Viewing posts tagged: "Solar"

Duke Energy Says It Can’t Afford the $50M Solar Project

Ucilia Wang: January 30, 2009, 2:49 PM

Duke Energy might abandon a project to experiment with distributed solar energy unless North Carolina state regulators change their minds about how the utility can recover the project’s cost.

Duke petitioned the North Carolina Utilities Commission Thursday to remove the limits the commission set last December. Back then, the commission said Duke could only pass on part of the $50 million project cost onto ratepayers under the state’s 2007 renewable energy law. The utility might be able to recover the rest of the cost in a separate process.

Duke now says those restrictions could force it to violate federal accounting rules governing how the utility can take advantage of up to...

Applied Materials CEO Talks Solar With Obama

Ucilia Wang: January 28, 2009, 9:03 AM

Applied Materials CEO Mike Splinter advocated for a mix of direct investments and tax incentives when he met with President Obama today.

Splinter was part of a group of CEOs from large companies, including Google, IBM, Jet Blue Airways and Micron Technology, who spoke with Obama. The president, in turn, used the opportunity to lobby for the business community’s support of his proposed $816 billion stimulus package.

While the president chatted with the business execs, the House of Representatives was set to vote on the stimulus package today.

Splinter spoke about the importance of investing in solar and championed ideas that also had been presented by the Solar Energy Industries...

BrightView Gets $6M to Develop Solar Equipment or Software?

Ucilia Wang: January 27, 2009, 12:12 PM
An Israeli solar startup called BrightView Systems has raised $6 million, but you will have to wait to find out what the company does.

The Series A funding came from Israel Cleantech Ventures, which provided the money to  BrightView in mid-2008. Hasso Palttner Ventures in Germany is another investor.

What we know is that BrightView thinks its technology can fix some shortcomings in solar cell production. But whether that means the company is developing equipment or software remains to be seen. The company, which isn't disclosing its technology, plans to launch its first product this year. 

The market already has large equipment makers, including GT Solar and Applied...

Rumor: First Solar Looks to Experiment With CIGS

Michael Kanellos: January 23, 2009, 12:29 PM
Speculation is swirling that First Solar -- the thin-film solar cell giant that makes cadmium telluride solar cells -- is taking a look at CIGS. No one says there are product plans. Instead, First Solar will start to examine CIGS in its labs, according to the rumor mill. Whether or not the company comes out with a CIGS product is impossible to say, but lab experimentation is generally an early sign of some interest in a market. Part of the speculation is tied to the recent hire of Markus Beck, the former chief scientist at Solyndra. Solyndra specializes in copper indium gallium selenide. First Solar also several months ago created a disruptive technologies department to look at...

Photosynthesis Drives Solar Fuel Cell

ghayes: January 21, 2009, 8:45 AM
Combine carbon, marine sediment, seawater and light and you've got a simple way to generate electricity from sunlight. The proof-of-concept solar fuel cell is powered by graphite electrodes that are covered by microbe films and embedded in marine sediment. One type of microbe uses sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen. Another type of microbe converts the glucose and oxygen back into carbon dioxide and water, producing electricity in the process. The fuel-cell waste -- carbon dioxide and water -- is recycled as input for the photosynthesis step....

Torresol Borrows €171M to Complete Solar-Thermal Plant in Spain

Ucilia Wang: January 20, 2009, 4:21 AM

ABU DHABI -- Torresol Energy has borrowed €171 million to complete construction of its first power plant to use the sun’s heat to generate electricity.

Formed last year by Masdar in Abu Dhabi and Sener in Spain, Torresol now has the entire €240 million it needs to build the 17-megawatt solar thermal power plant called Gemasolar, said Manuel Fernandez, chief financial officer at Torresol Tuesday.

Torresol, based in Madrid, started building its Gemasolar plant last November, and is scheduled to complete the project in the first quarter of 2011. The €171 million is coming from Banco Popular, Banesto and the Instituto de Credito Oficial. The rest of the €240 million is...

Exec Departures at Ausra, and Layoffs Too

Michael Kanellos: January 19, 2009, 8:00 PM
Layoffs are moving to solar thermal too. Ausra, the solar thermal specialist that moved from Australia to build utility-scale plants in the Southwest, has shed some of its employees in a layoff, according to people who were laid off by Ausra. The layoffs began in December. And a pair of high-level executives have left the company as well. Glen Davis, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, and Robert Morgan, executive vice president and chief development officer, sent notes to various acquaintances and colleagues this weekend stating that they both have left the company. The two plan on reinvigorating Agile Energy, the company they were at before Ausra. A...