SF Business Times: SolarCity Fills Former Solyndra Manufacturing Facility in Fremont

If you need any proof that the region's solar industry is well past the Solyndra failure, head 2 miles south of the Tesla Motors Inc. plant in Fremont on I-880.

Ever since the world's most famous solar-panel startup went bust in 2011, the two prominent buildings at 47700 Kato Road -- the ones with the cheerful blue angles and dark glass walls -- have stood vacant.

Well, not for long.

The new tenant? San Mateo-based SolarCity Corp., which has quietly leased the roughly 200,000-square-foot, two-building facility.

Wall Street Journal: Apple Gears Up to Challenge Tesla in Electric Cars

Apple Inc. has revolutionized music and phones. Now it is aiming at a much bigger target: automobiles.

The Cupertino, Calif. company has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the matter. The project, code-named “Titan,” initially is working on the design of a vehicle that resembles a minivan, one of the people said.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment.

Associated Press: West Virginia Oil Train Derailment Sends Crude Tanker Into River

Fires burned for nearly nine hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm in West Virginia, plunging at least one tanker into a river while sending a fireball into the sky, authorities and residents say.

Officials evacuated hundreds of families and shut down two water treatment plants threatened by oil seeping into the river following the Monday afternoon derailment. A state public safety division spokesperson, Lawrence Messina, said fire crews decided to let the tanks burn themselves out.

Green Car Reports: Advances in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Offer Promise for Electric Cars

Commercial uses of the element sulfur date back centuries, but it may be the key to a new generation of batteries with high theoretical energy density and relatively low cost.

The principles of a lithium-sulfur battery have been known for decades, but practical solutions to the chemical challenges inherent in the cells remain to be found.

Now, a new study published in the journal Nature Communications describes a possible way to solve one of those challenges.

In a lithium-sulfur battery, the sulfur and lithium sulfides insulate the reactive elements, making it harder for ions to pass through, which requires the addition of conductive additives.

USA Today: San Antonio Takes Different Tack on Solar Energy

CPS Energy is experimenting with a new pilot program that it says will make rooftop solar available to more San Antonio residents, including low-income households, where PV panels are often noticeably absent.

Under the new program, CPS Energy plans to hire a developer representing the utility, which will install and maintain solar systems on residential and small-commercial rooftops at no cost to the customers. CPS Energy will buy the output, and the developer will pay the customers for the use of their roofs.