Green

On the GreenBeat: NRG and SunPower plan $450 million solar ranch, BlackLight plans water-to-electricity demo

Here are the top stories we’re following today on the GreenBeat:

NRG Solar and SunPower will team to build a $450 million solar ranch in California — NRG Solar will finance the 250-megawatt project, and SunPower will maintain it, according to the Associated Press.

Nuclear waste startup Kurion has emerged from stealth — The company turns nuclear waste into glass through a process it says is cheaper, faster and more efficient than its competitors, Earth2Tech writes.

Water-to-electricity startup BlackLight Power plans a demonstration project for next year – The company has been dinged in the past for a far-fetched-sounding technology, but says it can produce electricity for $25 per kilowatt-hour by converting hydrogen into a low-energy form of itself, a process that it says releases large amounts of energy.

GE has launched a home energy management branch – CNET writes that the unit will combine smart appliances with Nucleus, a web-based home energy management system (pictured).

Energy efficiency startup Opower raised $50 million — The round was co-led by Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins. The software and customer engagement company has been steadily rising with a cadre of utility customers and several quarters of break-even cashflow — and the venture capital backing seems to showcase some trends in cleantech investing at the moment, namely, less capital-intensive and energy efficiency-related bets.

China could be the next country to make a bet on natural gas vehicles — WSJ said the country could be a better place to launch natural gas cars, given the fledgling infrastructure, air pollution problems and coal-powered plants (making electric vehicles perhaps less desirable).