Remember eSolar, the solar thermal startup incubated by Idealab, and backed by Google.org, GE, and others? It’s still here and trying to raise a $30 million round, of which it’s close almost half.
After a couple of years under development, Google has shut down its project to design its own solar mirrors for a centralized solar thermal farm. Now it’s the job of researchers and solar execs to see if there’s anything to use from Google’s solar research.
Google is officially shutting down its own in-house research initiative and equity investing focus on lowering the cost of clean power, called Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal, or RE
The Googlization of solar is here, and software, big data, wireless networks and IT will be a fundamental part of the future of modern energy infrastructure.
General Electric is a major wind turbine maker and has announced big plans in the past year to tackle the solar market. But it may be the company’s strategy to expand its natural gas power plant equipment business that could be a significant driver of renewable energy.
GE has made a strategic investment in solar thermal startup eSolar and has entered into a deal for an exclusive license to deploy eSolar’s technology in combination with natural gas power plants.
In the past two years, a large electricity generator has emerged to be key booster of solar energy in the United States. NRG Energy is continuing its acquisition spree with an announcement Tuesday that it plans to buy a 250-megawatt project by SunPower.
BrightSource Energy and French power giant Alstom have formed a partnership aimed at building solar-thermal power plants in a ring around the Mediterranean. In terms of geography, if not scale, the plan echoes the scheme of the Desertec Initiative, the mega-giant of solar-thermal projects.
Morgan Solar has settled on a production plan and is ready to offer its first system that use concentrated sunlight and solar cells to produce electricity in 2011. Now Morgan Solar is counting on its new CEO to deliver a new round of funding.
Google’s clean power ambitions are ramping up. The company has hired Philip Gleckman, former chief scientist at solar thermal startup eSolar, to work on solar tech internally for Google.