GreenBeat news roundup: Nissan starts taking orders for electric car tomorrow

Here’s a roundup of the cleantech news we’re staying on top of this morning:Nissan reportedly delayed taking orders until tomorrow for the Leaf, the first electric car designed for mass-market consumer use. The suggested retail price is $32,780, though a tax credit of up to $7,500 could mean you pay something closer to $25,280. You can also look at the optional equipment Nissan is offering at the link above. But if you don’t already have a reservation, expect to wait six to nine months.

Breakthrough chlorophyll discovery could lead to cheaper biofuels. Scientists have found a new form of chlorophyll that “scavenges” part of the light spectrum that other forms of cholrophyll don’t absorb. The “scavenger” chlorophyll could be used to make cheaper biofuel oils by developing more efficient strains of algae that can process a broader spectrum of light.

California approves the first new solar thermal power plant in the U.S. in 20 years. The Beacon Solar Energy Project is run by Next Era Energy Resources. Several other solar projects are awaiting the green light from state regulators by year’s end, when federal incentives for such projects expire.

Smart meter company Landis + Gyr strikes deal with Wimax networking company Grid Net. Landis + Gyr, a major international smart meter player, plans to license Grid Net’s WiMax-based software and sell them in Australia and New Zealand. The company also has the option to expand this relationship globally.

Lumenergi closed a $12.7 million second round funding led by Braemar Energy Ventures last week. The company makes energy-efficient networked lighting systems currently popular with new government buildings, and they plan to develop their lighting control systems to work for large-scale commercial and industrial sites.

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