided is that it’s not a vacuum tunnel, but is a cross between Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table. This makes quite an impressive list of attributes. Naturally, there is a lot of speculation as to what Musk’s Hyperloop must be.’ (2013 report)


  18. Tim Crome says:

    Lets just assume (and it’s a big assumption) that once constructed it all works as intended and doesn’t require any external energy sources. In that case how many years will it take to repay the (hydrocarbon) energy used in it’s construction, accounting from initial mining of raw materials to completed fabrication and testing. I’d love to see the calculations that demonstrate that the construction of this city of the future is economic in terms of energy from cradle to grave (but then I’m an engineer)!

    [reply] has ‘carbon-neutral’ concrete been invented yet – NO 😉

  19. oldbrew says:

    Move over Elon Musk — here comes (maybe) the vertical city in the Moroccan desert.


  20. p.g.sharrow says:

    A defunct West Side farm with little water is the latest Pump and dump land development. Old hat in the wild west. Lots of water for water sports, golf courses, lawns and swimming pools. Sure! all provided by reclamation and conservation. Not at all like farming that land which only wastes water growing food. One more Elon Musk, sell the sizzle and collect the money.

    California is LOSING population, The politicians and bureaucrats of the State have turned an economic powerhouse into a hell hole. They are Blessing this project? We don’t need them. pg

  21. oldbrew says:

    pg: anywhere that tries to run its economy based on two parallel power generation systems where one is almost guaranteed to lose money (‘non-renewables’) and the other is guaranteed high subsidies (part-time renewables), is going to run into economic troubles before long, for at least three reasons:

    1) the very high cost of running two systems, one of which has to be heavily subsidised
    2) the difficulty of making them work together due to the unpredictability of renewables
    3) the lack of incentive for power companies to build ANY new ‘non-renewables’ – because clearly there is more likely to be loss than profit in doing so.

  22. oldbrew says:

    Elon Musk gets the investigative treatment here:
    ‘Musk’s undue influence and the extent to which he has his hands in the public’s pocket’ [etc.]


  23. oldbrew says:

    Believe it or not: ‘Futuristic Hyperloop transportation project accelerates’

    ‘Over 400 professionals including those from aerospace companies Airbus, SpaceX and Nasa are currently working on the futuristic Hyperloop transportation concept proposed by space entrepreneur Elon Musk, aiming to start a test track construction in California in 2016. ‘

    ‘Teams of experts work on the Hyperloop project with minimum weekly commitments in exchange for stock options in the company. Multiple universities as well as technology giants such as Boeing or electric vehicle pioneer Tesla have joined Hyperloop since its conception in 2013.’

    So something to stick on your CV 😐