June 03, 2010
Solar Technology Panelists Strut their Stuff: Get Out The SunSolar panelists talk about the industry and where they fit in. We learn that 17% of SCE's portfolio is now renewable, solar makes up 6% of their portofilio, which will grow substantially over the next few years. Geo-thermal is 57%; Wind is 26%; Biomass is 7% and Small Hydro is 4%. They would like to double their renewable portfolio.
Co-founder of HelioFocus Dr. Ori Zik has raised $20 million of venture money so far. They focus on boosting conventional power plants with solar steam (as long as the technology is located less than one mile from the power plant). Zik sees tremendous opportunities in Asia and has recently signed a deal with the Chinese. What makes them unique? Zik says: 2 kinds of DNA. The new CEO is 35 years old, so we blend youth with experience and we don't take No for an answer."
Capstone's CEO Darren Jamieson gives an overview of the Company, which manufactures micro-turbines. It was founded about 20 years ago with the concept of making a hybrid vehicle, but has always been ahead of its time. As such, they moved to the stationary power business and has grown 20% year over year, despite the difficulties in the economy.
Because there is only one moving part, it's a great application for moving solar dishes. The technology can run on multiple fuel types. Even though the manufacturing is done in California, their largest market is Europe. They currently get 30% + efficiency for heating and/or cooling buildings, which is less than a five year payback for their customers. Now Capstone is moving into new areas such as the Marine Market and the solar concentration market.
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