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BrightSource_Coalinga

BrightSource Energy is still building its first solar farm, but the company already is steaming ahead with the third, 810 MW project called Rio Mesa, for which the company said Friday it has applied for approval from the California Energy Commission. Read more »

Sungevity mobile

The solar market has been marked by falling profits and controversial federal government loans this year, but one bright spot is the growth of the residential and small commercial solar sector in which investors are setting up more funds to financial installations. Read more »

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Chevy Spark

The courtship between A123 Systems and GM didn’t really work out before, but the two are giving it another try. GM on Wednesday named the lithium-ion battery maker as the supplier for its newly announced all-electric Chevrolet Spark, which is set for launch in 2013. Read more »

BrightSource_Coalinga

Most of the oil giants have made small investments in cleantech and Chevron’s investment arm, Chevron Technology Ventures, was no exception. But Chevron has been moving away from making any cleantech investments, and hasn’t invested in a cleantech startup in two years, according to its President. Read more »

solar panel

Remember that gigawatt solar farm called Blythe in California that turned down a $2.1 billion federal loan guarantee? That project and 1.25 GW of other solar farm proposals are being sold by Solar Millennium to Solarhybrid, the two German companies said Thursday. Read more »

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A Department of Energy loan guarantee program that has attracted unwanted attention through its Solyndra deal is ending today, and the DOE is marking the occasion by finalizing billions of dollars of loan guarantees to First Solar, SunPower and Prologis. Read more »

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There is no escaping the dark spell cast by Solyndra’s bankruptcy in cleantech discussions these days. At two cleantech conferences in San Francisco this week, speakers gave their takes on the impact of the Solyndra controversy, from money flows to public perception. Read more »

Is 2010 the Year Khosla Cashes In As the Biofuel Baron?

The realization that many greentech startups need more capital and time than expected to commercialize their technologies has sacked some venture capitalists’ enthusiasm for cleantech. Vinod Khosla has a message for them: chin up! There’s good money to be made and I’m doing just fine. Read more »

SolarCity installation

On Friday, the DOE announced the closing of three loan guarantees, but also said solar installer SolarCity won’t be securing a loan guarantee for a military solar housing project. SolarCity said they lost the loan guarantee partly because of an investigation into the Solyndra loan. Read more »

JinkoSolar

On Thursday JinkoSolar issued a lengthy explanation of an environmental controversy surrounding its solar cell factory in China that led to a massive protest and plummeting share prices. The disclosure raises questions about what and how JinkoSolar should have disclosed this as a public company. Read more »

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The future of cleantech may depend more on the work of our military than climate change talks. The Pew Charitable Trusts released a report on Wednesday that showed the U.S. Defense Department’s cleantech investment ballooned 300 percent between 2006 and 2009 to reach $1.2 billion. Read more »

Electric car battery from Boston Power, image courtesy of Boston Power.
photo: Courtesy of Boston Power

Boston-Power, which once dreamed of building a lithium-ion cell battery factory in the United States, announced Tuesday it has lined up $125 million of investments to shift a big part of its business to China and thin its operation in the U.S. by about 35 percent. Read more »

Stion factory equipment

Silicon Valley solar thin-film startup, Stion, on Friday officially opened the door of its factory in Mississippi, marking a milestone for the company as it seeks to expand production quickly in an increasingly competitive market. Read more »

Coda sedan

One of the big hurdles in engineering electric cars is to figure out how to effectively monitor and control the battery systems. For Coda, that means buying EnergyCS to beef up its battery management system development and expand into the grid energy storage market. Read more »

Hemlock silicon

Thermoelectric materials hold the promise of turning waste heat into electricity, but they haven’t been widely used because of high costs. Startup Alphabet Energy says it’s solving those problems by using common silicon and has lined up $12 million to finalize its first product. Read more »

Calisolar silicon

Solar silicon maker Calisolar is laying off about 80 employees in its Silicon Valley factory as part of its shift in business focus, the company said on Wednesday. The layoff represents about 23 percent of the company’s labor force globally. Read more »

First Solar_Cimarron

Amidst intense scrutiny of the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program via the Solyndra scandal, September has still emerged as critical for a series of solar companies that hope to close federal loan guarantees and start construction on solar farms by the end of the month. Read more »

Suntech at Bird's Nest

Does the Chinese government want to be a cleantech VC? That seems to be the case as the government announced a plan to invest directly or through venture capital funds in startups that are developing technologies including alternative energy and cars. Read more »

First Solar_Cimarron

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. Read more »

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