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Solar Projects On The Horizon

Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas

The economy has hit venture capital as hard as it’s hit anything else. But a new report shows promising signs for green technology companies, especially those dealing in solar.

Green-sector VC investments soared close to 50% in the second quarter to $1.2 billion, according to Greentech Media’s Greentech Innovations Report. The biggest chunk of that infusion – $330 million – went to solar energy projects.

So there’s a lot of action out there in the land of the sun-as-power-source. Some examples:

The government is setting aside federal land exclusively for the purpose of building large-scale solar projects. If all goes according to plan, there will be “landscape-scale” solar-energy plants across the West generating almost 100,000 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 29 million homes. Check out the areas in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

Wells Fargo, which has provided $1.75 billion in financing for renewable energy projects in the past several years, is ponying up another $100 million in a deal with California-based SunPower. Wells Fargo will finance new solar power systems built and maintained by SunPower at various businesses and institutions. The first two projects are in central/southern California: a 1.1-megawatt system for University of California, Merced, and a 1-megawatt system for the Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority.

Another California solar company, Sunworks Solar, is heading cross-country for its next project: a solar panel manufacturing facility in western New York. The company said 175 permanent jobs will be created through its $200 million plant, slated for construction through next year. And in a double-renewable twist, the New York Power Authority will sell Sunworks 5 megawatts of affordable hydropower for construction.

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“Solar Projects On The Horizon”