June 23, 2012 |
Shares of First Solar soared after the biggest maker of thin-film solar panels got permission to continue construction on a $1.36-billion power project in Los Angeles County. Shares of First Solar Inc. soared after the biggest maker of thin-film solar panels received permission to continue construction on a $1.36-billion power project in Los Angeles County. First Solar had the biggest increase among the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index Friday, rising 9.2% to $15.88.
February 27, 2013 |
Situated in the southeastern corner of California, bordering Arizona and Mexico, Imperial County has long depended on agriculture and cash crops that grew from the good earth. But lately the region - which carries the dubious distinction of having the state's highest unemployment rate at 25.5% - is betting its future on a different kind of farm: green energy. Spurred by a state mandate that requires utilities to get a third of their electricity from green sources by 2020, renewable energy companies are leasing or buying thousands of acres in Imperial County to convert to energy farms providing power for coastal cities - bringing an estimated 6,000 building jobs and billions in construction activity to the county.
November 25, 2011 |
Renewable energy is surpassing fossil fuels for the first time in new power-plant investments, shaking off setbacks from the financial crisis and an impasse at the United Nations global warming talks. Electricity from the wind, sun, waves and biomass drew $187 billion last year compared with $157 billion for natural gas, oil and coal, according to calculations by Bloomberg New Energy Finance using the latest data. Accelerating installations of solar- and wind-power plants led to lower equipment prices, making clean energy more competitive with coal.
December 7, 2011 |
Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings utility agreed to buy the $2 billion Topaz project in California, branching into solar power after the industry was battered by stock markets around the world. The Topaz Solar Farm will be one of the world's largest photovoltaic power plants and is being developed by the seller, First Solar Inc. of Tempe, Ariz. Terms weren't disclosed. The project's 550- megawatt capacity is equal to about half a new nuclear reactor. Buffett's Iowa-based utility, which entered clean energy buying U.S. wind farms and a stake in Chinese electric-car producer BYD Co., struck the deal Wednesday after First Solar failed to get a U.S. government loan guarantee for the project that will use First Solar's thin-film solar panels.
April 30, 2012 |
SolarCity Corp., a Bay Area solar panel developer and installer whose chairman heads Tesla Motors Inc., is planning an IPO. The San Mateo company's intention to go public come as other alternative energy firms are backing away from similar growth plans, even after the industry reported record growth last year. First Solar Inc. said this month that it would close down some of its factories and trim 2,000 positions . Oakland's BrightSource Energy Inc. scrapped its IPO plans a few weeks ago. After Solyndra's bankruptcy last year focused an unflattering spotlight on the solar business, SolarCity and other companies gave up hope for federal loan guarantees.
November 24, 2010 |
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors denied a request from Northrop Grumman Corp. to delay final approval of a major solar project in the Antelope Valley near the military contractor's facility for testing radar-evading stealth aircraft. On a voice vote, supervisors rejected Northrop's appeal Tuesday, opting to let plans for the 2,100-acre complex of photovoltaic solar panels proceed. Final approval is expected Dec. 7. The company argued that the project would "adversely impact the military mission" of the sensitive, 1970s-era testing center, just south of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County.