DOE backs largest rooftop solar project in U.S.

The DOE on Wednesday said it is offering a partial loan guarantee for a $1.4 billion loan that will fund Project Amp, which will erect solar panels on hundreds of rooftops around the country. The project is the largest rooftop solar plan in the country.

U.S. Cities Join Carbon Disclosure Project

What gets measured gets managed, and for too long the processes that emit carbon into the atmosphere have gone unmanaged. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a nonprofit consortium of some 385 global institutional investors with a combined asset base of more than $57 trillion, is trying to change that. The CDP said yesterday that 21 American cities have agreed to report their greenhouse gas emissions and other climate change-relevant data through the project’s transparent tracking system.

The cities, including New York, Denver, Las Vegas, Saint Paul and Portland, will report the carbon emissions of all activities under their budgetary oversight, including emergency services, municipal buildings and waste management. The cities will use ICLEI’s (formerly the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) Local Government Operations Protocol and software tools to track and profile the information, which will be published in the first CDP Cities Report and ICLEI Local Action Network Report in January 2009.
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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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Christmas in July at GottaBeMobile: a gear giveaway that would fill Santa’s bag

GottabemobilelogoThe GBM team has a slew of gear, gradgets and generally good stuff that they’re giving away right now. It’s their Christmas in July contest and there’s no less than three or four dozen items up for grabs. You won’t know what’s being given away when, so you have to stay active in the comments and forums for a shot! There’s a UMPC in there, some Zunes, an iPod, software and more, so don’t be shy on their site. Speak up!

Eliot Spitzer: Leadership Has No Sacred Cows

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“Never write when you can talk. Never talk when you can nod. And never put anything in an e-mail.”Eliot Spitzer, (then) Attorney General, New York State.

This is what New York Governor Eliot Spitzer had to say in late 2005, the year before he became NY governor, when I asked him for a contribution to Business2.0 magazine’s annual My Golden Rule feature, a collection of “life lessons” from admirable leaders worldwide.

Spitzer’s contribution was popular with my B2.0 editors — playing, as it did, off the raft of corporate criminal trials taking place across the country at that time (Martha Stewart, Frank Quattrone, Tyco, Worldcom, Adelphia, Enron).

Now The New York Times has broken the story that Spitzer has been linked to a high-end prostitution ring. People were expecting a resignation yesterday, bringing to a cataclysmic end what was — only a few years ago — one of the most respected legal and political careers in the country. The great irony here: Spitzer was caught in the FBI’s dragnet thanks to some taped phone calls and a few unseemly text messages authored by, none-other-than. Read More about Eliot Spitzer: Leadership Has No Sacred Cows

How to Index Your Cleantech Investments

With the launch of the FTSE ET50 Index, which is devoted to following 50 large cleantech stocks from around the globe, Wall Street has gone from spotting a trend to beating it to death with specialized financial products. There are now more than three dozen clean technology or sustainable energy funds, and many of them contain companies that overlap.

Last March, in a nod to the cleantech movement’s popularity among investors, Standard & Poor’s created several indexes related to clean technology. The goal, according to an S&P spokesperson, was to create transparency and a benchmark for investors interested in putting money into exchange-traded funds or individual clean energy stocks. (S&P licenses its indexes to fund companies, but does not manage any funds.)

Robert Wilder, creator of the WilderHill Clean Energy Index (which he says is called the “granddaddy of the clean tech indexes”), may be to blame. He and co-founder Josh Landess started investing clients’ money in clean technology stocks in the late 90s, only to see much of the value wiped out in the market crash of 2000. After realizing that not all of the cleantech companies lost value, he created his first index, and then convinced fund company PowerShares to create a fund around it.
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