Solar struggles: Stirling Energy Systems files for bankruptcy

Solar thermal company Stirling Energy Systems has filed for bankruptcy, according to Renewable Energy World. Stirling Energy Systems developed solar concentrators based on stirling engines, which use the sun’s heat to produce electricity, and planned to build projects to sell the power to utilities.

Another major source of solar loans: The U.S. Ex-Im Bank

While an uproar has arisen over the loan guarantees for solar from the U.S. Department of Energy (namely the one for Solyndra), another federal agency has also been making hundreds of millions of dollars worth of loans and loan guarantees to support the U.S. solar industry.

BlackRock, NTR to Launch Clean Power Investment Group

On the heels of Silver Lake announcing a new clean power fund last week, there have been more new moves in the new clean power investing world: Massive money manager BlackRock is launching an alternative energy investing group, with execs from Irish clean energy company NTR.

Tessera Sells Troubled 850MW Solar Project

Tessera Solar said Tuesday it has sold an 850-megawatt solar energy project in California that, up until a few months ago, was poised to be a showcase piece for the company.

Triple Word Score: Recycle Carbon From Ethanol Plant, Grow Algae

gprelogoAnother technology venture looking to capture carbon dioxide and use it to grow algae has thrown itself into the ring. BioProcessAlgae, a joint venture among filtration giant Clarcor (s CLC), wastewater treatment startup BioProcessH2O, ethanol producer Green Plains Renewable Energy (s GPRE), and renewable energy developer NTR, has been awarded a $2.1 million grant from the state of Iowa to build what the venture claims would be one of the first photobioreactor systems attached to an industrial plant in the United States. The pilot project, which is supposed to be installed by the fall of this year, would capture CO2 from a Green Plains corn ethanol plant in Shenadoah, Iowa, and use it to grow algae.

Kevin Lynch, chief executive of BioProcessAlgae, said in a statement that the venture’s technology had “made significant progress in the engineering, design and development of photobioreactor systems for algae production.” A BioProcessAlgae employee involved in engineering, whom we reached by phone and asked not to be named, said that the venture had found a way to produce a higher yield of algae with an economical harvesting technique, but wouldn’t describe that process further. The venture did not say how much oil the pilot plant would produce, but Lynch said in the statement that if successful it would expand to full commercial scale.
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