GreenVolts at BIG Solar

[Menlo Park, California USA]

Berkeley-Stanford CleanTech Conference on “Utility Scale Solar Power Generation”

The 2nd Berkeley-Stanford CleanTech Conference, BIG Solar: Utility Scale Solar Power Generation”, took place Wednesday afternoon, May 7, 2008, at SRI International. Although the agenda included keynotes and a first panel discussion on “California’s Policy Leadership“, my focus was on the second panel, “Innovations in Technology”, with presentations by Blog stalwarts GreenVolts and Cool Earth Solar (CES).

For GreenVolts, I will highlight updates and deltas from GreenVolts presents at Alternative Energy Innovations 2007.

For the PG&E GV1 project, the 1MW (MegaWatt) Phase 1 is now scheduled for completion by the end of 2008, one quarter later than indicated in GreenVolts does it again with 2MW Solar Electric Plant deal with PG&E.

Bob Cart, founder and CEO of GreenVolts, Inc. said:

The first megawatt we’re actually manufacturing right now for deployment later on this year. This is a photograph of one of our test units. Actually, this is the first public time we’ve shown this.

Photo Credit: GreenVolts, Inc.

The above photo is of the “T6” or “sixCarouSol system under test at three sites. Optical concentration for the Off-Axis Microdish power units has been increased to 1000x. The two-axis CarouSol systems have succeeded in tracking with winds as high as 43mph (miles per hour) or 69.2kph (kilometers per hour).

GreenVolts has adopted LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) as a metric for BIG Solar and projects $0.15/kWh (15 cents per kilowatt-hour) as the value of solar in 2010.

In a teaser, Mr. Cart said:

This is a project that we’ll be announcing at some point in the future we hope.

Please see the Picasa slideshow for additional photos and the respective slides from the presentation.

I arrived in San Diego last night, and I look forward to covering the 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 33) this week.


  1. Anonymous says:

    “Innovations in Technology”

    Dear Gunther,
    “Innovations in Technology”
    If there is innovation in technology, why is it so hard to get on the market?

    We are located in a small country (Latvia) and it is hard to get to the source of Money. You can have great ideas down here, but to take it one step further is like a giant leap into no-mans-land.
    We don’t have universities that are globally so well recognized, we don’t have the spending power in respect to R&D we miss the mentality of investment in new and existing products, were just a small nation, trying to stand up.

    When we started Solar Botanics, it has been sheer luck, stubbornness and believe, that took us from nowhere into a business startup.
    We are starting to make our first solar trees and plants, natural looking plants in perfect harmony with existing nature. These beautiful solar trees do nothing else than fit in with your environment, shade you from the burning sun, protect you against the wind and surround your garden as a fence, covering all the ugly things you don’t want to see and besides all of this they give electricity, not just the average of a conventional solar panel, no, they triple that output. The “Nano solar leaves” convert light and heat, and effectively. As you know, it took nature millions of years to design the perfect solar collecting method, we simply mimic it. This was not that easy, but we cracked it.
    When we went shopping with the idea to generate some development money all you get is a huge amount of questions; does it work, how does it work, what is the KWp output, when will it be profitable and so on, like they all know the concept of laying the golden egg.
    All we wanted was to create an aesthetic and effective solar collecting device that could bring power closer to the cities, to places of natural beauty, islands and resorts. But Capital, like Banks, Venture Capital institutions and the industry giants like Vestas, Enel, Suzlon, Siemens and many more show no interest. Yes we know, the political lobby and the two hands on one belly is a fine concept, it kills the small and feeds the big ones.
    We sold our houses and took everything we’ve got only to secure the IP rights that only give us the right to sue someone. But money grows on trees and we finally got some huge investor behind us, who decided just for the sake of doing something “funny” gave us his wallet.
    Today, the idea has been pitched with several industries, project developers and other energy seekers, and still, we face an uphill battle, questions like; how much energy does your tree give, what are the costs, when will it become profitable, and so on.
    How can one argue with nature! Anyhow, the project is running, but dear o dear stay away from VC, and other similar people with good intentions. The money will come soon enough, we will just plant a few trees on the next Tiger Woods golf course, and there you go.
    All the big investments only reflect the interest of corporate lifeand not that of innovative spirit; they are not for us, the ones that do the little things, although, later when you’ve become big, then you are swallowed by corporate hunger. Green investment oh yes: another wind turbine, couple of square kilometers of parabolic ugliness, who cares, well the CEO of Ernst & Young will (probably) not have a wind turbine in front of his villa!

  2. C. says:

    Thank you for your many excellent postings. You recently (May 12th)said: “Although the agenda included keynotes and a first panel discussion on “California’s Policy Leadership”, my focus was on the second panel, “Innovations in Technology”, with presentations by Blog stalwarts GreenVolts and Cool Earth Solar (CES).” I am especially looking forward to your postings on the Cool Earth presentation. Cool Earth’s very cheap materials/ mass production/ low profile-footprint is the game changing app., don’t you think?

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