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August 15, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has signed contracts to buy enough solar energy to power 239,000 homes a year. The utility said Thursday that it would buy 800 megawatts of renewable energy from subsidiaries of Hayward-based OptiSolar Inc. and San Jose-based SunPower Corp. The electricity will come from two large-scale solar projects to be built in San Luis Obispo County on the Central California coast. OptiSolar's 550-megawatt Topaz Solar Farm project is expected to begin delivering power in 2011.
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BUSINESS
March 3, 2009 | Marla Dickerson
Stunted by the nation's credit freeze, troubled OptiSolar Inc. of Hayward, Calif., has agreed to sell its portfolio of unfinished solar farms to one of the hottest firms in the solar industry. First Solar Inc. said Monday that it would pay OptiSolar $400 million in First Solar stock to buy the outstanding projects, which the Tempe, Ariz., company intends to complete. The portfolio includes a planned 550-megawatt facility in San Luis Obispo County known as the Topaz Solar Farm.
BUSINESS
January 13, 2009 | Marla Dickerson
Frozen capital markets are putting the chill on a fast-growing California solar company, a sign that the economic downturn is being felt even in the state's thriving renewable-energy sector. Hayward-based OptiSolar Inc. confirmed Monday that it dismissed nearly half its 600-member workforce last week, cutting 185 jobs at its Hayward facility and 105 at a plant in Sacramento.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2008 | Marla Dickerson, Dickerson is a Times staff writer.
Just up the road, past pump jacks bobbing in California's storied oil patch, look sharp and you'll catch a glimpse of the state's energy future. Rows of gigantic mirrors covering an area bigger than two football fields have sprouted alongside almond groves near California 99. This is a power plant that uses the sun's heat to produce electricity for thousands of homes. Owned by Palo Alto-based Ausra Inc., it's the first so-called solar thermal facility to open in California in nearly two decades.
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