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90,000 Homes To Be Powered By Chicken Manure

by Justin Thomas •

The world’s largest biomass power plant running exclusively on chicken manure has opened in the Netherlands. The power plant will deliver renewable electricity to 90,000 households. It has a capacity of 36.5 megawatts, and will generate more than 270 million kWh of electricity per year.

2

eSolar Gets $130 Million From Google and Others

by Justin Thomas •

eSolar employees put the final touches on the mirrors used to focus sunlight. eSolar is a startup company which is in the process of building solar thermal power plants. It was one of the first startups to earn financial support from Google. This morning it received $130 millions dollars in funding from Google.Org, Bill Gross’ Idealab, Oak Investment Partners, and …

8

$3 Billion Solar Power Deal Signed By California Utility

by Justin Thomas •

Pacific Gas & Electric today will announce a deal to buy as much as 900 megawatts of electricity. It will be enough to power 540,000 California homes each year, and involve the construction of five solar power plants during the next decade. The company to build the solar-thermal power plants in the Mojave Desert is BrightSource Energy.

9

Solar Balloons Get $21 Million In Funding

by Justin Thomas •

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They look like foil party balloons, but they are actually very efficient solar concentrators. These solar “balloons” were developed by a company called Cool Earth, based in California, and it has just received $21 million dollars in investor funding. The company is now planning to build a 10-megawatt plant of solar balloons in the next couple years. This power plant …

17

Storing Solar Power In Molten Salt

by Justin Thomas •

Solar power is a truly efficient source of energy, but it tends to fluctuate, and, as you might know, it turns off at night. One clever way to alleviate this intermittence is to store solar energy in the form of heat using molten salt. An aerospace company, Hamilton Sundstra, has created a venture called SolarReserve, and it plans to have …

25

North America’s Largest Solar-Electric Plant Switched On

by Justin Thomas •

North America’s largest solar photovoltaic system is now running and generating power — about 30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The 14 megawatt power plant is at the Nellis Air Force Base in the sunny desert of southern Nevada. It’s expected to save about $1 million in power costs annually, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 24,000 tons each year.

1

553 Megawatts of Solar To Power 400,000 Homes

by Justin Thomas •

It’s the largest single commitment to buy solar power. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has entered into a renewable energy agreement with Solel to purchase renewable energy from the Mojave Solar Park, to be constructed in California’s Mojave Desert. The project will deliver 553 megawatts of solar power, the equivalent of powering 400,000 homes, to PG&E’s customers in northern …

17

German Town Will Soon Use 100% Renewable Power

by Justin Thomas •

There’s a small town in Germany called Dardesheim, that relies almost entirely on renewable sources for its energy needs. The town’s goal is to use 100% renewable power, and become known as German’s “Town of Renewable Energies”. Dardesheim already has some huge wind turbines in place, and many solar roofs installed. Last year they installed an amazing 62 megawatts of …

1

Blueberries Used To Capture Solar Power

by Justin Thomas •

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We just reported on the breakthrough in solar dyes in New Zealand. Now, researchers in Italy have discovered that blueberries have natural pigments that absorb sunlight extremely well. Apparently, dark-colored berries outperform most other plant species when it comes to spectral absorption of sunlight. The blueberry pigment, called, anthocyanine, can be used to make dye-sensitized solar cells, which require no …

4

11 MW Solar Tower Complex Opens in Spain

by Justin Thomas •

Europe’s first concentrated tower open recently near the sunny southern Spanish city of Seville. The 11 megawatt plant took four years to build — it was created by a Spanish energy company, Solucar. The tower project is called “PS10” and it uses 624 large movable mirrors called heliostats. Each of the mirrors has a surface measuring 1,290 square feet that …