Archive for solar power

World’s Largest Solar Developer Goes Broke

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by highboldtage

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and California Gov. Jerry Brown @ the Blythe Solar Power Project Groundbreaking

(Reuters) – Solar Trust of America LLC, which holds the development rights for the world’s largest solar power project, on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection after its majority owner began insolvency proceedings in Germany.

The Oakland-based company has held rights for the 1,000-megawatt Blythe Solar Power Project in the Southern California desert, which last April won $2.1 billion of conditional loan guarantees from the U.S. Department of Energy. It is unclear how the bankruptcy will affect that project.

more from googlenews:

Interesting background from Mar. 24:


Skyline Solar Promises Grid Parity

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by highboldtage

Skyline Solar Promises Grid Parity

By Josie Garthwaite – Earth2Tech

According to co-founder and CEO Bob MacDonald, the startup has all the funding it needs to carry it through to commercialization of a concentrating solar photovoltaic system that combines the durability of silicon solar panels with the lower cost of thin-film solar. He thinks the Mountain View, Calif.-based company can bring solar to grid parity — competitive pricing with conventional energy sources — at California rates within about 18 months.

Nicaragua Opts for Wind Power

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2008 by highboldtage

Nicaragua Turns To Wind Power, Builds 19 Windmills
Managua – nergy-starved Nicaragua is turning to wind as it tries to reduce its dependence on oil-based power. In January, the country will begin operating 19 windmills that have the potential to generate 40 megawatts of energy.

Energy Minister Emilio Rappaccioli said the us$90 million project will be operating at full capacity by the end of January and contribute 6 percent of the country’s total energy needs.

Google’s Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 20, 2008 by highboldtage

Google’s Goal: Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal

Creates renewable energy R&D group and supports breakthrough technologies
Mountain View, Calif. (November 27, 2007) – Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced a new strategic initiative to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal. The newly created initiative, known as RE<C, will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies.  RE<C is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work, which will begin with a significant effort on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas. In 2008, Google expects to spend tens of millions on research and development and related investments in renewable energy. As part of its capital planning process, the company also anticipates investing hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns. 
“We have gained expertise in designing and building large-scale, energy-intensive facilities by building efficient data centers,” said Larry Page, Google Co-founder and President of Products. “We want to apply the same creativity and innovation to the challenge of generating renewable electricity at globally significant scale, and produce it cheaper than from coal.”

Page added, “There has been tremendous work already on renewable energy. Technologies have been developed that can mature into industries capable of providing electricity cheaper than coal. Solar thermal technology, for example, provides a very plausible path to providing renewable energy cheaper than coal. We are also very interested in further developing other technologies that have potential to be cost-competitive and green. We are aware of several promising technologies, and believe there are many more out there.”

Page continued, “With talented technologists, great partners and significant investments, we hope to rapidly push forward. Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal.  We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades.” (One gigawatt can power a city the size of San Francisco.) 

“If we meet this goal,” said Page, “and large-scale renewable deployments are cheaper than coal, the world will have the option to meet a substantial portion of electricity needs from renewable sources and significantly reduce carbon emissions. We expect this would be a good business for us as well.”

Coal is the primary power source for many around the world, supplying 40% of the world’s electricity.  The greenhouse gases it produces are one of our greatest environmental challenges. Making electricity produced from renewable energy cheaper than coal would be a key part of reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions. 

“Cheap renewable energy is not only critical for the environment but also vital for economic development in many places where there is limited affordable energy of any kind,” added Sergey Brin, Google Co-founder and President of Technology.

Strategic Investments and Grants

“Lots of groups are doing great work trying to produce inexpensive renewable energy. We want to add something that moves these efforts toward even cheaper technologies a bit more quickly. Usual investment criteria may not deliver the super low-cost, clean, renewable energy soon enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” said Dr. Larry Brilliant, Executive Director of, Google’s philanthropic arm, “’s hope is that by funding research on promising technologies, investing in promising new companies, and doing a lot of R&D ourselves, we may help spark a green electricity revolution that will deliver breakthrough technologies priced lower than coal.”

Working with RE<C, will make strategic investments and grants that demonstrate a path toward producing energy at an unsubsidized cost below that of coal-fired power plants. Google will work with a variety of organizations in the renewable energy field, including companies, R&D laboratories, and universities. For example, is working with two companies that have promising scalable energy technologies: 

  • eSolar Inc., a Pasadena, CA-based company specializing in solar thermal power which replaces the fuel in a traditional power plant with heat produced from solar energy. eSolar’s technology has great potential to produce utility-scale power cheaper than coal. For more information, please visit
  • Makani Power Inc., an Alameda, CA-based company developing high-altitude wind energy extraction technologies aimed at harnessing the most powerful wind resources. High-altitude wind energy has the potential to satisfy a significant portion of current global electricity needs. For more information on Makani Power, please visit

Ongoing Commitments

Today’s announcement represents just the latest steps in Google’s commitment to a clean and green energy future.  

Google has been working hard on energy efficiency and making its business environmentally sustainable.  Last spring the company announced its intention to be carbon neutral for 2007, and is on track to meet that goal. To this end, the company has taken concrete steps to reduce its carbon footprint and accelerate improvements in green technology, including:

  • Developing cutting-edge energy efficiency technology to power and cool its data centers in the U.S. and around the world. 
  • Generating electricity for its Mountain View campus from a 1.6 Megawatt corporate solar panel installation, one of the largest in the U.S.
  • Accelerating development and adoption of plug-in vehicles through the RechargeIT initiative, including a $10 million request for investment proposals (
  • Joining with other industry leaders in 2007 to form the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a consortium that advocates the design and use of more energy-efficient computers and servers (  
  • Working on policies that encourage renewable energy development and deployment, such as a U.S. Renewable Energy Standard, through

For more information on Google’s commitment to a clean energy future, see

For broadcast-standard video and other multimedia files for the announcement, see

For more information on recruitment for RE<C, see




Biomimicry power plants

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2008 by highboldtage

Biomimicry power plants

Thanks to Mitch for the heads-up on this one.

According to the BBC, a Glasgow architecture firm has won the International Design Awards Land and Sea competition with its proposal to anchor large lily-pad-shaped solar arrays in the middle of Glasgow’s River Clyde (pictured). The firm is trying to sign the Glasgow City Council on for a small pilot project in conjunction with the city’s science museum. The discs will allegedly rotate as the sun moves across the sky in order to maximize the panels’ exposure.