CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 2012 |
Stubborn does not come close to describing the desert tortoise, a species that did its evolving more than 220 million years ago and has since remained resolutely prehistoric. Its slowpoke take on biological adaptation has exposed modern vulnerabilities. The persnickety reptile is today beset by respiratory infections and prone to disease. Its only defenses are the shell on its back and the scent of its unspeakably foul urine. FOR THE RECORD: The subheadline on an earlier online version of this article erred in describing the desert tortoises as "endangered creatures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2012 |
When it comes to attracting business to California's eastern deserts, Inyo County is none too choosy. Since the 19th century the sparsely populated county has worked to attract industries shunned by others, including gold, tungsten and salt mining. The message: Your business may be messy, but if you plan to hire our residents, the welcome mat is out. So the county grew giddy last year as it began to consider hosting a huge, clean industry. BrightSource Energy, developer of the proposed $2.7-billion Hidden Hills solar power plant 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles, promised a bounty of jobs and a windfall in tax receipts.
April 17, 2012 |
In what executives now call a "fundamentally changed" solar industry, thin-film panel maker First Solar Inc. is closing down factories and cutting 2,000 workers. The layoffs represent 30% of the Tempe, Ariz.-based company's global workforce. First Solar is also planning to close down a factory in Frankfurt, Germany, later this year while indefinitely idling four production lines at its facility in Kulim, Malaysia, on May 1. The workforce reductions, which will cost First Solar up to $70 million in severance, will also reach employees in the U.S. The scale-back is expected to save the solar giant as much as $60 million this year and then up to $120 million a year after.
April 30, 2012
SolarCity Corp., the developer of rooftop solar power systems whose chairman heads Tesla Motors Inc., is planning an initial public offering. The offering will begin after the Securities & Exchange Commission reviews a draft registration statement the San Mateo, Calif.-based company submitted April 26, according to a statement that didn't say how many shares it plans to sell or at what price. SolarCity is seeking to go public while other renewable- energy companies are abandoning their IPO plans.
October 1, 2011 |
Chevron Corp. on Monday will unveil a solar oil field project that has been hit by cost overruns and delays but serves as a showcase for the technology of Chevron-backed solar thermal company BrightSource Energy. Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said Friday that three of its executives would attend the launch of the "demonstration project" in Coalinga, which is designed to use solar power to create steam to inject into wells to improve the flow of heavy oil. The 65-acre project consists of 7,600 mirrors focusing sunlight on a 327-foot tower.
December 13, 2012 |
Bay Area clean-tech company SolarCity Corp. had an uncertain path to its initial public offering, delaying and adjusting the size of its debut this week, but the stock was off to a running start Thursday in its first day of trading. The share price has boomed as much as 58.7% in trading so far on Nasdaq, hitting $12.70 after opening at $9.25. The San Mateo-based company sold 11.5 million shares at $8 each, raising $92 million total. The price values SolarCity at $584.6 million.