Green

On the GreenBeat: $6 billion solar plant wins approval, Solyndra’s secret sauce

Chevron Energy Ventures and Solar Millennium’s proposed $6 billion solar power plant – to be the largest in the world – has cleared approval from the California Energy Commission, according to a Reuters report. The Blythe, Calif. plant will have a capacity of 1,000 megawatts — big numbers in an industry where the largest plants are about one-third that size. Solar Millennium and Ferrostaal AG are working to develop the plant through a joint venture, Solar Trust of America. It’s unclear what role Chevron plays in the plant, according to the Reuters story. Southern California Edison has already entered a deal to purchase all of the energy generated from the first half of the project. The entire project consists of four 250 megawatt plants.

Solyndra’s secret to selling its expensive solar modules competitively is in an IRS ruling, Green Tech Media reports. The ruling allows building owners to bundle in the roof as part of a Solyndra solar project because the modules rely on a specially-made white roof to reflect light, making the new roofs eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. Companies can also depreciate the solar rooftop projects over five years, instead of 29. Solyndra hasn’t had the best run of press lately thanks to its yanked IPO filing, and its modules cost far more than the industry average. Still, it continues to earn big customers like Frito Lay.

After the battery in a Nissan Leaf (pictured above) dies, the automaker will send them to 4R Energy, which will process the batteries for re-use in future electric cars. 4R Energy is the product of a joint venture between Nissan and Sumitomo Corp. The 4R plant is aimed at safe disposal, recycling and re-use of batteries. No word yet whether it will partner with other electric car makers to offer the service.