On the GreenBeat: First solar projects on federal land, Frito-Lay yanks SunChip bag

The government has approved two solar projects to become the first ever to be built on federal land, both to be erected in the California desert as part of a government fast-track program. Tessera Solar will build a 709-megawatt concentrated solar power project on 6,360 acres in Imperial Valley, to cost $2.1 billion (hundreds of millions of which could be supplied or underwritten by the government). Chevron Energy Solutions’ 45-megawatt system also received approval for a 422-acre project in Lucerne Valley. Both projects could power more than half a million homes when complete. The government is expected to approve other solar projects by the end of the year proposed by BrightSource, NextEra, Tessera and Solar Millennium.

A123 spin-off 24M lands $16M to explore the next frontier of batteries

Last week, advanced battery company A123Systems announced that it was spinning off a new venture called 24M Technologies, which would focus on more unorthodox energy storage innovations, including grid-scale flow batteries. One of the reasons it decided to release the new entity into the wild was so it could raise a substantial amount of funding for its projects. Now it has, banking $10 million in a first round of venture funding and a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program.