Solar thermal farm developer lines up $27M

Roughly a month after securing a federal loan to build its first solar farm in the U.S., SolarReserve has raised $27 million in equity, according to a government filing. The company will need the funds to complete the solar power plant and work on additional projects.

BrightSource to offer solar salt storage, too

Adding energy storage is becoming vogue for concentrating solar thermal power projects, particularly when it’s facing intense pressure to reduce costs. BrightSource Energy said Wednesday it, too, will offer an energy storage option to its power plant design.

The Mystery of the Imperial Valley Solar Project

What’s going on with a 709 MW solar project planned for the Imperial Valley in Southern California? We just learned from San Diego Gas & Electric’s spokesman, Art Larson, that the utility canceled its contract to buy power from the project.

Solar Landing Near Las Vegas, Courtesy of Federal Loan Guarantee

A large solar power panel farm is set to rise near Las Vegas, Nevada with the help of a federal loan guarantee program. The DOE on Thursday announced a $45.6M conditional loan guarantee offer to Fotowatio Renewable Ventures to build a 20 MW solar project.

DOE Offers $737M Loan Guarantee for SolarReserve Project

Here is another lucky winner of a federal loan guarantee program: The U.S. Department of Energy is offering a conditional loan guarantee of $737 million to SolarReserve for building an 110MW power plant in Nevada, the DOE said Thursday.

No. 1 Web Series Annoying Orange is Annoying for Many Reasons

[show=annoyingorange size=large]I don’t get it. I really don’t get it. I really really really don’t get why Annoying Orange, a quasi-animated series that debuted on YouTube (s GOOG) in October 2009, is currently, according to Visible Measures, the most popular web series online, with approximately 580,000 subscribers and 82 million total upload views on its main account. I just know that it makes me sad.

Annoying Orange uses the Syncro-Vox animation technique popularized by Conan O’Brien during the 1990s to give life to the titular Orange and his friends, who are mostly other fruit and vegetables animated in the same fashion. The formula is simple: Orange meets someone new and pesters them until their untimely demise (most often at the hands of an unseen knife-wielding human, who seems unaware of the anthropomorphication of his/her produce).

To be fair, you get warned going in that Orange is annoying, and wow this series delivers on that promise. If I were to draw a guess at the target audience for this show, it’d be the kind of 10-year-old kid who likes to follow you around repeating the same knock-knock joke over and over again. Why? Because I think that same kid is the one who writes this. Read More about No. 1 Web Series Annoying Orange is Annoying for Many Reasons

SolarReserve: Solar & Salt in the Nevada Desert

The obvious problem with solar power is that the sun doesn’t shine at night, but quite a few solar makers are turning to molten salt to help with that problem. This morning SolarReserve, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup that collects solar power with mirrors and stores energy in the form of super-hot liquid salt, says it plans to build a 100 MW solar plant in the Nevada desert and sell the power to utility NV Energy.

The site, called the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, will be located near the town of Tonopah, in Nye County, Nev., and is being developed by a SolarReserve subsidiary called Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC. The project, which is supposed to start construction toward the end of 2010, is estimated to produce 480,000 megawatt-hours annually, or enough to power about 75,000 homes during peak power.
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SolarReserve Heats Up With $140M for 5GW of Solar Thermal

Although the sun could be setting on the renewable tax credits, private equity is shining down on solar thermal startup SolarReserve. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based company says it has raised a hefty $140 million in a second round of funding for its utility-scale solar thermal power plant design. Citi Alternative
Investments, Sustainable Development Investments and Good Energies led the round and were joined by U.S. Renewables Group, PCG Clean Energy & Technology Fund, Nimes Capital and Credit Suisse.

SolarReserve says it will use the money to advance the development of 5,000 megawatts of utility-scale solar thermal plants all over the world, ranging in size from 30 to 500 megawatts. The company had previously tested its technology with the U.S. Department of Energy, but should the renewable energy tax credits not get renewed, SolarReserve, like other solar startups, will likely look outside the U.S. for development opportunities. The company plans to have its first plant up and running by 2010.

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