Monday, April 21, 2008

Fortune: eSolar scores $130 million from Google, other investors

"PASADENA, Calif. — Solar power plant builder eSolar has raised $130 million from Google’s philanthropic arm,, and other investors.
That was the headline news that eSolar chairman and Idealab founder Bill Gross slipped to Green Wombat during dinner Sunday night as Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference kicked off in Pasadena. The other investors include Idealab and Oak Investment Partners. Big numbers grab attention but the far more interesting angle is the technology that eSolar is developing. If it lives up to its claims, eSolar could help break the logjam that has put Big Solar on the slow track in California.
“We just completed tests at our test site this week and we will be able to produce electricity that is competitive with coal,” said an animated Gross Sunday evening.
That is the Holy Grail of renewable energy and the charge set out by Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page when they launched their green power initiative.

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