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A unit of giant Siemens, the German conglomerate, has charged in a lawsuit that Atlantic Richfield Co. committed fraud in the 1990 sale of a solar-electric manufacturing facility. The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in New York, seeks nearly $150 million in damages, including $50 million in punitive damages. As part of a companywide restructuring in 1989, Arco sold its pioneering Arco Solar Inc. unit, headquartered in Camarillo, to Siemens Solar Industries for $35.9 million.
September 10, 1989
Two letters published Aug. 27 completely missed the mark in describing the proposed sale of Atlantic Richfield Co.'s solar subsidiary to Siemens AG. One writer raised the fear that Arco Solar's advanced photovoltaic (PV) technology would "slip away" from the United States, presumably never to return. Echoing this theme, the second writer said the sale would prevent America from "contributing to the final solution of the triple crises of our time: energy, air pollution and the greenhouse effect."
May 5, 1986
Watching the progress of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster, one wonders again why we continue to pursue this source of energy. The irony, of course, it that if we had spent half as much money on developing solar energy as we have on nuclear, we would now have on hand efficient photovoltaic cells truly capable of producing electricity "too cheap to meter." Instead, we have growing pools of spent nuclear fuel, which will be radioactive for thousands of years, and no more idea of how to dispose of it than we did 30 years ago. We have reactors that cost 10 to 15 times what they were supposed to, which will have to be retired (meaning buried in cement)
December 20, 2012 | By Julie Cart
The Department of Interior on Thursday moved a step closer to approving what could be the world's largest solar power plant,  releasing the final environmental impact statement for the  McCoy Solar facility, a proposed 750-megawatt photovoltaic plant in Riverside County. Secretary Ken Salazar announced the preferred alternative, which calls for scaling back the project's 4,400 - acre footprint to accommodate the federally threatened Mojave Desert tortoise. The McCoy plant is projected to produce 750 megawatts of power, making it the second-largest solar plant in the world.
December 12, 2009 | By Henry Chu
It's another drizzly, dreary day in eastern Germany -- oddly perfect, it turns out, for demonstrating the potential of solar energy. Despite the rain, hundreds of thousands of photovoltaic panels still gaze skyward here at the country's biggest solar farm, like a field of huge silvery sunflowers planted in neat rows marching toward the horizon. Raindrops splotch their faces, and the steely gray clouds curtain the sun. But the panels remain busy absorbing solar radiation to convert into electricity.
August 29, 2009 | Shara Yurkiewicz
In a lab in Caltech, Harry Atwater holds up a plastic panel, a fraction of a millimeter thick. Even in the brightly lit room, the surface's panel remains jet-black -- absorbing all the light that hits it. The high-tech material is 10 times more efficient at absorbing light than the regular silicon cells that some homeowners install on their roofs to harvest the energy of the sun. It is one of several projects that Atwater's team at Caltech...
April 8, 2010 | By Todd Woody
Barry Broome slipped into San Francisco on a mission: Lure California-based solar companies to Arizona. "I think there's a lot of compelling technology in Silicon Valley that's going to be able to be put to work in Arizona," the chief executive of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council said recently in a downtown office tower lobby across from the U.S. headquarters of Yingli Solar, a Chinese solar module maker. For decades, border states have raided California, enticing companies to pull up stakes by offering tax breaks, low-cost workforces, affordable housing and business-friendly bureaucrats.
July 27, 1997
"Keeping It Clean" (July 10) tells a secret story hidden behind its words and graphics. By focusing on the pathetic amount of electrical energy produced by non-hydrocarbon generation since 1989, it clearly shows how the blind greed and political clout of our utility and petroleum companies has denied this country the path to clean power that we so desperately need. For more than 25 years, the potential for nonpolluting, endlessly renewable electric power offered by photovoltaic solar conversion has been known by our politicians, the oil interests and our utility people.
October 23, 2009 | Todd Woody
Skyline Solar, a Silicon Valley start-up, has become the latest green energy company to tap the struggling auto industry's manufacturing muscle. The Mountain View, Calif., company said Thursday that components for its solar power plants were being made in a Troy, Mich., car factory operated by Cosma International, a division of auto manufacturing giant Magna International. The same machines that stamp out doors, hoods and other car body parts are now making metal arrays that hold Skyline's photovoltaic panels.
January 14, 2011 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Iron pyrite ? also known as fool's gold ? may be worthless to treasure hunters, but it could become a bonanza to the solar industry. The mineral, among the most abundant in the earth's crust, is usually discarded by coal miners or sold as nuggets in novelty stores. But researchers at UC Irvine said they could soon turn fool's gold into a cheaper alternative to the rare and expensive materials now used in making solar panels. "With alternative energy and climate-change issues, we're always in a race against time," said lead researcher Matt Law. "With some insight and a little bit of luck, we could find a good solution with something that's now disposed of as useless garbage.
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