Daily Sprout

Earth, Wind & Fire: A Phoenix, Ariz.-based company called Solar Southwest Technology aims to power compressed air energy storage with surplus wind energy generated at night, rather than coal. To heat the air so it expands and drives turbine blades better, Solar Southwest is using solar power. — NYT’s Green Inc.

SunEdison, Xcel Partner for 50MW: SunEdison and Xcel Energy announced a deal today to build five photovoltaic solar installations in New Mexico that will total 50 MW in generating capacity in southeastern New Mexico by the end of 2011. SunEdison will build, finance and maintain the project under a 20-year solar power services agreement. — Press Release

The Trouble With Rare Earth Elements: Rare earth elements used in “green” techs like hybrid vehicle batteries and efficient light bulbs are mined almost entirely in China — in “some of the most environmentally damaging mines in the country, in an industry dominated by criminal gangs.” — New York Times

German Solar Firms Call for Faster Subsidy Cuts: German solar companies are proposing to cut feed-in tariffs faster than planned — by about 10 percent on January 1, 5 percent mid-year and then another 10 percent in 2011. — Reuters

Battery Help Wanted: The U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC), made up of Chrysler, Ford and GM, wants to hear proposals for new and better electric vehicle batteries. The group plans to share costs 50-50 with developers of electrochemical energy storage technologies under four different projects. Autoblog Green