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Summary:

The solar thermal startup Ausra only started talking publicly in September, but already the Khosla and Kleiner Perkins-backed Silicon Valley company is one of the more high-profile cleantech startups around. This morning, Ausra provided additional details about a planned solar thermal power plant in California and […]

ausra.jpgThe solar thermal startup Ausra only started talking publicly in September, but already the Khosla and Kleiner Perkins-backed Silicon Valley company is one of the more high-profile cleantech startups around. This morning, Ausra provided additional details about a planned solar thermal power plant in California and an agreement to sell solar power to California utility PG&E (PCG).

PG&E says it will buy 177 megawatts of solar power generated from a one-square-mile plant that Ausra will build in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The solar thermal plant is expected to start generating power in 2010. PG&E previously entered into an agreement with Israeli solar thermal company Solel and is in talks with Oakland, Calif.-based solar thermal company BrightSource, too.

Solar thermal systems use mirrors and lenses to focus sunlight onto liquid-filled tubes, which in turn power steam turbines. The plants can provide large amounts of power at lower costs than other renewable sources, and Ausra is working to deliver electricity at the price of 10 cents per kilowatt hour or lower. When solar thermal technology can provide a price that is low enough, Ausra’s co-founder and chairman David Mills told us that he thinks it could one day replace coal.
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How Ausra’s technology works.

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  1. Al Gore Joins Kleiner as Cleantech Venture Capitalist « Earth2Tech Monday, November 12, 2007

    [...] and Doerr, which ledes with Gore doing due diligence on KPCB-backed solar thermal startup Ausra, which we’ve covered extensively. Gore tells Fortune he will be an “active, hands-on” Partner with [...]

  2. PG&E’s CEO: Utility-Scale Clean Energy Options are Thin « Earth2Tech Monday, November 19, 2007

    [...] risky. The technology is being built by cleantech startups — like Ausra and Solel, with which PG&E has already cut solar thermal deals — many of whom don’t have investment-grade credit ratings. The plants need to be built [...]

  3. PG&E Signs Massive Solar Deal With BrightSource « Earth2Tech Tuesday, April 1, 2008

    [...] to buy 550 megawatts of solar power from Solel’s Mojave plant and in November signed up to buy 177 megawatts from Ausra’s plant near San Luis Obispo, Calif. Both deals pale in size compared to this most recent deal with [...]

  4. SkyFuel Launching Low Cost Solar Thermal Tech « Earth2Tech Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    [...] builders and utilities and doesn’t plan to own any of the power plants itself. Many startups, like Ausra and BrightSource plan to build and own solar plants and sell the power from the plant in a power [...]

  5. SkyFuel Launching Low Cost Solar Thermal Tech [Earth2Tech - Start-Up News] | Internet Startups Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    [...] builders and utilities and doesn’t plan to own any of the power plants itself. Many startups, like Ausra and BrightSource plan to build and own solar plants and sell the power from the plant in a power [...]

  6. Solar Feeds Gadgets » SkyFuel Launching Low Cost Solar Thermal Tech Thursday, October 2, 2008

    [...] builders and utilities and doesn’t plan to own any of the power plants itself. Many startups, like Ausra and BrightSource plan to build and own solar plants and sell the power from the plant in a power [...]

  7. Ausra: Financial Markets Could Effect Utility Solar Projects [Earth2Tech - Start-Up News] | Internet Startups Thursday, October 9, 2008

    [...] project financing to build a solar plant that could cost between $600 million and $800 million; California utility PG&E has committed to buy the solar power from that plant in a power purchase agreement. Ausra could theoretically start [...]

  8. First Solar Buys Ausra Solar Thermal Project; PG&E Power Purchase Deal Is Off Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    [...] secured a power purchasing agreement with California utility PG&E two years ago to sell 177MW of solar power from the planned [...]

  9. First Solar Buys Ausra Solar Project; PG&E Power Purchase Deal Is Off Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    [...] secured a power purchasing agreement with California utility PG&E two years ago to sell 177MW of solar power from the planned [...]

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