Vulcan Power Heats Up With $145M from Denham

Vulcan Power, a company with one of the larger geothermal project portfolios, says it has received an investment of $145 million from Boston-based private equity firm Denham Capital. The sizable funding has been planned for awhile, as last year Vulcan raised $45 million from Merrill Lynch Commodity Partners (a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch) in what the company said was part of a larger planned $150 million in financing.

Vulcan says in the release it will use the funds to build out geothermal sites it says could generate a whopping 900 MW to 2 GW of steam power. That could provide clean power for as much as 2 million people. Based in Bend, Ore., the 17-year-old company has geothermal projects on more than 160,000 acres of private and federal lands.

Compared to solar and wind, geothermal is a renewable energy source that gets a lot less attention and investment dollars. The process involves drilling down and tapping into heated water reserves and converting the steam into power. The drawback is that the technology can only be used on select geothermal sites, which are limited. But geothermal sites can provide a sizable amount of power, and Vulcan’s power plants can generate in the hundreds of megawatts.

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Lenovo X61 Tablet: first impressions from Warner

Lenovo_x61_tablet_pcWarner’s been playing with a new Lenovo X61 Tablet PC over the weekend and I can tell from his first impressions that this device is a real screamer in the performance department. That’s nice to see since in the early tablet years, one of the valid complaints revolved around marginal hardware specs for some tablets. If you want a solid performer in a tablet, you’ll want to read Warner’s thoughts and follow along for future benchmarks.

Ironically, I was surprised at both the boot and sleep times that Warner witnessed. Make no mistake, they’re much shorter times than the X60, which is the predecessor to the X61. While it all depends on what apps you have installed, have running or set to run at Start, my Q1P actually whoops the times Warner is seeing on the X61. He’s witnessed cold boot times of three minutes while going into or coming out of Sleep mode is 15 seconds. My Q1P is booting around 90 seconds, sleeping in three to five seconds and waking in under 2 seconds; I suspect after some optimization, Warner will see much better times. Regardless, the X61 sounds like a nice package for people wanting a convertible Tablet PC without sacrificing performance!

Consumer, Not God is a DJ

My column from Business 2.0 has generated a ton of debate, and emails. Rags Gupta over at Digital Music News, is taking me to task. In my defense I present this data from comScore, which helps make my point. Ten years, streaming radio has gained at best 6 million listeners. And that during a time when we could not slice and dice the music, or what I like to call, “my music my way!” Anyway back to Rags argument, which is something like this, “Om thinks that streaming radio is separate from podcasting, I consider them to be separate faces of the same “IP-enabled Radio” coin, if you will, and not mutually exclusive.” Well, the key difference is that some deejay is defining my list, but in podcasting and subscription music services, I am the deejay.